A NSW Government website

Natural disasters

If you have been affected by a natural disaster such as bushfires and floods, you may have faced challenges getting planning approval to rebuild or repair your home, especially if development standards have changed over time.

The NSW Government will help you recover. We are working with local councils to find ways to future-proof our planning system. We want to reduce barriers to development approval so you can rebuild your home after a natural disaster.

Natural disasters clause for rebuilding and recovery

An optional natural-disasters clause has been introduced in the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Order 2006 to make it easier to rebuild and repair homes impacted by a natural disaster.

Councils must still complete a merit assessment to ensure that the site is suitable for redevelopment (amongst other important considerations), however the clause will save you time and money as you won’t need to submit an application to vary the development standards to get your DA approved, if development standards have changed over time.

Councils can adopt the natural disasters clause as part of a planning proposal process or incorporate it as part of a housekeeping change later. Many councils have already adopted the clause. Councils and practitioners can use this guidance material to implement it where appropriate.

Councils interested in adopting the clause can email our project team at [email protected] or contact their regional team.