A NSW Government website

Land management infrastructure

How land is being protected, improved and managed through the Transport and Infrastructure SEPP

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 provides flexible and orderly planning pathways for essential infrastructure in NSW. This makes it easier to protect, improve and use land in NSW.

Infrastructure to rehydrate the landscape

Putting water back into the landscape involves using natural materials, such as plants, logs and rocks, to support a catchment's flow. This slows the stream and raises water levels so water is kept in the landscape for longer periods, allowing it to seep into the nearby soil. Rehydration infrastructure aims to:

  • improve soil health and plant growth
  • reduce erosion
  • moisten the soil.

The infrastructure does not take water or prevent fish from swimming from one place to another.

In December 2022, we changed the policy. The changes included a new planning pathway for landscape rehydration infrastructure. NSW farmers can now repair, restore and rehydrate dry land without relying on rainfall. This is thanks to the policy's provisions (legal conditions) that permit landscape rehydration infrastructure as development without consent (or a Division 5.1 Assessment).

The planning pathway has made it easier for landowners to restore streams on their property without development approval. Landowners must still arrange an environmental assessment and get state agency approvals.

For more information go to Development without consent.

Guideline for landscape rehydration infrastructure

Our step-by-step guideline Landscape rehydration infrastructure works – approvals and procedures details the approvals farmers need to carry out landscape rehydration techniques.

These techniques aim to rehabilitate eroded streams.

The Planning Secretary issued the guideline under Section 170 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021, which commenced on 20 March 2023.

Read the Landscape rehydration infrastructure works – approvals and procedure.

More information

For more information on the changes, email the policy team at [email protected]