Undertaking Developments on NSW Ports Land

Development at the Port will generally be exempt from the need for a planning approval, require a complying development certificate or will require development approval (most likely from the NSW Department of Planning and Environment). Regardless of the planning approval pathway, permission to undertake the works will be required to be obtained from NSW Ports.  When undertaking development on NSW Ports land, you will need to follow NSW Ports' development process.

If you have determined that you want to progress a development proposal on NSW Ports’ land and are ready to prepare a planning application, please contact NSW Ports’ General Manager Infrastructure to discuss the proposal.

NSW Ports in the first instance will require a general scope of works, cost estimates, preliminary drawings and a confirmation of the planning process that will be followed for the development (i.e. exempt, complying or a development application). NSW Ports may also issue a list of requirements to be considered as part of the preparation of planning documentation. NSW Ports is required to review any documentation being submitted to a consent authority. 

A review of property agreements will be undertaken to ensure the works can progress under existing leases and licences or if a new agreement is required.

Should a complying development certificate or development application be required for the development proposal (i.e. the development is not exempt), land owner’s consent will be required. 

Development proposed at Port Botany and Port Kembla must take into consideration NSW Ports’ development guidelines for these port precincts including NSW Ports’ Green Port Checklist*. A copy of NSW Ports’ development guidelines is available via the below links:

Port Botany Development Code October 2013  

Port Kembla Development Code June 2016

*Please note that this file may not be compatible with older internet browsers. If you cannot download the file, please contact NSW Ports' Environment team for a copy.

Exempt and Complying Development

Certain minor developments may be able to be carried out as exempt or complying development.

‘Exempt Development’ is development that will have only a minor impact on the local environment and has been classified as exempt development in a local, regional or State planning instrument.  Development consent is not required for exempt development as long as you satisfy the requirements in the applicable planning instrument.

‘Complying Development’ is development where the environmental impact is predictable and minor, can be addressed by development standards and has been classified as complying development in an environmental planning instrument.  To carry out the development, you will need to obtain a complying development certificate from an accredited certifier, or the local council.

State Environmental Planning Policy (Three Ports) 2013 (Three Ports SEPP) has specific provisions for exempt and complying development carried out on land in the area of a port, managed by NSW Ports.  For a list of the exempt and complying development provisions of the Port SEPP, please refer to Schedules 1 and 2 of the Three Ports SEPP. Additional exempt and complying development provisions are contained within other environmental planning instruments such as the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Please note that while a proposed development may be exempt or complying development, permission to undertake the works is still required to be obtained from NSW Ports as the landlord.

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