‘Statement of Environmental Effects (SoEE)’ definition:
Planning legislation requires the assessment of development to take into consideration the effects a proposal would have on the environment. An SoEE spells out the potential effects that a development may have on the natural and the built environment. Thus, a SoEE investigates issues relating to bushfire management, traffic, effects on neighbouring amenity, and the way a development proposal would fit in with Council policies and controls.
A good, professionally prepared SoEE is a useful document for both the Developer and the Council Officers. Such document demonstrates the Developer has considered the relevant planning issues that are likely to come up during the process of assessment. In addition, the document provides the Council Officers more than a good starting point to assess the application—it offers the Council Officers the answers to the questions they will have during the assessment of the development application. In many instances, a SoEE can overcome neighbours’ points of objection, and prevent Council Officers asking for further information that could potentially delay the grant of Council Approval.