Introduction of Part 6 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and Associated Regulation Amendments

Introduction of Part 6 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act and Associated Regulation Amendments

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), the primary act governing development and issuance of approvals for building work has been amended.

Part 6 of the EP&A Act relates to the issuance of certificates for building work and subdivision and the role of the certifier, including issuance of Construction Certificates and Occupation Certificates. This part of the EP&A Act, and the associated Regulation has come into force as of the 1st of December 2019. The amended provisions apply to any development consent granted on or after the 1st of December. It is noted that the former provisions also continue to apply with regard to an Interim or Final Occupation Certificate issued before the 1st of December 2019.

The information contained in this notice is intended as a high level summary of key items affecting our projects, and does not detail all amendments to be implemented. For a full copy of the amendments, please see the below links:

The changes include:

1. Terminology

Certifying Authorities and Principal Certifying Authorities are now referred to as ‘certifier’s’ and ‘principal certifiers’.

2. Occupation Certificates

The amended provisions nominate a few changes with regards to the issuance of Occupation Certificates. Firstly, there will no longer be ‘Interim’ or ‘Final’ Occupation Certificates. Provision is made for the issuance of Occupation Certificates for ‘whole’ buildings, ‘part’ of a building, or ‘part of a partially complete’ building. The application form is to nominate which is applied for and in the case of other than whole building, the part is to be nominated. The Occupation Certificate will then reflect which of the above the approval is issued for.

Furthermore, the Regulations nominate that where an Occupation Certificate is issued for part of a partially complete building, an Occupation Certificate for the whole building must be issued within 5 years of the date of the first Occupation Certificate being issued for the partially complete building. This will be included as a ‘condition’ on the Occupation Certificate for the partially complete portions.

Further information is to be nominated on the Occupation Certificates, namely, if the Occupation Certificate relates to a new building, and if the Occupation Certificate relates to a change of use.

It is noted that requirements for owners building manuals that are nominated in the Act have not been detailed in the regulation.

3. Written Directions Notices

As private certifiers, where we are made aware of a non-compliance we must, within 2 days of becoming aware of the non-compliance, a Written Directions Notice is to be issued. This notice will contain the matter that has resulted in the non-compliance, and a direction to take specified action within a specified period to remedy the matter. Where this notice is not complied with within the specified time frame, a copy of the notice is to be sent to the consent authority advising them that the notice has not been complied with.

Further information can be found on the Planning NSW website or contact McKenzie Group Consulting on 02 8298 6800.

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