What’s happened?

The Department of Planning and Infrastructure has released the (much awaited) consultation draft of the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 (Draft SEPP).1

The Draft SEPP outlines the classes of development that will be state significant development (SSD) or state significant infrastructure (SSI) under the new regimes which will replace Part 3A Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) (EPA Act) on its repeal.2

You should consider the impact of the Draft SEPP on your business and projects.

Public submissions on the Draft SEPP must be made on or before 2 September 2011.

Who needs to know?

Anyone interested in the assessment and approval of major projects in New South Wales.

What does it mean for your projects?

Key provisions

The Draft SEPP:

  • Confirms the classes of development which will be SSD or SSI. Further detail of these classes is set out below.
  • Identifies critical SSI. This is currently limited to certain Pacific Highway upgrade projects, the M5 West road widening, the North West Rail Link and the CBD light rail extension. 
  • Excludes certain exempt or complying development from becoming SSD or SSI providing that it is not part of a wider project which is SSD or SSI. This remedies a defect in Part 3A whereby even previously exempt or complying development required assessment and approval under Part 3A once the Minister formed the opinion it was development of a type specified as being a Part 3A project. 
  • Clarifies that where part of a development is SSD or SSI, then the remainder of the development will also be SSD or SSI, unless the Director-General determines that part of a project is not sufficiently related to the SSD or SSI. This could potentially enable, for example, a retail component of a SSI rail project to be assessed as SSI.
  • Contains provisions preventing staging to overcome the monetary caps in SSD and SSI. 
  • Confirms that the joint regional planning panels will continue to determine certain applications as listed in the new schedule 4A of the EPA Act.
  • Makes transitional arrangements including amendments to a number of environmental planning instruments consequential on the repeal of Part 3A. The most significant amendments are those proposed to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005 which is to be renamed the Transitional Major Development SEPP and which will continue apply to transitional projects still subject to Part 3A.

Categories of state significant development

The Draft SEPP outlines the classes of development which will be SSD. They include certain:

Click here to view the table.

State significant infrastructure

The Draft SEPP outlines the classes of development which will be SSI. They include certain:

Click here to view the table.

Next steps

You should consider the impact of the Draft SEPP on your projects and whether you would like to make a submission on the Draft SEPP. The department is receiving submissions on the Draft SEPP until 2 September 2011.

In the meantime, further information is expected shortly from the department as to when Part 3A will be repealed and SSD and SSI activated.