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Common planning terms and meanings

Accredited or private certifier
A private sector professional who is accredited to issue certain certificates and perform specific duties under the legislation

Accreditation body
A professional body that can accredit members with the right to act as a private certifier. The Minister will evaluate a body's accreditation scheme before granting its authorisation rights

Building certificate
A certificate issued by a local council certifying it will not make certain orders or take certain action in relation to a building

Building Code of Australia (BCA)
A uniform set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings throughout Australia

A graphic representation of land ownership and or title and associated attributes

Commission of Inquiry (for environment and planning)
Hearing of evidence by an independent person from interested parties on an issue. Recommendations are then made, usually to the Minister

Compliance certificate
A certificate that certifies that conditions of consent have been satisfied, that work has been properly carried out or that the plan or design of the development complies with a necessary standard/s

Complying development
Routine development that can be promptly certified by a council or a private certifier

Complying development certificate
A certificate that allows a complying development to be carried out

The requirement for a government agency to consider development proposals in the light of its specialised functions and policies, and decide whether it agrees with the development taking place

Consent authority
The council having the function to determine the application or (if a provision of the Act, the regulations or an environmental planning instrument so specifies) a minister or public authority

Construction certificate
A certificate that allows building or subdivision work to start

Comprises Councillors and Council staff

Department of Planning (DoP )
The New South Wales state department responsible for planning (was DIPNR).

Designated development
A development that is likely to have significant impacts on the environment and, as such, is subject to special regulatory procedures. A list of designated developments is provided in Schedule 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000

Development application (DA)
An application for consent to carry out development, but does not include an application for a complying development certificate

Development consent
Consent to carry out development

Development control plan (DCP)
Detailed guideline that illustrates the controls that apply to a particular type of development or in a particular area. A DCP refines or supplements a regional environmental plan or local environmental plan and is made according to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979

Environmental impact assessment (EIA)
A specialised part of the decision-making process, where the environmental impact is considered in detail, together with other aspects of the development

Environmental impact statement (EIS)
A formal evaluation of the effect or likely effect of a development or other activity on the environment. This is required as part of the development assessment process for designated development. This is also required for infrastructure (eg electricity transmission lines and pipelines, highways and motorways, sewage treatment plants) that does not require development consent

Environmental planning instruments (EPIs)
Are local environmental plans and state environmental planning policies, which describe the current planning status and/or future developments of an area. They are made according to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Plans made prior to 1979 are deemed EPIs.

Exempt development
Proposals that do not require development consent so long as predetermined standards and requirements are satisfied

Publishing of new legislation. New legislation in NSW is published in the NSW Government Gazette. The date of gazettal of an LEP is the date from which it is effective.

Integrated development
Proposals that require development consent plus a specified permit/approval from a state agency, for example, a licence from the Environment Protection Authority or a permit from NSW Fisheries

Local environmental plan (LEP or BLEP)
LEP Prepared by local councils and approved by the State government Minister for Planning. They typically outline land use zones and permissible development within those zones. They may also contain other provisions e.g. heritage, tree preservation, subdivision and multiple occupancies. They can apply to all or part of an LGA. LEPs may be amended.

Local environmental study (LES)
Undertaken to gather information needed to draft a new comprehensive local environmental plan

Local government area, synonymous with Shire

Occupation certificate
A certificate that allows the occupation or use of a building

Planning certificate
A certificate that provides information on the development potential of a parcel of land, including any planning restrictions that apply

Regional environmental plan (REP)
A plan proposed by the Minister or Director-General and approved by the Minister before becoming law. They address matters of regional significance

Regional environmental study (RES)
Undertaken to gather information needed to draft a new comprehensive regional plan

Part 4A certificate
A construction, compliance, occupation or subdivision certificate

NSW Parliamentary Counsel’s Office. It is a government department whose functions are to draft, develop and publish legislation and provide advice and information. During the LEP amendment process they provide an opinion on some aspects of the draft LEP amendment.

Principal certifying authority
A council or private accredited certifier that oversees the building or subdivision process

State environmental planning policy (SEPP)
Policy proposed by the Minister and approved by the Governor. They address matters of state significance

State significant development
Development for which the Minister is the consent authority

Strata certificate
A certificate that allows a subdivision to be registered by the Department of Lands

Subdivision certificate
A certificate that allows a strata subdivision to be registered by the Department of Lands

The Minister
The State government Minister for Planning.

The system of categorising land uses as prohibited, requiring consent or not requiring consent within particular areas. Zones (such as residential or commercial) are shown in plan form and explained in environmental plans)