ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

Frequently Asked Questions

Do we have to wait the 21/40 days to verify a SER?

Preferably the 21/40 day period should expire before verifying an SER. This ensures that all submissions have been received and given due consideration. However, it is acknowledged that circumstances will arise where this is not practical or even possible (examples could include urgent works to restore power). As a minimum verifying an SER before the 21/40 day expiry would require:

  • a written response from the recipient stating that they do not intend to make any further submission; and
  • a justified reason why the 21/40 days notification cannot be achieved (poor planning is not a justification).

Exceptions to the above should be approved by the Manager - Environmental Services.

How do I avoid holding up a project? 

In order to avoid potential delays to work due to the notification process it is suggested that either: 

  • start preparing the SER early to allow for the 40 days prior to scheduling
  • send an 'Assessed' but not 'Verified' SER to the contractor to allow for quoting etc.
  • send the notification letters earlier by sending a concept plan (note that the detailed design doesn't have to be completed before a notification letter is sent to council)

Do I have to re-notify if the scope changes after consultation?

The scope of a project could change because of technical requirements or in response to submissions received during the notification period. Whether a re-notification is required will depend on the nature of the changes.

  • If the changes result in triggering a new notification requirement (such as new adjoining neighbours etc.) then additional notification is required.
  • If the changes result in a substantially different project or is likely to result in new objections then it would be prudent to re-notify relevant parties.

To help avoid a re-notification trigger and potential delays, concept plans submitted to Council should include a description of all potential works and may include options and a larger footprint impact area to allow for flexibility of design.

If in doubt, contact Environmental Services.

What works do not need a notification?

Although exempt development doesn't need the 21 days notice (as would otherwise be required by SEPP (Infrastructure) 2007), if the works are not routine maintenance and repairs, the project will still need 40 days notification under the Electricity Supply Act 1995.

Most urgent works should fall under the definition of emergency works or routine repairs or maintenance and will not require a SER or 21/40 days notification.

What templates should I use to notify?

See standard template letters.

How long is a SER valid for?

Under the legislation, a SER under Part 5 of the EP&A Act, and it's associated notifications, does not expire. As the environment can change between the time a SER is verified and construction commencing, a SER should be revisited if 2 years have lapsed since verification to ensure that any sensitive environmental issues including heritage items, contamination, threatened species, etc. have not changed. As a comparison, Development Applications approved by local council under Part 4 of the EP&A Act are generally valid between two and five years, depending on their conditions of approval.

What is meant by adjoining or adjacent?  
Adjoining SEPP