A NSW Government website

Concurrence and referral reforms

Development applications now require less input from other government agencies as we build a faster, simpler, more efficient planning system.

When reviewing a development application, planning authorities such as councils must consider a range of effects development may have on traffic, bushfire risks, pollution, infrastructure and building design, and safety.

The nature of these effects may require advice or agreement from another NSW Government agency, or between councils. These requirements are known as concurrences and referrals.

Development referrals guide

The Development referrals guide (PDF, 5.5 MB) helps councils and applicants understand if a development application requires input from a referral authority. It explains when to seek concurrence, make a referral or apply for an integrated development approval.

The guide shows how to:

  • navigate the integrated development, concurrence and referral process
  • produce better development applications, leading to faster assessments
  • apply the referral provisions.

Read the guide

2021 changes

Simpler concurrence and referral requirements

We simplified requirements through concurrence and referral changes (PDF, 951 KB) in 16 state environmental planning policies (SEPPs) and 16 local environmental plans. These changes include:

  • removing some provisions (legal conditions)
  • replacing some concurrences and referrals with alternate requirements that achieve equal or better outcomes
  • refining some concurrences and referrals so they apply only to development proposals requiring case-by-case review.

The updated requirements began on 26 November 2021 through the SEPP Amendment (Miscellaneous) 2021.

We developed the changes in consultation with key councils and authorities who receive concurrence and referral requests.

Requests are now lodged through the NSW Planning Portal

All requests must now be lodged and processed through the NSW Planning Portal, including:

  • integrated development applications
  • concurrence
  • statutory referrals seeking advice or other response.

This requirement began on 26 November 2021 through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Consultation, Concurrence and Approval) Regulation 2021.


The changes help development applications and planning proposals move through the planning system more efficiently. We have removed unnecessary referrals to make development assessment simpler.

Decisions and strategic planning will be delivered earlier. Overall assessment will be faster, lowering costs for proponents and planning authorities.

For more information, phone 1300 305 695.

If English is not your first language, phone 13 14 50 and ask for an interpreter in your language.