The NSW Office of Local Government has issued a new Circular setting out changes to planning rules to ensure more people impacted by the bushfires are able to clean up and make safe their property and allow bush fire affected people to establish temporary accommodation, without the need for council approval.
From 4 February 2020, the applicable government planning fees – BASIX Certificate and the Planning Reform Fund fees – will be waived on all development applications related to homes damaged or destroyed in the recent bushfires.
From 5 February 2020, councils have the flexibility to modify conditions applying to a primitive camping ground, provided the council is satisfied it is necessary for the purposes of accommodating people who have lost their homes in the bushfires.
Council staff should ensure they are aware of the regulatory changes and ensure relevant internal policies, procedures and practices, as well as guidance provided to the public, is updated as necessary. A copy of the full Circular, and the changes to planning rules and the SEPP, can be found here.