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Wollongong City Council

Statement of Environmental Effects

Every development application (DA) needs to include a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE). This is a written report that describes the development, how it meets planning rules, and what impact it will have on the environment and surrounding areas.

There isn’t a set form for SEEs; the length can vary depending on how complicated your project is.

  • A description of the proposed use of the site – or in other words, what your development is. For commercial and industrial development, include things like hours of operation, number of employees and servicing arrangements.
  • How the development will comply with the relevant planning policies and regulations including land zone rules, floor space ratios, setbacks, height, open space, parking, fire safety etc.  If you’re running a business, you may also need to show how you meet any relevant industry rules, like food handling or medical waste.
  • A detailed site description including topographical features and constraints like easements, flooding, bushfire risk, instability, contamination etc. You will also need to explain how any constraints will be overcome.
  • Details of vegetation on the site including the location, height and species of plants, and whether any would be removed for the development.
  • Details of any existing development on the site including the number and type of structures, and their heritage significance if applicable. You need to explain if any existing structures will be demolished and, if so, include a Demolition Work Plan.
  • Whether the development will be staged and, if so, details of what will be done in each stage.
  • The availability of services, including water, power, gas and communications. If services don't already exist or will need to be relocated, confirm that you have consulted with service providers.
  • Traffic management issues including intersection treatment, method of entering and leaving the site, loading facilities and parking.
  • Proposed stormwater drainage details, including onsite detention and whether any easements will be required.
  • The development’s impact on the streetscape, including bulk and scale, compatibility with the surrounding area, colours and materials of construction.
  • Impact on adjoining neighbours, including privacy, overshadowing, noises and views. You should also describe what adjoining land is used for.
  • Potential environmental impacts such as air, water and noise, as well as what will be done to address these.
  • Soil and water management methods to be used during construction.
  • Waste management methods to be used, both during construction and after work is done. This should include the type and amount of waste, method of disposal, and recycling opportunities. Demolition and construction waste will need to be disposed of at an authorised facility.

Depending on the type of development, you may need to get additional statements or reports from qualified experts. This is often required if your development will have a significant impact on the environment.

Types of additional information needed could include issues like noise, structural, geotechnical, tree management, heritage, traffic, or plant and animal impacts.

To confirm if you’ll need additional reports, see our lodgement checklists or contact us for development advice.

If you’re submitting a DA to run a business, there are some particular things you may need to address in your Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE).

Some common business activities are shown below, but your project could require extra information not show here. If you have questions about what's needed for your business development application, contact us for development advice.

Our Business Permits and Regulations page also has a summary of common requirements for businesses in Wollongong.


Signage for your business may not need DA approval if it meets the Exempt or Complying Development rules.

However, if your signage doesn’t meet these standards, or is part of other work you need a DA for, you should include information about it in your SEE.  Read Chapter C1 of our Development Control Plan PDF, 1753.14 KB for more information.

Public Safety

If you’re running a business that can be accessed by the public, you will need to follow any relevant rules under the Building Code of Australia to keep your staff and customers safe.

This can include things like fire safety, and providing toilets and amenities.

Food and drink businesses

Be clear in your SEE if your business will manufacture, prepare or serve food. See our Design and Fit-Out Guide for Food Businesses PDF, 1247.28 KB for information about what is required to set up a food business.

If you want to have Outdoor Dining on a footpath or public land as part of your food business, read the following documents:


For a bar, restaurant or other business that will serve alcohol, your SEE will need to include extra information about this, including how you will meet state liquor laws.

For information, or to apply for a liquor licence, visit the NSW Department of Liquor and Gaming website.

It’s also recommended that you consult with the Licencing Police before submitting a DA.

Beauty and Skin Penetration Businesses

Starting a hairdresser, beauty salon, acupuncture, piercing or tattoo business? Read our Beauty and Skin Penetration Premises Construction, Fit-Out and Operation Guide PDF, 381.32 KB for details of the things you’ll need to consider for your development application and SEE.