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Development Applications in NSW

A development may require special approval to be commenced.  This approval is referred to as development consent which can be obtained by making a development application.  In Australia, the legal requirements and processes associated with development applications vary from state to state.  The legal requirements and and processes also vary depending on the type of development being proposed and its site and location.  Development applications allow the community to respond to developments and challenge them when appropriate.

What is the role of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

The dominant piece of planning and development legislation in NSW is the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EPAA).  The main objective of the Act is the facilitation of environmentally sustainable development in NSW which considers economic, environmental and social factors.  The Act provides a framework for obtaining development consent and outlines various planning instruments that operate within the state.  For instance, the Act authorises the creation of local environmental planning instruments which apply to local government areas across NSW.  In addition, the Act outlines the processes for objecting to development applications and appealing the decisions of consent authorities.  The building and construction lawyers at Brander Smith McKnight are very experienced in the extensive and complicated provisions of the EPAA.  We are happy to advise and assist in making or challenging development applications under the EPAA.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

What is a Consent Authority?

A consent authority is the body that receives and processes development applications.  In NSW the relevant consent authority for a development depends on the typed of development being applied for.  The consent authorities include bodies such as the Independent Planning Commission and local councils.

What is a Development?

In NSW, the term development is defined in section 1.5 of the EPAA.  A development includes;

  • The use of land.
  • The subdivision of land.
  • The erection of a building.
  • The carrying out of a work.
  • The demolition of a building or work.
  • Any other act, matter or thing that may be controlled by an environmental planning instrument.

The role of Zoning in Development Applications.

Zoning refers to the delegation of specific areas of land for particular uses.  Environmental planning instruments under the EPAA can establish zones which apply to developments in particular areas.  These zones have specific legal requirements that developments within the zone must comply with.

The role of Community Participation in Development Applications.

The EPAA allows for the community to voice their concerns and thoughts regarding development applications under the Act.  The main mechanism which allows this community involvement is the EPAA‘s community participation requirements (see schedule 1 EPAA).  An important element of the community participation requirements are the prescribed public exhibition periods for development applications.  During these exhibition periods, the public may make submissions to the relevant consent authority.

BSM Lawyers

The building and construction team at Brander Smith McKnight has over 30 combined years of experience ranging from small residential projects to multimillion dollar developments.  We are happy to advise and assist you when making or challenging a development application.  We will help you navigate the legal intricacies of zoning issues, community participation and the role of the EPAA in development applications.

Call us to arrange a free 20 minute no obligation consultation that includes case evaluation and cost estimate.

We have locations conveniently in Sutherland, Parramatta, Wollongong and Sydney CBD.

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