Planning Jargon Buster

Planning Jargon Buster

Sometimes you’ll hear a term or acronym when dealing with local government or our team that you might just not get. We hear you! That’s why we’ve created this ‘Planning Jargon Buster’ to help you understand the terms that town planner use.

Please note what follows comes with a disclaimer – The accuracy of these terms must be assessed in the context of your individual situation. We don’t claim to be the definitive answer on all planning terms that have developed over centuries of planning law and statutory interpretation, just a team that genuinely wants to make life easier for our clients.

Accessory Structure

An accessory structure is a common term for structures that are an accessory to a principal dwelling. Accessory structures include structures such as carports, garages, sheds, and pergolas.

Accessible Housing

The modification or construction of a residential dwelling to allow people with disabilities to live more independently of their carers. It usually means that either during construction or during subsequent modifications, the property’s living spaces, such as the bathroom, kitchen, porches, decking, and swimming pools, were tailored to the needs of the occupants with disabilities.

Adaptable Housing

Residential dwellings that can be changed and modified to the needs of disabled and older occupants. These properties can be modified over time for the needs of the occupants as they age or the effects of their disability become more acute. Some local councils require the provision of Adaptable Housing when constructing new dwellings.

Apartments

This term may refer to serviced apartments (defined here) or see residential flat building. The following definition for serviced apartments is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Serviced apartment means a building (or part of a building) providing self-contained accommodation to tourists or visitors on a commercial basis and that is regularly serviced or cleaned by the owner or manager of the building or part of the building or the owner’s or manager’s agents.
Note. Serviced apartments are a type of tourist and visitor accommodation—see the definition of that term in this Dictionary.

APZ (Asset Protection Zones)

Areas designed to protect human life and property from the danger of bushfire. Often, an APZ takes the form of a buffer zone of reduced vegetation surrounding a property. The size and requirements of an APZ vary with the lie of the land and the vegetation types surrounding the property.

Attached dwelling

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Attached dwelling means a building containing 3 or more dwellings, where:

(a)  each dwelling is attached to another dwelling by a common wall, and
(b)  each of the dwellings is on its own lot of land, and
(c)  none of the dwellings is located above any part of another dwelling.

Note. Attached dwellings are a type of residential accommodation.

BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) rating

A BAL rating is determined by an assessment that is used for planning and building purposes to determine whether a building or development requires additional bushfire risk management measures to address the threat of bushfire to the development. There are six Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) categories, as set out in Australian Standard 3959: Construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas (AS3959).

Bed and Breakfast Accommodation (B&B)

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A B&B is an existing dwelling in which temporary or short-term accommodation is provided on a commercial basis by the permanent residents of the dwelling and where:

(a)  meals are provided for guests only, and
(b)  cooking facilities for the preparation of meals are not provided within guests’ rooms, and
(c)  dormitory-style accommodation is not provided.

Boarding House

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A boarding house is a building that:

(a)  is wholly or partly let in lodgings, and
(b)  provides lodgers with a principal place of residence for 3 months or more, and
(c)  may have shared facilities, such as a communal living room, bathroom, kitchen or laundry, and
(d)  has rooms, some or all of which may have private kitchen and bathroom facilities, that accommodate one or more lodgers,

but does not include backpackers’ accommodation, a group home, hotel or motel accommodation, seniors housing or a serviced apartment.
Note. Boarding houses are a type of residential accommodation.

Bulky goods premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Bulky goods premises means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the sale, hire or display of bulky goods, being goods that are of such size or weight as to require:

(a)  a large area for handling, display or storage, and
(b)  direct vehicular access to the site of the building or place by members of the public for the purpose of loading or unloading such goods into or from their vehicles after purchase or hire,

and including goods such as floor and window supplies, furniture, household electrical goods, equestrian supplies and swimming pools, but does not include a building or place used for the sale of foodstuffs or clothing unless their sale is ancillary to the sale or hire or display of bulky goods.

Business premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A business premises means a building or place at or on which:

(a)  an occupation, profession or trade (other than an industry) is carried on for the provision of services directly to members of the public on a regular basis, or
(b)  a service is provided directly to members of the public on a regular basis,

and includes a funeral home and, without limitation, premises such as banks, post offices, hairdressers, dry cleaners, travel agencies, internet access facilities, betting agencies and the like, but does not include an entertainment facility, home business, home occupation, home occupation (sex services), medical centre, restricted premises, sex services premises or veterinary hospital.

Cafe

See Restaurant or Cafe.

Car Park

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A car park means a building or place primarily used for the purpose of parking motor vehicles, including any manoeuvring space and access thereto, whether operated for gain or not.

Caravan Park

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A caravan park is land (including a camping ground) on which caravans (or caravans and other movable dwellings) are, or are to be, installed or placed.

Carport

An unenclosed structure providing covered carparking.

Cellar door premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Cellar door premises means a building or place that is used to sell wine by retail and that is situated on land on which there is a commercial vineyard, and where most of the wine offered for sale is produced in a winery situated on that land or is produced predominantly from grapes grown in the surrounding area.

Child care centre

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A child care centre means a building or place used for the supervision and care of children that:

(a)  provides long day care, pre-school care, occasional child care or out-of-school-hours care, and
(b)  does not provide overnight accommodation for children other than those related to the owner or operator of the centre,

but does not include:

(c)  a building or place used for home-based child care, or
(d)  an out-of-home care service provided by an agency or organisation accredited by the Children’s Guardian, or
(e)  a baby-sitting, playgroup or child-minding service that is organised informally by the parents of the children concerned, or
(f)  a service provided for fewer than 5 children (disregarding any children who are related to the person providing the service) at the premises at which at least one of the children resides, being a service that is not advertised, or
(g)  a regular child-minding service that is provided in connection with a recreational or commercial facility (such as a gymnasium), by or on behalf of the person conducting the facility, to care for children while the children’s parents are using the facility, or
(h)  a service that is concerned primarily with the provision of: (i)  lessons or coaching in, or providing for participation in, a cultural, recreational, religious or sporting activity, or (ii)  private tutoring, or
(i)  a school, or
(j)  a service provided at exempt premises (within the meaning of Chapter 12 of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998, such as hospitals, but only if the service is established, registered or licensed as part of the institution operating on those premises.

Commercial premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Commercial premises means any of the following:

(a)  business premises,
(b)  office premises,
(c)  retail premises.

Construction Certificate

A Construction Certificate endorses that:

(a) the development complies with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act;
(b) the development is consistent with the Development Consent;
(c) the construction details comply with the Building Code of Australia;
(d) all conditions have been complied with prior to the issue of a Construction Certificate.

A Construction Certificate is required prior to the commencement of any building works on a site, including ground clearance and tree removal. A Construction Certificate is not required for complying development, as a Complying Development Certificate is appropriate in this instance.

Council Codes and Policies

Specific Council rules without legal status that relate to specific types of development in certain areas of sensitivity or character. In practice, they resemble Development Control Plans; however, they are not formally a part of an Local Environment Plan (LEP) or of a Development Control Plan (DCP).

Dance studio

A dance studio is not defined or addressed in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan, however dance studios are typically classified as a business premises or a recreation facility (indoor), depending upon the specific details of the development and business plans of the studio.

Deck

An unenclosed structure attached to a building, typically a dwelling, providing outdoor living space.

Department of Planning and Environment

The state government department tasked with the delivery of environmental protection and sustainable land use in New South Wales through the provision of policy and legislation for Local Government agencies (Councils), developers, and planning experts to work with in order to achieve development in a responsible, reasonable manner.

Development Approval

A legal document that allows development to take place. The approval specifies details of the design, location, and scale of the proposed development and requires a developer to follow the plans for all aspects of the development. Development Approval often requires conditions to be adhered to, such as the length of time for construction and the materials used in development. A Development Approval consists of three elements that are required in all cases for new development:

1) Planning Consent – Permission from the Council Planning Department
2) Building Consent – To ensure the development is in accordance with the Building Code of Australia
3) Land Division Consent – Required usually for a new dwelling or building not for a home extension or a granny flat

Development Control Plans (DCPs)

A DCP is an area-specific, detailed set of controls for an area or development type. It is a distillation and detailed ‘nuts and bolts approach’ to using the LEP. Usually, DCPs specify the dimensions for residential development, such as how high a house can be and how much area of a property can be taken up by buildings. DCPs can also proscribe the form and scale of commercial development in particular zones.

Dual Occupancy

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Dual occupancy means a dual occupancy (attached) or a dual occupancy (detached).
Dual occupancy (attached) means 2 dwellings on one lot of land that are attached to each other, but does not include a secondary dwelling.
Dual occupancy (detached) means 2 detached dwellings on one lot of land, but does not include a secondary dwelling.
Note.Dual occupancies are a type of residential accommodation—see the definition of that term.

Duplex Properties

Planning Standard Instruments and Government guidance does not give a clear ‘planning definition’ of a duplex; however, it can be taken to mean two residential properties located next to each other, typically with a vertical dividing wall, with the building being located on one lot. See also Dual Occupancy (attached).

Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD)

Justice Preston of the Land and Environment Court described ESD ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (Telstra Corporation Limited v Hornsby Shire Council [2006] NSWLEC 133). Essentially, ESD is the principle that development ought to be assessed in an environmentally responsible way, by considering the precautionary principle and the longer-term environmental effects of development.

Eco-tourist Facility

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. An eco-tourist facility is a building or place that:

(a)  provides temporary or short-term accommodation to visitors on a commercial basis, and
(b)  is located in or adjacent to an area with special ecological or cultural features, and
(c)  is sensitively designed and located so as to minimise bulk, scale and overall physical footprint and any ecological or visual impact.

It may include facilities that are used to provide information or education to visitors and to exhibit or display items.

Education facility

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Educational establishment means a building or place used for education (including teaching), being:

(a)  a school, or
(b)  a tertiary institution, including a university or a TAFE establishment, that provides formal education and is constituted by or under an Act.

Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A, EPAA)

The main planning legislation in NSW. It sets out how land is to be used in the state and provides the guidelines for Councils to make plans in their local areas.

Exhibition Home

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. An exhibition home is a dwelling built for the purposes of the public exhibition and marketing of new dwellings, whether or not it is intended to be sold as a private dwelling after its use for those purposes is completed, and includes any associated sales or home finance office or place used for displays.

Existing Use Rights

The established use of the land that has commenced with consent; however, it may have been prohibited by changes in a new LEP. When a property enjoys the benefit of existing use rights, it can only be modified to a minor way and any increase in floor space must only be minimal and may require consent. In addition, there cannot be an intensification of the land use.
Any buildings cannot be demolished and rebuilt without consent.
Should an established use cease for 12 months or more, that use may be considered abandoned. If there is conjecture to the continuation of a use, you may be required to submit supporting documentation such as receipts and written documents relating to the occupancy and use of the site.

Extensions

Extensions mean added or extended rooms on existing dwellings.

Farm stay accommodation

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Farm stay accommodation means a building or place that provides temporary or short-term accommodation to paying guests on a working farm as a secondary business to primary production.

Garage

An accessory structure providing fully enclosed space for carparking and storage.

Garden centre

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Garden centre means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the retail sale of plants and landscaping and gardening supplies and equipment. It may, if ancillary to the principal purpose for which the building or place is used, include a restaurant or cafe and the sale of any the following:

(a)  outdoor furniture and furnishings, barbecues, shading and awnings, pools, spas and associated supplies, and items associated with the construction and maintenance of outdoor areas,
(b)  pets and pet supplies,
(c)  fresh produce.

Granny Flat

See Secondary dwelling.

Gym

A gym is not defined or addressed in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan, however gyms are typically classified as a business premises or a recreation facility (indoor), depending upon the specific details of the development and business plans of the gym.

Hardware Store

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Hardware and building supplies means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the sale or hire of goods or materials, such as household fixtures, timber, tools, paint, wallpaper, plumbing supplies and the like, that are used in the construction and maintenance of buildings and adjacent outdoor areas. Hardware and building supplies are a type of retail premises—see the definition of that term.

Health Consulting Room

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Health consulting rooms means premises comprising one or more rooms within (or within the curtilage of) a dwelling house used by not more than 3 health care professionals at any one time.

Highway Service Centre

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Highway service centre means a building or place used to provide refreshments and vehicle services to highway users. It may include any one or more of the following:

(a)  a restaurant or cafe,
(b)  take away food and drink premises,
(c)  service stations and facilities for emergency vehicle towing and repairs,
(d)  parking for vehicles,
(e)  rest areas and public amenities.

Holiday Lets

Holiday lets are not defined or addressed in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan, therefore plans and provisions for each local government area must be carefully reviewed to determine how to proceed with approval. Generally, a holiday let is a type of short-term rental that may be considered tourist or visitor accommodation.

Home-based Childcare

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Home-based childcare means a dwelling used by a resident of the dwelling for the supervision and care of one or more children and that satisfies the following conditions:

(a)  the service is licensed within the meaning of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act 1998
(b)  the number of children (including children related to the carer or licensee) does not at any one time exceed 7 children under the age of 12 years, including no more than 5 who do not ordinarily attend school.

Hotel or motel accommodation

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Hotel or motel accommodation means a building or place (whether or not licensed premises under the Liquor Act 2007 that provides temporary or short-term accommodation on a commercial basis and that:

(a)  comprises rooms or self-contained suites, and
(b)  may provide meals to guests or the general public and facilities for the parking of guests’ vehicles,

but does not include backpackers’ accommodation, a boarding house, bed and breakfast accommodation or farm stay accommodation. Hotel or motel accommodation is a type of tourist and visitor accommodation—see the definition of Tourist Facility.

House

A house generally means a dwelling for a single family.

Industrial Activity

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Industrial activity means the manufacturing, production, assembling, altering, formulating, repairing, renovating, ornamenting, finishing, cleaning, washing, dismantling, transforming, processing, recycling, adapting or servicing of, or the research and development of, any goods, substances, food, products or articles for commercial purposes, and includes any storage or transportation associated with any such activity.

Industrial Retail Outlet

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Industrial retail outlet means a building or place that:

(a)  is used in conjunction with an industry or rural industry, and
(b)  is situated on the land on which the industry or rural industry is located, and
(c)  is used for the display or sale (whether by retail or wholesale) of only those goods that have been manufactured on the land on which the industry or rural industry is located,

but does not include a warehouse or distribution centre.

Kiosk

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Kiosk means premises that are used for the purposes of selling food, light refreshments and other small convenience items such as newspapers, films and the like.

Landscaping Business

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Landscaping material supplies means a building or place used for the storage and sale of landscaping supplies such as soil, gravel, potting mix, mulch, sand, railway sleepers, screenings, rock and the like.

Local Environmental Plans (LEPs)

Council-prepared plans that provide details of land use zonings and environmental protection including heritage and conservation. LEPs also provide Council’s steer on social and economic issues that face the specific Local Government Area. A LEP provides the location where specific development control plan will be enforced.

Market

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Market means an open-air area, or an existing building, that is used for the purpose of selling, exposing or offering goods, merchandise or materials for sale by independent stall holders, and includes temporary structures and existing permanent structures used for that purpose on an intermittent or occasional basis.

Medical Centre

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Medical centre means premises that are used for the purpose of providing health services (including preventative care, diagnosis, medical or surgical treatment, counselling or alternative therapies) to out-patients only, where such services are principally provided by health care professionals. It may include the ancillary provision of other health services.

Multi Unit Housing/Multi Dwelling Housing

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Multi dwelling housing means 3 or more dwellings (whether attached or detached) on one lot of land, each with access at ground level, but does not include a residential flat building. Multi dwelling housing is a type of residential accommodation—see the definition of that term.

 Notice of Intention to Issue an Order

This is a document with legal power under S.121B of the EP&A requiring a landowner or occupant of a property to remedy a breach of a planning control such as non-compliance with a Development Consent, carrying out development without consent, or an unlawful use of a property or subdivision. Often, it requires the use to cease or the breach to be remedied in a specific time set out by Council or an issuing authority.

Occupation Certificate

A document issued under the EP&A that verifies that Council or the certifying authority is satisfied that the building is fit for purpose and complies with the Building Code of Australia in matters such as health, safety, and amenity.

There are two types of certificate:
1) An Interim Occupation Certificate allows the commencement of either the occupation or the use of a partially completed building, or a change of use in a partially completed building. If an Interim Certificate is issued, a Final Occupation Certificate is required.

2) A Final Occupation Certificate allows the use and occupation of a new building or a new use of an existing building. A Final Certificate revokes any previous Occupation Certificates.

Office Premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Office premises means a building or place used for the purpose of administrative, clerical, technical, professional or similar activities that do not include dealing with members of the public at the building or place on a direct and regular basis, except where such dealing is a minor activity (by appointment) that is ancillary to the main purpose for which the building or place is used.

Personal Training Facility

A personal training facility is not defined or addressed in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan, however personal training facilities are typically classified as a business premises or a recreation facility (indoor), depending upon the specific details of the development and business plans of the facility.

Place of Public Worship

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Place of public worship means a building or place used for the purpose of religious worship by a congregation or religious group, whether or not the building or place is also used for counselling, social events, instruction or religious training.

Plant Nursery

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Plant nursery means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the retail sale of plants that are grown or propagated on site or on an adjacent site. It may include the on-site sale of any such plants by wholesale and, if ancillary to the principal purpose for which the building or place is used, the sale of landscape and gardening supplies and equipment and the storage of these items.

Precautionary Principle

Is based on Principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Land Development of June 1992 (Rio Earth Summit). The Australian Government and other world governments signed an agreement stating:

Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing measures to prevent environmental degradation. In the application of the Precautionary Principle, public and private decisions should be guided by:

(i) careful evaluation to avoid wherever practicable, serious or irreversible damage to the environment; and
(ii) an assessment of the risk-weighted consequences of various options.

It is an established principle and practice following case law handed down from the NSW Land and Environment Court when determining development in sensitive areas.

Preliminary Bushfire Assessment Report

A report submitted with a development application in a bushfire prone area. It anticipates the potential for development to be affected by bushfire by identifying remediation works such as fuel clearance and the location and designation of APZs.

Pub

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Pub means licensed premises under the Liquor Act 2007, the principal purpose of which is the retail sale of liquor for consumption on the premises, whether or not the premises include hotel or motel accommodation and whether or not food is sold or entertainment is provided on the premises. Pubs are a type of food and drink premises—see the definition of that term.

Recreation Facility (Indoor)

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A recreation facility (indoor) means a building or place used predominantly for indoor recreation, whether or not operated for the purposes of gain, including a squash court, indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, table tennis centre, health studio, bowling alley, ice rink or any other building or place of a like character used for indoor recreation, but does not include an entertainment facility, a recreation facility (major) or a registered club.

Regional Environmental Plans (REPs)

REPs were plans to deal with specific issues in NSW such as housing and environment protection. On July 1, 2009, REPs have been superseded by State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP). All REPs that remain in force are now considered SEPPs.

Renovations

Renovations are alterations to an existing structure.

Residential Accommodation

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A residential accommodation is a building or place used predominantly as a place of residence, and includes any of the following:

(a)  attached dwellings,
(b)  boarding houses,
(c)  dual occupancies,
(d)  dwelling houses,
(e)  group homes,
(f)  hostels,
(g)  multi dwelling housing,
(h)  residential flat buildings,
(i)  rural workers’ dwellings,
(j)  secondary dwellings,
(k)  semi-detached dwellings,
(l)  seniors housing,
(m)  shop top housing,

but does not include tourist and visitor accommodation or caravan parks.

Residential Flat Building

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. A residential flat building is a building containing 3 or more dwellings, but does not include an attached dwelling or multi dwelling housing.Residential flat buildings are a type of residential accommodation—see the definition of that term.

Restaurant or Cafe

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Restaurant or cafe means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the preparation and serving, on a retail basis, of food and drink to people for consumption on the premises, whether or not liquor, take away meals and drinks or entertainment are also provided. Restaurants or cafes are a type of food and drink premises—see the definition of that term.

Restricted Premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Restricted premises means premises that, due to their nature, restrict access to patrons or customers over 18 years of age, and includes sex shops and similar premises, but does not include a pub, hotel or motel accommodation, home occupation (sex services) or sex services premises.

Retail Premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Retail premises means a building or place used for the purpose of selling items by retail, or hiring or displaying items for the purpose of selling them or hiring them out, whether the items are goods or materials (or whether also sold by wholesale), and includes any of the following:

(a)  bulky goods premises,
(b)  cellar door premises,
(c)  food and drink premises,
(d)  garden centres,
(e)  hardware and building supplies,
(f)  kiosks,
(g)  landscaping material supplies,
(h)  markets,
(i)  plant nurseries,
(j)  roadside stalls,
(k)  rural supplies,
(l)  shops,
(m)  timber yards,
(n)  vehicle sales or hire premises,

but does not include highway service centres, service stations, industrial retail outlets or restricted premises.

Review of Environmental Factors (REF)

A document prepared for projects considered by the Council to be less controversial and to have less of an environmental impact. It can be considered to be a mini EIS.

Roadside stall

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Roadside stall means a place or temporary structure used for the retail sale of agricultural produce or hand crafted goods (or both) produced from the property on which the stall is situated or from an adjacent property.

Rural industry

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Rural industry means the handling, treating, production, processing, storage or packing of animal or plant agricultural products for commercial purposes, and includes any of the following:

(a)  agricultural produce industries,
(b)  livestock processing industries,
(c)  composting facilities and works (including the production of mushroom substrate),
(d)  sawmill or log processing works,
(e)  stock and sale yards,
(f)  the regular servicing or repairing of plant or equipment used for the purposes of a rural enterprise.

Rural supplies

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Rural supplies means a building or place used for the display, sale or hire of stockfeeds, grains, seed, fertilizers, veterinary supplies and other goods or materials used in farming and primary industry production.

Rural workers’ dwelling

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Rural workers’ dwelling means a building or place that is additional to a dwelling house on the same lot and that is used predominantly as a place of residence by persons employed, whether on a long-term or short-term basis, for the purpose of agriculture or a rural industry on that land.

Secondary dwelling

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Secondary dwelling means a self-contained dwelling that:

(a)  is established in conjunction with another dwelling (the principal dwelling), and
(b)  is on the same lot of land as the principal dwelling, and
(c)  is located within, or is attached to, or is separate from, the principal dwelling.

Secondary dwellings are a type of residential accommodation—see the definition of that term.

Section 88B (s88B) Instrument

Section 88B is the legal power or rules to set out the creation of easements, positive covenants under the Conveyancing Act 1919. s88b easements and positive covenants often relate to services such as drainage and water or the right of a carriageway over land. These restrictions are on the property at the time of sale and the purchaser is bound and obliged to them. A search for such easements is prudent prior to any purchase or development on land.

Section 117 Directions

Section 117 of the EPAA. They are ministerial directives that Council must follow when preparing LEPs.

Section 149 Certificates

A certificate that Council provides to a landowner or interested party that describes the details of how any planning policies, state or local, affect that specific piece of land. They can provide information of any other policies that may affect a specific lot. They are a good start but do not offer interpretation.

Section 79C matters for consideration – general

A section of the EPAA that sets out what Council should consider when making a decision on a development application. The list includes social, economic, and environmental effects of a proposal on a locality. The list is supplemented and supported by Government guidance documents.

Section 94 and Section 94A levies

Are development levies, or an amount of money that a developer is required to pay to Council to cover the cost of infrastructure. A section 94 levy can be monetary or a piece of land, or both a monetary and land contribution. A section 94A is a fixed levy based on a percentage cost of the development.

Self-storage units

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Self-storage units means premises that consist of individual enclosed compartments for storing goods or materials (other than hazardous or offensive goods or materials).

Seniors Housing

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Seniors Housing means a building or place that is:

(a)  a residential care facility, or
(b)  a hostel within the meaning of clause 12 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004
(c)  a group of self-contained dwellings, or
(d)  a combination of any of the buildings or places referred to in paragraphs (a)–(c),

and that is, or is intended to be, used permanently for:

(e)  seniors or people who have a disability, or

(f)  people who live in the same household with seniors or people who have a disability, or
(g)  staff employed to assist in the administration of the building or place or in the provision of services to persons living in the building or place,

but does not include a hospital. Seniors housing is a type of residential accommodation—see the definition of that term.

Service station

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Service station means a building or place used for the sale by retail of fuels and lubricants for motor vehicles, whether or not the building or place is also used for any one or more of the following:

(a)  the ancillary sale by retail of spare parts and accessories for motor vehicles,
(b)  the cleaning of motor vehicles,
(c)  installation of accessories,
(d)  inspecting, repairing and servicing of motor vehicles (other than body building, panel beating, spray painting, or chassis restoration),
(e)  the ancillary retail selling or hiring of general merchandise or services or both.

Setback

The minimum distance a building is required to be constructed from a boundary with a neighbouring property or any natural or man-made feature adjacent to the lot.

Shed

A shed is an outbuilding or accessory structure primarily used for storage.

Shop

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Shop means premises that sell merchandise such as groceries, personal care products, clothing, music, homewares, stationery, electrical goods or the like or that hire any such merchandise, and includes a neighbourhood shop, but does not include food and drink premises or restricted premises.

Signage

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Signage means any sign, notice, device, representation or advertisement that advertises or promotes any goods, services or events and any structure or vessel that is principally designed for, or that is used for, the display of signage, and includes any of the following:

(a)  an advertising structure,
(b)  a building identification sign,
(c)  a business identification sign,

but does not include a traffic sign or traffic control facilities.

Standard Instruments and Model Provisions

Standard Instruments are legal clauses that have been gazetted by Government and can be considered a template for Councils to use when forming LEPs. They help form a regularised planning system across NSW. Model Provisions are the predecessor of Standard Instruments; for the most part, they have been repealed, and are no longer used. They are, however, relevant material for statutory interpretation where older LEPs are in force.

State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs)

Policies prepared by the Department of Planning and Environment dealing with land use and urban and regional development in a state-wide context. However, they may deal with specific sites that have state significance or provide a legal framework for a specific planning issue. SEPPs can also act as standalone planning law, having legal force, such as the SEPP for Exempt and Complying Development. SEPPs have been designed to free up the planning process and expedite development.

SEPP (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009

This SEPP was introduced on 31 July 2009 in order to increase the supply and diversity of affordable rental housing across the state. Affordable rental housing types include apartments, villas, townhouses, and secondary dwellings such as granny flats.

SEPP (Exempt and Complying Codes) 2008

SEPP Exempt and Complying Codes set out the standards and criteria for development that does not need a formal Development Application. These Codes do require those undertaking a complying development to obtain a Complying Development Certificate in order to clarify that the development has been constructed in accordance with the Code (including the Building Code of Australia). Exempt development is often the basic operation on land and there is often no compulsion for this to be certified.

SEPP 1 Objection

Relates to flexibility in the use of development control standards. An objection based on SEPP 1 is a document that argues the reasons a development that departs from Council’s LEP and DCP standards should be permitted. Such document addresses the conflicts between the proposal and Council standards and demonstrates that there would be no material harm if the development was permitted.

Statement of Environmental Effects (SoEE)

Planning legislation requires the assessment of development to take into consideration the effects a proposal would have on the environment. A 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.

Strategic Planning

The driver of a Local Government Area’s ambitions and aspirations for social, economic, industrial, development, and environmental planning in an area. It does not have legal power; however, it does inform and can often form the backbone of Council’s legally binding planning instruments.

Studio

A studio is not defined in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. However, a studio is typically an accessory structure to an existing dwelling that is used for a specific purpose, such as an art studio or home office.

Subdivision

A subdivision is not defined in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. However, a subdivision is the creation of one or more new lots.

Subdivision Certificate

A certificate that authorises the registration of a plan of the subdivision of land. Since 1 July 1998, any new subdivision must have development consent and a certificate of compliance from the local Water Authority in order for the subdivision to be registered by the Registrar General.

Timber yard

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan.
Timber yard means a building or place the principal purpose of which is the sale of sawn, dressed or treated timber, wood fibre boards or similar timber products. It may include the cutting of such timber, boards or products to order and the sale of hardware, paint, tools and materials used in conjunction with the use and treatment of timber.

Tourist Facility

Referred to as tourist or visitor accommodation in the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan, it means a building or place that provides temporary or short-term accommodation on a commercial basis, and includes any of the following:

(a)  backpackers’ accommodation,
(b)  bed and breakfast accommodation,
(c)  farm stay accommodation,
(d)  hotel or motel accommodation,
(e)  serviced apartments,

but does not include:

(f)  camping grounds, or
(g)  caravan parks, or
(h)  eco-tourist facilities.

Town Houses

See Attached Dwellings.

Truck depot

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Truck depot means a building or place used for the servicing and parking of trucks, earthmoving machinery and the like.

Vehicle sales or hire premises

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Vehicle sales or hire premises means a building or place used for the display, sale or hire of motor vehicles, caravans, boats, trailers, agricultural machinery and the like, whether or not accessories are sold or displayed there.

Veterinary hospital

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan.Veterinary hospital means a building or place used for diagnosing or surgically or medically treating animals, whether or not animals are kept on the premises for the purpose of treatment.

Warehouse or distribution centre

The following definition is taken from the Standard Instrument – Principal Local Environmental Plan. Warehouse or distribution centre means a building or place used mainly or exclusively for storing or handling items (whether goods or materials) pending their sale, but from which no retail sales are made.

Wine bar

See Cellar door premises.

Winery

A winery is a premises where wine is produced.

Zoning

The designation of land uses for specific areas, usually depicted on a map of a Local Government Area. The area is typically divided into prevailing land uses, such as residential, commercial, retail, conservation, and environmental. However, while one residential area may appear to be similar to another, in terms of housing types and density, it may have a different zoning relating to a specific issue such as conservation or bushfire.

Questions?

We understand & we have all the answers you need...

Based on our 25 year history, we have a 98% success rate in achieving council approval. Of course this is based on following our proven systems and our 7 step formula. The key? Our Preliminary Planning Assessment, inclusive of your personal Project Strategy Session.

To get that success rate it has only come after helping over 12,000 people. We’ve worked hard to smooth out all the kinks before they appear by carrying out this Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA) on your property. It works a treat, especially for what it can do for you, the journey of the project and its future.

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We could make up a fantasied timeframe to wow you, but to be straight up the length of getting an approval is dependent on the project development type, the local council, who examines your application within council, location of the property within the local council and on the property itself, and the list goes on. The approval process will no doubt take longer than you expect because we are dealing with administrative red tape.

But what our team has done has studied the 12,000+ applications we have been involved in and analysed the 300+ flight years of team council approval experience to create a formidable system.

So to answer the question, how long does it take for us to get council approval? The fastest in our industry.

We have over 20 team members lead by our founder Max Fragar with his 50 consecutive years of town planning and council approval knowledge. The team is made up of skilled town planners, property consultants and designers that we have hand picked to work on your project. It turns out that we’ve had over 300 collective years of experience working and dealing with local government councils.

What does this mean for you? One word, streamline. We know how to talk the council lingo, can perceive even predict the ins and outs of those council hoops of fire, and understand the nitty gritty to work tirelessly to achieve the best outcomes for our clients and their projects.

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