Forms & Property Information

1. Advice in relation to planning & development

Customers seeking advice in relation to planning and development matters can apply the following pathways.

Level one – NSW Planning Portal

The NSW Planning Portal is an initiative of the New South Wales Government and has been designed to provide public access to a range of planning services and information including documents or other information in the NSW planning database established under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act).

The NSW planning database is an electronic repository of spatial datasets or other maps that are adopted or incorporated by way of reference by environmental planning instruments, plans or other documents or information relating to the administration of the EP&A Act that are required to be published on the NSW Planning Portal by the regulations or by the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment (the Secretary).

The NSW planning database is to be compiled and maintained as determined by the Secretary. The Secretary may certify the form of such documents or other information on the NSW Planning Portal is correct. At this stage, no content on the NSW Planning Portal has been certified by the Secretary.

Level two - Development Support Service

The first level of assistance is with Council’s Development Liaison Team, where general enquiries can be answered about your property, such as constraints, permissible uses and suitable development types.

This service via phone or face-to-face is available from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, in the Goulburn Civic Centre offices on Bourke Street and is free of charge with no appointment necessary.

Additionally general enquiries can be emailed to planningenquires@goulburn.nsw.gov.au where your enquiry will be acknowledged within two working days.

Level three – Property & Development Advice

Should more detailed or technical advice be required, the next level of assistance allows for either written advice. This is referred to as written planning advice, there is a fee involved in providing this service.

Property & Development Advice 
If you require more detailed planning advice you can request a written response from a Development Assessment Officer or other technical officers.

It is recommended that you use this service rather than the Development Liaison Team for large or complex planning matters.

This service should be used if you would like a written planning advice before you lodge a development application or purchase a property.

Council will provide you with a detailed written response of the information in respect of the question/s you have asked or advice you are seeking via a letter mailed or emailed to your address within twenty-one days of receiving your application.

A written Property & Development Advice has an associated minimum fee of $150 per hour with a minimum of a 1 hour charge.

Level four – Formal Pre-lodgement

Technical advice across all Council departments is available for a fee. If you would like to have a formal pre-lodgement meeting, an email request to planningenquires@goulburn.nsw.gov.au should be requested no later than two weeks from the requested date. The pre-lodgement meeting fee must be paid prior to the meeting taking place.

Senior Council Officers will attend to discuss your proposal and provide verbal advice.

A written response summarising issues identified with the proposal will be provided to you within fourteen working days.

Where possible, Council will seek to provide some certainty about the potential of your proposal, but you can't assume Council approval based on pre-lodgement advice, as a full assessment and determination of an application can only be made after actual lodgement of the application.

Level five – Planning Consultant

Preparing a successful design is not a simple process. There are many factors to consider, and coming up with a desirable and complying design solution is not always easy.

Council’s experience in dealing with applications shows that the cost incurred in producing good design and a complete application assists Council in assessing applications and reduces the overall approval times.

There are professional groups and organisations who you can seek technical advice from in the preparation of your plans and supporting documentation.

Depending on the type of development, this could include:

  • an architect;
  • a town planning consultant;
  • an engineer;
  • a heritage consultant.

 

2. Property and Zoning Information 

What are Planning Zones?

Council's Goulburn Mulwaree Local Environmental Plan (LEPs) divides the local government area into smaller areas known as Zones. Each Zone will have its own particular planning controls. Zones often reflect either the main existing character of the land or its desired future use.

The objectives, uses permitted with and without consent and prohibited development in each Zone is detailed in the Planning Instruments.
The Zones in each LEP are as listed below. The Land Use Table identifies the Objectives of the Zone and the land use status. 

How do I find out what Zone my property is located in?

Council staff are unable to provide verbal Zoning advice, however there are a number of ways you can find out the Zone of a property: (Note: These Zones refer to Planning zones – zones for rating purposes may be different)

  • 1) See the NSW Department of Planning & Environment's Planning Portal and search for a property. The NSW Planning Portal also details land constraints that can potentially affect your property such as bushfire prone land, potential aboriginal artefact, biodiversity, flood prone land, crown land, etc.
  • 2) View Council’s Local Environmental Plan (LEP) which includes zoning maps on Council's website: Goulburn Mulwaree LEP
  • 3) If you have recently purchased the property, the zone will be current on your Section 149 Certificate as part of your settlement papers (see Planning Certificates below)

10.7 Planning Certificates

Planning certificates are issued under Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The Certificate provides information in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
When selling land in NSW a 10.7(2) Certificate must be obtained as it forms part of a Contract for Sale. This Certificate identifies the land use zoning of a parcel of land, and what development may be carried out, with or without Council consent in that zoning.
A 10.7(5) Certificate contains the 10.7(2) Certificate, and may include the additional information of any Council Consents attached to the land.
A person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, apply to a council for a planning certificate with respect to any land within the area of the council.
The council shall, as soon as practicable, issue a planning certificate specifying such matters relating to the land to which the certificate relates as may be prescribed.

 

3. Dwelling Entitlement

It is important for the community, and land-owners to understand that under current Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), rural zones are primarily used for rural production and not the construction of dwellings, unless a dwelling entitlement exists. A dwelling entitlement refers to the potential for Council to approve a dwelling on a certain property. Not all rural lots carry an entitlement to erect a dwelling house. Dwelling entitlements are dependent upon the land zoning, the area of the lot or date of subdivision approval. Council cannot provide Dwelling Entitlement advice verbally – especially on lots which have an area less than the minimum lot size specified within the zone.

Applicable rural zonings that require a dwelling entitlement search, include:

  • RU1 – Primary Production
  • RU2 – Rural Landscape
  • RU3 – Forestry
  • RU6 – Transition
  • E2 Environmental Conservation
  • E3 Environmental Management

Please note that dwelling entitlement advice does not constitute development approval. Development consent must still be obtained for the erection of a dwelling house in accordance with the applicable legislation. 

4. Unauthorised or Illegal Development

Unauthorised Development

Unauthorised Development (structures, works or use of land) may cost you in relation to:
• health and safety, especially if there is a fire
• neighbourhood disputes
• delays in the provision of services
• breaching insurance policies meaning you are potentially uninsured
• Fines and/or legal costs
• Complications with property conveyancing

You also may be penalising the community if the unauthorised development means you should pay additional:
• rates or
• contributions for public infrastructure

Below explains some of the available options to resolve the issues concerned

Council approval

Unless the development meets the definition of Exempt Development under Section 4.1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 then a form of approval is required.

Development standards for Exempt Development can be found in:
- Goulburn Mulwaree Local Environmental Plan 2009
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007

If your development does not meet the exempt criteria and does not have another form of approval then your development is an illegal development

What do I need to do about it?

It depends on the type of development: 

Development that included Building Works

Examples include: sheds, carports, building alterations, extensions, new dwellings etc. 

Option 1 - Apply to Council for a Building Certificate and Development Application 

A Building Certificate may be issued by Council under Section 6.25 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979. A Building Certificate prevents Council from making an Order, under this Act or the Local Government Act 1993, to repair, demolish, alter, add to or rebuild a structure that was erected prior to the issuing of the Certificate. 

The application will need to include a survey, plans of the development, structural certification and possibly verification in relation to water supplies and effluent disposal systems. 

In addition a development application (see below) will need to be lodged to approve the use of the structure. 

Costs: 

The Building Certificate fee is based on the costs of works (development application fee, plus construction certificate fee, plus inspections. The minimum fee for a Building Certificate is $XXX, but in the case of unauthorised development, this figure will likely be higher. 

Fees for the development application will be $XXX.00, plus any inspections that may be required. 

In addition, certain types of development (for example, additional occupancies) are likely to require payment of Developer Contributions if they receive development consent. This money goes directly towards the provision of public infrastructure in the Shire. Please see Council's Fees and Contributions Plans for details or contact Council to discuss your Application 

Option 2 - Demolish the Structure 

You may choose to demolish the unauthorised structure, however note that demolition may require lodgement of a development application. You should speak to Council regarding requirements. 

Costs: 

Fees for the development application are based on the cost of demolition, plus any inspections that may be required.

Development for the Use of the Land

This typically includes the use of a legal building or land for an unauthorised use.

Examples include: Residential occupation of a garage or shed, use of a shed or garage for residential or business purposes, where no works have occurred.

Option 1 – Apply for a Development Application

The Development Application would seek approval to use the land or building for the required purpose. Council may require additional works or information to be completed in order for the use to proceed.

Council’s Development Application form and Development Application Checklists are available here: Forms.

What could happen if I do nothing?

Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Council can issues fines and/or Orders in relation to the unauthorised use of structures or for unauthorised construction. Council may also take enforcement action through the Court.

Council can issue Orders under Section 9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for items such as:
- Cease using the structure for a specific purpose;
- Demolish the structure;
- Repair or make structural alterations;
- Or to do such things that are necessary to bring into compliance with relevant development standards.

Council can issue Fines under Section 9.37(1) and Section 9.37(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to individuals or corporations that:
- Erect or use structures without approval;
- Fail to comply with conditions of consent;
- Fail to have the structure appropriately certified; or
- Fail to comply with Orders issued under Section 9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or
- Fail to comply with various other requirements of legislation

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 these fines are now up to $7,500 for an individual and up to $15,000 for a corporation.

Council also has the ability to bring proceedings in Court against an individual or corporation for a breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Council may seek damages or costs for any Court proceedings.

Even if Council takes no action against you, you still bear the responsibility and risk from having an unapproved development on your land. This means you are personally responsible in the eyes of the law for any consequences that may occur as a result of the unapproved development.

Option 2 – Cease using the structure for unapproved uses

You may choose to cease using the structure for the unauthorised use. This may require you to provide Council with evidence showing how the structure is being used legally.

If you choose this option it would be helpful to write to Council to tell us what your intentions are so that it can be retained in Council’s records.

What could happen if I do nothing?

Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Council can issues fines and/or Orders in relation to the unauthorised use of structures or for unauthorised construction. Council may also take enforcement action through the Court.

Council can issue Orders under Section 9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for items such as:
- Cease using the structure for a specific purpose;
- Demolish the structure;
- Repair or make structural alterations;
- Or to do such things that are necessary to bring into compliance with relevant development standards.

Council can issue Fines under Section 9.37(1) and  Section 9.37(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to individuals or corporations that:
- Erect or use structures without approval;
- Fail to comply with conditions of consent;
- Fail to have the structure appropriately certified; or
- Fail to comply with Orders issued under Section 9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 or
- Fail to comply with various other requirements of legislation

Under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 these fines are now up to $7,500 for an individual and up to $15,000 for a corporation.

Council also has the ability to bring proceedings in Court against an individual or corporation for a breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Council may seek damages or costs for any Court proceedings.

Even if Council takes no action against you, you still bear the responsibility and risk from having an unapproved development on your land. This means you are personally responsible in the eyes of the law for any consequences that may occur as a result of the unapproved development.

Conveyancing issues

Major complications can arise during the conveyancing processes where unauthorised development is discovered. The sale of the property can fall through, and unless a form of ‘legalisation’ of the unauthorised development is put in place, the value of the property can be significantly affected.

5. Land Constraints

Bushfire Prone Area

Development applications on bush fire prone land must include a Bush Fire Assessment Report. The report must comply with:

  • Planning for Bushfire Protection 2006 (published by the Rural Fire Service), and
  • The specific objectives and performance criteria for the proposed land use.

For most single dwellings, you can complete the report using the Single Dwelling Application Kit. This and other documents are available from the NSW Rural Fire Service.

Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)

The Bushfire Attack Level, or BAL rating, is a measure of the different levels of bushfire intensity that a home may experience in a bushfire. The BAL rating is determined by applying the method outlined in Addendum Appendix 3 to the RFS publication Planning for Bushfire Protection.

Calculating BAL ratings

The BAL rating is not pre-determined for your property. It is based on a combination of:

  • The region where you live.
  • The vegetation type around your property.
  • The distance from your home to individual vegetation types.
  • Slope of the ground under the vegetation.

BAL ratings are different for each property and do not apply to towns or streets

You can get an idea about what BAL might apply to your development from the RFS Single Dwelling Application Kit. Alternatively, and on higher risk levels you may engage an accredited bushfire consultant to issue a BAL Certificate for your development.

Potential Aboriginal Artefacts

The Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area (LGA) is rich in indigenous heritage and archaeology. It is recognised as an important meeting place that was inhabited by numerous language groups.

  • MULWAREE
  • WOLLONDILLY
  • WIRADJURI
  • GUNDUNGURRA
  • DHARROOK
  • THARAWAL
  • TARLO
  • LACHLAN
  • PAJONG
  • PARRAMARRAAGOO
  • COOKMAL
  • BURRA BURRA
  • NGUNAWAL

It is recognised that these peoples are the traditional owners of Goulburn Mulwaree area and play a significant and ongoing role in the history of the region. The earliest occupation site near Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area LGA in the Australian Alps has deposits that have been radiocarbon dated to 21,000 years ago. Most sites in the region date to 3-5,000 years ago.

The Goulburn Mulwaree Development Control Plan (DCP) include details and controls for the protection and management of the Indigenous heritage and archaeology of the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA. [Link to the new DCP]

A Development or project has the potential to impact upon Aboriginal cultural heritage values if it involves one or more of the following:

  • Disturbance to the ground surface or to sediments below the ground surface, except where disturbance will be strictly limited to:
    • Existing man-made manufactured surfaces (such as bitumen and concrete).
    • Existing deposits of imported land-fill or waste material.
    • Extremely disturbed contexts such as quarries or quarried areas (where there is no trace of the original soil and subsoil deposits or of buried former soils and subsoil deposits).
  • Disturbance to the roots, trunk or branches of old growth trees up to and more than 130 years old, which are native to the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA;
  • Impact or disturbance to the content, or immediate surrounds (up to 100 meters away) of a known or previously recorded Aboriginal site; and
  • Occurs within, or in close proximity to, a place of special or high Aboriginal cultural significance (such as an identified cultural landscape, an existing or former ceremonial ground, a burial ground or cemetery, a story place or mythological site, a former Aboriginal reserve or historic encampment, or an archaeological site of high significance).

If one or more of these factors apply, or are likely to apply, to a proposed development or project, then the next step is to determine if an Aboriginal due diligence and/or heritage impact assessment is required.

Note: Where reports include sensitive cultural information, they will be withheld from public exhibition.

Flood prone

Minimum fill and floor heights to Australian Height Datum (AHD) apply to certain parts of the Goulburn Mulwaree Council area.

These minimum levels can be obtained from the Council’s GIS section. However, Council will not give existing benchmark or property heights for your particular property. To obtain these you must engage a land surveyor.

All proposed on-site wastewater irrigation fields in non-sewered areas associated with a particular development are to be located within the required filled area.

Contaminated Land

The Goulburn Mulwaree LGA has many different uses including residential, commercial and industrial land uses.

Although contaminated sites can occur anywhere, they are typically clustered in areas which have been used for heavy industry. Some of these industrial uses can cause land to become contaminated due to generation of waste products and through the use and/or storage of chemicals.

Contaminated land can have major economic, legal and planning implications for the community. Contamination may limit land use potential or increase costs for developers.

The investigation and clean-up of contaminated land is important to protect human health and the environment.

Section 10.7 planning certificates and Contaminated Land

Section 5 of the land contamination planning guidelines contains information on the use of section 10.7 planning certificates under the EP&A Act. In summary, s10.7 (2) planning certificates must record that:

  • The land is declared significantly contaminated by the EPA under the CLM Act;
  • The land is subject to management order issued by the EPA under the CLM Act;
  • A voluntary management proposal for a site has been approved;
  • The land is subject to an ongoing maintenance order; and
  • The land is the subject of a site audit statement if a copy of such a statement has been provided.

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA), which uses its powers under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) to deal with site contamination that is significant enough to warrant regulation under the Act given the site's current or approved use.

The planning and development control process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) is important in the management of land contamination. It aims to ensure that land is not allowed to be put to a use that is inappropriate because of the presence of contamination and incorporates mechanisms to ensure that:

  • Land remediation is facilitated and controlled through State Environmental Planning Policy 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP55);
  • Managing Land Contaminationn: Planning Guidelines: SEPP55 - Remediation of Land ; and
  • NSW EPA website.

Site Auditors are experts who can provide an independent review of the work of a primary consultant conducted for all types of contaminated sites.

Unsewered Land

If you are not connected to the Goulburn or Marulan sewer network you will need to install a wastewater treatment system on your property.

Wastewater disposal systems are installed in the ground and use bacteria to treat solids, grease and fats that come from the toilet, bathroom, kitchen and laundry. Wastewater management systems reduce the volume of solids and prepare sewerage for disposal: they do not purify sewage.

"On-site wastewater management system" is a collective term referring to septic tanks, pump-outs, composting toilets, aerated septic systems and grey water diversion systems.

More information, including applying for approval to install a wastewater treatment system, is available here [link to waste water system in rural areas].

Crown Land

Crown land is land that is owned and managed by State Government. It accounts for over half of all land in New South Wales and includes:

  • Crown lands held under lease, licence or permit
  • community managed reserves
  • lands retained in public ownership for environmental purposes
  • lands within the Crown public roads network
  • other unallocated lands.

Crown lands managed by the NSW Department of Industries should not be confused with other forms of Crown or State owned lands such as National Parks, State Forests, Railcorp property etc.

There are a number of Crown Lands within the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA, some of which includes access points to a small number of rural properties within the LGA.

Any development or road access that is over Crown Land may need permission and/or permits from NSW Department of Industry before any application to Council. More Information can be found on their website https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/lands

Gas Pipeline

Goulburn Mulwaree have a number of gas pipelines within its boundaries which include high capacity pipelines. These high-pressure transmission gas pipelines - transport gas over long distances at very high pressure, linking sources of gas supply with local gas distribution networks in the Southern Highland and Sydney.

Council does not own or operate the gas pipeline. APA Group manage and operate the gas pipeline.

Because the pipelines are buried, it’s important that you find out what’s below before you dig – both to protect yourself and the essential services below.

The gas pipelines are identifiable by the warning signs located at regular intervals. These markers identify the gas pipeline route but do not indicate the exact location of the buried pipeline.

If a gas pipeline easement is registered on your property title there are conditions associated with the easement including what you can and cannot do in the pipeline corridor area. This will include the requirement to seek prior written approval from APA for activities within the corridor such as:

  • Replacing or installing fencing;
  • Any earthworks;
  • Land levelling or contouring;
  • Landscaping and planting trees;
  • Storing material or erecting structures;
  • Use of explosives;
  • Use of vibrating machinery;
  • Transporting heavy machinery or loads.

It is important before any development starts within the vicinity of the gas pipeline that APA be contacted before lodgment of a development application with Council.

More information can be found on https://www.apa.com.au/pipeline-corridors/.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth they include plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems of which they are a part of. All of these interact and support each other. Protecting biodiversity is therefore not simply the protection of individual threatened plant or animal species, but requires the protection of whole ecosystems.

6. Clearing for Development

When an application for development is submitted to Council, Council must assess any impacts of your proposed development in accordance with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 requirements. Development that requires clearing of native vegetation may trigger the NSW Biodiversity Offset Scheme. To see if you development triggers the Biodiversity Offset Scheme under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 or any other pathways, please check the NSW Office of Local Government checklist at this link

If your development triggers the offsets scheme you will require the preparation of a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report. This must prepared by an accredited person that is trained to the requirements of Office of Environment and Heritage. A list of Accredited Persons can be found here [Link].

More information about Biodiversity Offsetting Scheme, how it works and the requirements for your development can be found on the Office of Environment and Heritage Website

If your development does not trigger entry into the Offset scheme but will remove or disturb native habitat (e.g. native grasses, shrubs or trees) then you may still need a Flora and Fauna assessment and Test of Significance to accompany your application.

Approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) may be required if clearing will impact on matters of national environmental significance such as threatened species listed under the EPBC Act. The EPBC Act is Commonwealth Act and operates alongside the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (a NSW Act). Information on species and ecological communities listed under the Australian Government’s EPBC Act can be found at Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy.

For further information on clearing for development, please call the Development Liaison Team at Council on 4823 4444.