The NSW Government is seeking feedback on proposed amendments to State environmental planning policies (SEPPs) relating to health services facilities, educational establishments and childcare facilities. Submissions will close on 17 December 2020.

Snapshot

  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) is exhibiting proposed amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (NSW) (Infrastructure SEPP) to facilitate broader planning pathways for health services facilities.
  • DPIE is also exhibiting amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017 (Education SEPP) to improve the effectiveness and usability of the SEPP.
  • Submissions can be made online or by post until 17 December 2020.

Proposed amendments to the Infrastructure SEPP

The proposed amendments seek to reduce delays for smaller-scale, lower-impact health services facilities that currently require development consent. This is primarily achieved by enabling public authorities such as NSW Health to utilise the faster, self-assessment planning process for a broader range of projects.

The main changes include:

  • allowing a standalone health services facility to be developed without consent within an existing health services facility;
  • changing the maximum height and setback controls for carrying out development without consent within an existing health services facility or for an emergency services facility;
  • introducing a new use “health manufacturing” (that is, manufacturing of biological, pharmaceutical, medical or paramedical systems, goods or components), which would be permitted with consent within an existing health services facility;
  • allowing complying development for removing or pruning trees or vegetation within an existing health services facility to be carried without complying with the general requirements of complying development; and
  • introducing complying development conditions allowing works to be taken outside of standard construction hours for approved deliveries or in an emergency.

The Explanation of Intended Effect is available here.

Proposed amendments to the Education SEPP

The proposed amendments seek to clarify the Education SEPP, to further streamline the delivery of childcare and education services, and to minimise adverse outcomes.

The proposed amendments make the following clarifications:

  • a new school campus or off-campus recreational facility should be assessed as a new school, rather than an extension or addition; and
  • if a site compatibility certificate is in place, development for an educational establishment is permitted with consent on land adjoining State land containing an educational establishment, and conversely, any use that is permitted on the adjoining land is also permitted with consent on the State land.

The proposed amendments seek to streamline the process by permitting:

  • innovation hubs (including associated commercial uses) within existing tertiary institutions to be developed with consent;
  • student accommodation with an existing educational establishment to be developed with consent; and
  • certain two-storey facilities (such as libraries) to be developed without consent within existing educational establishments.

The proposed amendments seek to minimise adverse outcomes by introducing:

  • exempt development standards as to operating hours for school-based childcare; and
  • a requirement to consult with TfNSW around changes to pedestrian access points at schools.

The Explanation of Intended Effect is available here.

Next steps

You can make a submission on the proposed Infrastructure SEPP and Education SEPP amendments on the NSW Planning Portal. You can also send a written submission to DPIE by post.

Public submission will close on 17 December 2020.

By Peter Briggs, Partner, Tom Dougherty, Senior Associate and Zhongwei Wang, Solicitor.

Peter Briggs

Peter Briggs
Partner, Sydney
+61 2 9225 5155

Tom Dougherty

Tom Dougherty
Senior Associate, Sydney
+61 2 9225 5533

Get in touch

We take a creative, strategic and commercial approach to environment and planning issues. If you need urgent advice or just have a general query, please contact one of us below.

Peter Briggs

Peter Briggs
Partner, Sydney
+61 2 9225 5155

Rebecca Davie

Rebecca Davie
Senior Associate, Sydney
+61 2 9322 4755

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster
Senior Associate, Sydney
+61 2 9225 5556

Tom Dougherty

Tom Dougherty
Senior Associate, Sydney
+61 2 9225 5533