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Wollongong City Council

State and Regional Planning Policies

In New South Wales, the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment sets rules that apply to all councils in the state. They also create regional plans and provide guidelines for councils.

The main State law that applies to development is the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. While the Illawarra Shoalhaven Regional Plan 2016 outlines a vision for the growth of the Wollongong, Shellharbour, Kiama and Shoalhaven Local Government areas.

For the types of development shown below, you will need to follow specific rules set by the NSW Government. These are called State Environmental Planning Policies, or SEPPs for short.

Some of the more frequently used policies and plans follow. A full list is available from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

Apartment Buildings are assessed under SEPP 65. This applies to residential flats, shop top housing and mixed use development with a residential component, including:

  • New apartment buildings
  • The substantial redevelopment or refurbishment of an existing apartment building
  • Converting an existing building into apartments.

When planning an apartment building, you should read the following:

All applications under SEPP 65 will be considered by Council’s Design Review Panel as part of the assessment process. Developers can also seek feedback from the Design Review Panel before submitting a DA.

Residential development for older people or people with a disability is assessed under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004.

Visit the NSW Planning website for more information.

Development for schools, TAFEs, universities and child-care providers is assessed under the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) (Educational Establishments and Child Care Facilities) 2017

Visit the NSW Planning website for more information.

Approval of work to remediate contaminated land is considered under State Environmental Planning Policy  - No. 55 (SEPP 55).

Some types of development are considered to have State significance due to their size, economic value or potential impacts.

These applications are assessed by the NSW Minister for Planning.

Visit the NSW Planning Portal for information about State Significant Development.