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The rules for complying development are (in most cases) set out in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the Codes SEPP).
It’s possible to undertake complying development on bushfire-prone land, but only in accordance with the requirements set out in the policy.
If you are unsure whether the land is bushfire prone, the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website provides a tool to check if bushfire rules apply.
The Standards applying to complying development are set out in each code. For the Housing Code refer to clause 3.4, for the Rural Housing Code refer to clause 3A.37. For the Housing Alterations Code refer to clause 4.6A.
Low-risk types of development such as those identified below are exempt from the bushfire requirements:
Complying development cannot be carried out on land that is Bushfire Attack Level 40 (BAL-40) or in the Flame Zone (BAL-FZ). Under the Rural Housing Code any associated access way to the development must not be on land that is BAL-40 or BAL-FZ.
A Development Application is required to carry out any development on land in these high-risk areas. The process to determine the relevant BAL applying to land is set out in Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019, which makes amendments to Australian Standard AS 3959:2018.
The rules to be met for a complying development application under the Complying Development Codes are as follows:
In addition to these requirements the proposed development MUST comply with all relevant provisions of:
These requirements are in addition to any other Standards prescribed by the relevant code and applying to a particular development type (e.g. setbacks, landscaped area, building height, etc.).
Clause 136A of the EP&A Regulation requires that every complying development certificate issued must be subject to a condition that all building work is carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). All relevant parts of the BCA must be adopted at all times.
A council or an accredited certifier who issues a complying development certificate for development on bushfire prone land must send a copy of the certificate and associated documentation to the RFS. Clause 130 of the EP&A Regulation requires any certification required by clause 3.4(3) or clause 3A.37(3) of the Codes SEPP also be sent to the RFS.
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