As of 1 March 2018, cosmetic changes to the structure of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act), take effect as it relates to development in bushfire prone areas.
Section 79BA is now section 4.14.
Section 79BA of the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EP&A) Act 1979 was introduced in August 2002 to allow consent authorities (typically councils) to assess infill development on bush fire prone land without referral to the Rural Fire Service (RFS) where a development meets the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006.
Infill development is generally residential buildings on existing lots (including those in a release area). It does not include subdivision of land for residential or rural residential purposes or development of land for special fire protection purposes, for example schools and hospitals.
To determine whether a development proposal meets the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006, consent authorities can either undertake their own assessment, or rely on a certificate provided from a qualified consultant in bush fire risk assessment. Only applications that do not meet the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 are to be referred to the RFS for assessment under section 4.14 of the EPA Act.
Section 4.14 provides for the consent authority to be provided with a certificate by a person who is recognised by the NSW Rural Fire Service as a qualified consultant in bush fire risk assessment stating that the development conforms to the relevant specifications and requirements. Blackash has Level 3 certification (the highest level certification available under the FPAA BPAD Scheme) and is able to provide certificates to consent authorities.
If you have any queries regarding the recent changes, do not hesitate to get in contact with us.