NSW planning changes now in effect

Tuesday, 06 March, 2018

NSW planning changes now in effect

The NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Amendment Bill passed parliament on 15 November 2017, with changes now in effect (as of 1 March 2018). The biggest changes are summarised below.

PCA & certifier role changes:

  • The principal certifying authority (PCA) is changed to ‘principal certifier’.
  • The principal certifier will be able to be appointed by someone who has the approval of the person having the benefit of the development consent.
  • An owner’s building manual must be issued by the principal certifier (with the OC). The regulations will specify the manual’s form, content etc.
  • A certifier’s ‘notice of intention’ is replaced by a written notice, which the certifier must issue upon becoming aware of any non-compliance. It is issued to the person responsible for that aspect of the development.

Complying development changes:

  • Power to make regulations to specify development where private certifiers can’t issue CDCs.
  • Power to make regulations that authorise a council to suspend work under a CDC for up to seven days, pending investigation of a complaint or non-compliance.
  • Power to issue a CDC with a deferred commencement condition.

Certificate changes:

  • The distinction between interim and final OCs has been removed — there are just OCs.
  • An OC will not be required if a compliance certificate has been issued in circumstances authorising that certificate as an alternative to an OC (this will apply to e.g. swimming pools).
  • Power for the Land and Environment Court to declare a certificate (other than an OC) invalid if not consistent with the consent and if challenged within three months of issue.
  • There is a minor amendment to the CC definition, from ‘work’ to ‘building work’.
  • Building certificates will be called ‘building information certificates’.

Other changes:

  • Power to make regulations to enable councils to impose a compliance levy on development.
  • Power to make regulations about development application and assessment, and issue of certificates via the NSW Planning Portal.
  • Power to make regulations to require development control plans to align with a standard format.
  • Power to make regulations to enable councils to impose additional fees on retrospective modification applications (as a deterrence measure).

For more information, including a copy of the Act, follow this link.

Image credit: © iStockphoto.com/vm

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