Voluntary Planning Agreement requirements prior to certification

1 March 2011

Amendments to the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act) and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 which commenced on 25 February 2011 will prevent certifying authorities from issuing construction certificates, occupation certificates or subdivision certificates where obligations that must be met prior to certification under a voluntary planning agreement have not been satisfied.


In 2005, the NSW Government introduced planning agreements under section 93F of the EPA Act. They are contractual agreements between developers and planning authorities, by which developers undertake to make contributions for a “public purpose” through dedicating land free of cost, paying a monetary contribution, or providing any other material public benefit, or a combination of them.

Legislation commencing on 25 February 2011, gives statutory recognition to the widespread practice of requiring, as a term of a Planning Agreement, that the payment of a monetary contribution or the provision of a material public benefit must occur prior to the issue of specified certificates under the EPA Act.

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