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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

Building near power lines

The information presented here will help you understand the regulations and guidelines in place regarding building near power lines.

Are you building near electricity infrastructure?

Before preparing your plans determine if the land is affected by electricity infrastructure such as above and below ground power lines or other energy infrastructure or easements. This information can usually be found on a survey plan or the Certificate of Title. Greenfield and rural areas have extensive networks of high-voltage electricity lines, which may exist near new residential subdivisions. 

What planning rules apply?

If you intend to carry out building work near underground (within 2m) or overhead power lines (within 5m), electricity easements (even if no electricity infrastructure exists) or immediately adjacent to an electricity substation, clause 45 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 (Infrastructure SEPP) requires the local council to notify the electricity supply authority of the proposal. 

The electricity supply authority will provide comments to the council about any potential impact or risks from the proposed development. The local council is required to take into consideration any comments it receives within 21 days of notice being given. 

What happens if my development is affected?

The local council will include any requirements made by the energy authority when it decides on a planning application. This may include requirements to set the development back from the power lines or restrict part of the site from certain non-compatible uses. 

If your development will increase demand for electricity it may require the provision of a new kiosk substation and the creation of an easement over the land to allow the electricity supply authority access to maintain the substation. You will be required to arrange for the electricity supply authority to access the site to install a substation or other infrastructure. A legal easement with the electricity supply authority will need to be executed prior to occupation of your development. 

Dial before you dig

Before you begin construction work you should check the location of any underground services using the Dial Before You Dig service.

Overhead Power Lines 

For work near overhead power lines, you should familiarise yourself with the requirements of the SafeWork NSW Work Near Overhead Power Lines: Code of Practice. A risk assessment must be performed. 

In particular, be aware of clearance distances and exclusion zones required and of recommended controls where these distances cannot be maintained. You may be required to make arrangements with the electricity supply authority for installation of safety features to the adjacent poles and wires – for example, Tiger Tails, which cannot currently be installed by Authorised Service Providers (ASPs).

To assist with site planning and risk assessment, many of the supply authorities have been collaborating on a new digital mapping tool called Look Up and Live, which is available as an app for Android and Apple. 

Further information on the specific requirements for each electricity supply authority can be found at the following: 

Transgrid  – 1800 222 537 (All NSW)

AUSGRID13 13 65 (Sydney metro east, Central Coast and Hunter)

Endeavour Energy13 37 18(Sydney metro west, Blue Mountains and Illawarra)

Essential Energy13 23 91(Regional NSW, including Coffs Harbour, Wagga Wagga and Bega) 

You are encouraged to contact the relevant energy authority early in the design stage if proposing to build near their assets. 

To find out more, contact HIA’s Planning and Environment team.

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