Planning, Development & Heritage

EDO NSW has produced a number of resources on planning, development and heritage

Fact Sheets on this topic include:

  • LEPs and SEPPs
  • Development Applications and Consents
  • Land and Environment Court
  • NSW Heritage Law

EDO NSW also undertakes law reform work relevant to planning, development and heritage. Read our submissions.

EDO NSW represents individuals and community groups in public interest litigation to protect the environment. Read about our past cases on planning, development and heritage.

Learn how to Have Your Say about decisions relevant to planning, development and heritage.

LEPs and SEPPs

These Fact Sheets explain what local environmental plans (LEPs) and State environmental planning policies (SEPPs) are, and how they fit together within the NSW planning system. They include descriptions of how SEPPs and LEPs are made, how they regulate what types of developments can go where, and how people can engage in plan and policy making processes.

These Fact Sheets will be useful for anyone who wants to understand how the planning system in NSW works. 

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: Development Applications and Consents, State Significant Development and State Significant Infrastructure, Submissions, Letters and Petitions 

Overview Environmental planning instruments 

Local Environmental Plans Commenting on draft LEPs

State Environmental Planning Policies Other planning documents

Development Applications and Consents

This Fact Sheet explain how local development is regulated in NSW. It gives an overview of the development application process, and describes relevant environmental assessment processes.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who want to know what their rights and responsibilities are under NSW planning laws, whether they are planning to develop or are impacted by a development that someone else is planning. 

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: LEPs and SEPPs, State Significant Infrastructure and Development, Submissions, Letters and Petitions

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State Significant Development and State Significant Infrastructure

This Fact Sheet explains the development assessment processes for major projects, known as state significant development (SSD) and state significant infrastructure (SSI). It gives an overview of the relevant decision-makers and the types of things they must consider when assessing SSD and SSI applications. It explains how SSD and SSI is assessed differently from other types of developments, and outlines the public consultation stages and rights of appeal.

The information in this Fact Sheet will be useful for people who wish to find out about how SSD and SSI projects are assessed, and people who live near proposed SSDs and SSI. 

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: LEPs and SEPPs, Part 3A, Submissions Letters and Petitions.

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Part 3A Major Projects (Now Repealed)

This Fact Sheet gives an overview of the development assessment processes for major projects under the now repealed Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW). Even though it was repealed, the Part 3A system for major project assessment still applies to many project applications that were submitted before the repeal, as well as to modifications for projects that were initially approved under Part 3A. This Fact Sheet explains when landowner consent is required, and how Part 3A is different from other assessment regimes in terms of development assessment and legal appeals.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who want to understand the processes involved in the approval of Part 3A projects and modifications. 

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: LEPs and SEPPs, State Significant Infrastructure and Development, Submissions Letters and Petitions

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Strategic Regional Land Use Policy Package

This Fact Sheet explains the process for assessing the impact of large-scale mining and coal seam gas (CSG) developments on areas of agricultural and environmental value.

It contains information on the Gateway process and what its role is in the assessment of large scale mining and coal seam gas development applications, and identifies the relevant decision-makers and enforcement authorities.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for landholders and communities affected by proposed new mining and coal seam gas activity to understand the factors which will be considered in the various stages of assessing the proponents’ applications.

This Fact Sheet should be read in conjunction with Fact Sheets on Mining and Coal Seam Gas.

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: DAs and Consents

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Suggesting Conditions of Approval

This Fact Sheet explores how the community can have their say about the types of conditions that can be imposed on coal and coal seam gas developments. It discusses the NSW Government’s draft Standard and Model Conditions for mining and CSG developments, as well as other conditions that you may wish to see imposed on a development.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who want to have their say about how the impacts of a mining or CSG development on the environment and local community could be avoided or lessened.

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: Submissions, Letters and Petitions, Mining and Coal Seam Gas, Strategic Regional Land Use Policy Package

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NSW Heritage Law

This Fact Sheet explains how heritage is protected in NSW. It discusses the bodies responsible for heritage protection, and the tools they use to ensure this protection, including the State Heritage Register, heritage orders, and protection orders.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who want to know more about how heritage is protected in NSW, and what they can do about any suspected breaches of NSW heritage law. It will also be useful for people who want to know how to avoid breaching heritage laws, and what the consequences are for doing so.

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: Aboriginal Cultural Heritage, Commonwealth Heritage Protection, LEPs and SEPPs, DAs and Consents

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Commonwealth Heritage Protection Law

Responsibility for heritage protection in Australia is split between national, state and local governments. The Commonwealth is responsible for World Heritage, National Heritage, and Commonwealth Heritage Places. This Fact Sheet outlines the national laws relating to heritage, including provisions for emergency protection, and how places and objects are protected under national law.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for anyone wishing to nominate a place or object for heritage protection or who is concerned about a place or heritage item under threat. It will also be useful for anyone wishing to undertake a development which may impact upon a place of heritage value or who is considering the export of a heritage object. It gives details of how to apply for license or a permit and the matters that will be considered in assessing the application.

Other relevant fact sheets include: Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, NSW Heritage Law

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NBN Developments

The National Broadband Network (NBN) is being rolled out across Australia. The NBN is an upgrade to existing fixed-line phone and internet network infrastructure. New towers and other infrastructure are being built as part of the rollout. This Fact Sheet is designed to assist the community to understand when development consent is and is not required in relation to NBN developments, the type of environmental assessment that needs to be carried out, and when the community is required to be consulted about a proposed NBN development.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who want to understand the process for assessing NBN developments, and who want to have their say about developments in or near their community.

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: Submissions, Letters and Petitions, DAs and Consents.

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Western Division

Due to historical factors and the fact that the land is held under lease from the government, the administration and law relating to the Western Division of NSW differs from that of the rest of NSW. This Fact Sheet outlines where these differences lie, and explains planning, development, and environmental processes relevant to the Division.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who live or lease in the Western Division, or who want to know about how large towns and leasehold or freehold properties are managed or developed in the Western Division. 

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Land and Environment Court

This Fact Sheet outlines the role of the Land and Environment Court in environmental decision-making. It explains the types of cases heard by the Court, the orders it can make, and what to expect when going to Court. 

The Fact Sheet will be useful for people who want to appeal an environment or planning decision to the Land and Environment Court, or who want to enforce a breach of environmental law such as pollution.

Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: LEPs and SEPPs, State Significant Infrastructure and Development, Air Water and Noise Pollution, Legal Advice and Litigation, Incorporating an Environmental Group

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Technical Fact Sheet: Biodiversity Assessments

Technical Fact Sheet

This Fact Sheet is designed to assist members of the public to evaluate biodiversity assessments that have been prepared for the purpose of meeting environmental legislative requirements. This Fact Sheet discusses different types of biodiversity assessments, and the elements to be assessed in each of these. It also identifies common failings of biodiversity assessments.

This Fact Sheet will be useful for people who are intending to prepare a biodiversity assessment, people who wish to assess the adequacy of a biodiversity assessment, and people who want to respond to a biodiversity assessment.

This Fact Sheet should be read in conjunction with Fact Sheets on the laws protecting biodiversity. Other Fact Sheets you may find useful: Conservation on Private Land, Native Animals and Plants, Threatened Species and Ecological Communities, EPBC Act, Commonwealth Threatened Species Law, BioBanking

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