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Contents (1979 - 203)
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Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 No 203
Historical version for 8 July 2002 to 31 July 2002 (accessed 24 January 2020 at 19:10) Current version
Part 1 Section 4
4   Definitions
(1)  In this Act, except in so far as the context or subject-matter otherwise indicates or requires:
accreditation body, in relation to matters of a particular kind, means a professional association that is authorised under section 109S to accredit persons as accredited certifiers in relation to those matters.
accredited certifier, in relation to matters of a particular kind, means a person who is accredited by an accreditation body under section 109T in relation to those matters.
advertised development means development, other than designated development, that is identified as advertised development by the regulations, an environmental planning instrument or a development control plan.
Advertised development includes any development for the purposes of a scheduled activity at any premises under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 that is not designated development.
advertisement means a sign, notice, device or representation in the nature of an advertisement visible from any public place or public reserve or from any navigable water.
advertising structure means a structure used or to be used principally for the display of an advertisement.
affordable housing means housing for very low income households, low income households or moderate income households, being such households as are prescribed by the regulations or as are provided for in an environmental planning instrument.
alignment means the boundary line between any public place and any land abutting that place.
area has the same meaning as it has in the Local Government Act 1993.
associated structure has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1993.
building includes part of a building and any structure or part of a structure, but does not include:
(a)  a manufactured home, a moveable dwelling or associated structure or part of a manufactured home, a moveable dwelling or associated structure, or
(b)  a temporary structure within the meaning of the Local Government Act 1993.
Building Code of Australia means the document of that name published on behalf of the Australian Building Codes Board in October 1996, together with:
(a)  such amendments made by the Board, and
(b)  such variations approved by the Board in relation to New South Wales,
as are prescribed by the regulations.
building work means any physical activity involved in the erection of a building.
certifying authority means a person who:
(a)  is authorised by or under section 85A to issue complying development certificates, or
(b)  is authorised by or under section 109D to issue Part 4A certificates.
change of building use means a change of use of a building from a use that the Building Code of Australia recognises as appropriate to one class of building to a use that the Building Code of Australia recognises as appropriate to a different class of building.
Commission of Inquiry means a Commission of Inquiry constituted under section 119.
Commissioner of Inquiry means a person appointed and holding office under section 18 and includes the Chairperson of Commissioners of Inquiry and the Deputy Chairperson of Commissioners of Inquiry.
compliance certificate means a certificate referred to in section 109C (1) (a).
complying development is development for which provision is made as referred to in section 76A (5).
complying development certificate means a complying development certificate referred to in section 85.
consent authority, in relation to a development application or an application for a complying development certificate, means:
(a)  the council having the function to determine the application, or
(b)  if a provision of this Act, the regulations or an environmental planning instrument specifies a Minister or public authority (other than a council) as having the function to determine the application—that Minister or public authority, as the case may be.
construction certificate means a certificate referred to in section 109C (1) (b).
control, in relation to development or any other act, matter or thing, means:
(a)  consent to, permit, regulate, restrict or prohibit that development or that other act, matter or thing, either unconditionally or subject to conditions, or
(b)  confer or impose on a consent authority functions with respect to consenting to, permitting, regulating, restricting or prohibiting that development or that other act, matter or thing, either unconditionally or subject to conditions.
corporation means the corporation constituted by section 8 (1).
council has the same meaning as it has in the Local Government Act 1993.
Court means the Land and Environment Court.
critical habitat has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
Crown land has the same meaning as in the Crown Lands Act 1989.
deemed environmental planning instrument means a former planning instrument referred to in clause 2 of Schedule 3 to the Miscellaneous Acts (Planning) Repeal and Amendment Act 1979 and includes an instrument referred to in clause 3 (2) of that Schedule.
Department means Department of Urban Affairs and Planning.
designated development has the meaning given by section 77A.
development means:
(a)  the use of land, and
(b)  the subdivision of land, and
(c)  the erection of a building, and
(d)  the carrying out of a work, and
(e)  the demolition of a building or work, and
(f)  any other act, matter or thing referred to in section 26 that is controlled by an environmental planning instrument,
but does not include any development of a class or description prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.
development application means an application for consent under Part 4 to carry out development but does not include an application for a complying development certificate.
development area means land constituted as a development area in accordance with Division 1 of Part 7.
development consent means consent under Part 4 to carry out development and includes, unless expressly excluded, a complying development certificate.
development standards means provisions of an environmental planning instrument or the regulations in relation to the carrying out of development, being provisions by or under which requirements are specified or standards are fixed in respect of any aspect of that development, including, but without limiting the generality of the foregoing, requirements or standards in respect of:
(a)  the area, shape or frontage of any land, the dimensions of any land, buildings or works, or the distance of any land, building or work from any specified point,
(b)  the proportion or percentage of the area of a site which a building or work may occupy,
(c)  the character, location, siting, bulk, scale, shape, size, height, density, design or external appearance of a building or work,
(d)  the cubic content or floor space of a building,
(e)  the intensity or density of the use of any land, building or work,
(f)  the provision of public access, open space, landscaped space, tree planting or other treatment for the conservation, protection or enhancement of the environment,
(g)  the provision of facilities for the standing, movement, parking, servicing, manoeuvring, loading or unloading of vehicles,
(h)  the volume, nature and type of traffic generated by the development,
(i)  road patterns,
(j)  drainage,
(k)  the carrying out of earthworks,
(l)  the effects of development on patterns of wind, sunlight, daylight or shadows,
(m)  the provision of services, facilities and amenities demanded by development,
(n)  the emission of pollution and means for its prevention or control or mitigation, and
(o)  such other matters as may be prescribed.
Director-General means the Director-General of the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning.
ecological community has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
endangered ecological community means an endangered ecological community within the meaning of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
endangered population means an endangered population within the meaning of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
endangered species means an endangered species within the meaning of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
environment includes all aspects of the surroundings of humans, whether affecting any human as an individual or in his or her social groupings.
environmental planning instrument means a State environmental planning policy, a regional environmental plan, or a local environmental plan, and except where otherwise expressly provided by this Act, includes a deemed environmental planning instrument.
exempt development is development for which provision is made as referred to in section 76 (2).
functions includes powers, authorities and duties.
habitat has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
integrated development has the meaning given by section 91.
land includes:
(a)  the sea or an arm of the sea,
(b)  a bay, inlet, lagoon, lake or body of water, whether inland or not and whether tidal or non-tidal, and
(c)  a river, stream or watercourse, whether tidal or non-tidal, and
(d)  a building erected on the land.
local development has the meaning given by section 76A (4).
local environmental plan means a plan made by the Minister under section 70 that is in force.
manufactured home has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1993.
moveable dwelling has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1993.
objector means a person who has made a submission under section 79 (5) by way of objection to a development application for consent to carry out designated development.
occupation certificate means a certificate referred to in section 109C (1) (c).
occupier includes a tenant or other lawful occupant of premises, not being the owner.
officer of the Department means an officer or employee of the Department, and includes the Director-General.
owner has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1993 and includes, in Division 2A of Part 6, in relation to a building, the owner of the building or the owner of the land on which the building is erected.
Part 4A certificate means a certificate referred to in section 109C (1) (a), (b), (c) or (d).
person includes an unincorporated group of persons or a person authorised to represent that group.
place of shared accommodation includes a boarding house, a common lodging house, a house let in lodgings and a backpackers hostel.
population has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
premises means any of the following:
(a)  a building of any description or any part of it and the appurtenances to it,
(b)  a manufactured home, moveable dwelling and associated structure,
(c)  land, whether built on or not,
(d)  a tent,
(e)  a swimming pool,
(f)  a ship or vessel of any description (including a houseboat).
principal certifying authority means a principal certifying authority appointed under section 109E.
prohibited development means:
(a)  development the carrying out of which is prohibited on land by the provisions of an environmental planning instrument that apply to the land, or
(b)  development that cannot be carried out on land with or without development consent.
provision for fire safety means provision for any or all of the following:
(a)  the safety of persons in the event of fire,
(b)  the prevention of fire,
(c)  the detection of fire,
(d)  the suppression of fire,
(e)  the prevention of the spread of fire.
public authority means:
(a)  a public or local authority constituted by or under an Act, or
(b)  a government Department, or
(c)  a statutory body representing the Crown, or
(d)  a chief executive officer within the meaning of the Public Sector Management Act 1988 (including the Director-General), or
(e)  a statutory State owned corporation (and its subsidiaries) within the meaning of the State Owned Corporations Act 1989, or
(f)  a chief executive officer of a corporation or subsidiary referred to in paragraph (e), or
(g)  a person prescribed by the regulations for the purposes of this definition.
public place has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1993.
public reserve has the same meaning as in the Local Government Act 1993.
public road has the same meaning as in the Roads Act 1993.
recovery plan has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
region means any land that the Minister, under subsection (6), declares to be a region, except as provided by subsection (6A).
regional environmental plan means a plan made by the Minister under section 51 that is in force.
regulation means a regulation made under this Act.
relevant accreditation body, in relation to an accredited certifier, means the accreditation body by which he or she is accredited.
species has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
species impact statement has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
State environmental planning policy means a policy made by the Governor under section 39 that is in force.
State significant development has the meaning given by section 76A (7).
subdivision certificate means a certificate referred to in section 109C (1) (d).
subdivision of land has the meaning given by section 4B.
subdivision work means any physical activity authorised to be carried out under the conditions of a development consent for the subdivision of land, as referred to in section 81A (3).
threat abatement plan has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
threatened species, populations and ecological communities and threatened species, population or ecological community have the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
threatening process has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
vulnerable species has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
(2)  A reference in this Act to:
(a)  the use of land includes a reference to a change of building use, and
(b)  the erection of a building includes a reference to:
(i)  the rebuilding of, the making of alterations to, or the enlargement or extension of, a building, or
(ii)  the placing or relocating of a building on land, or
(iii)  enclosing a public place in connection with the construction of a building, or
(iv)  erecting an advertising structure over a public road, or
(v)  extending a balcony, awning, sunshade or similar structure or an essential service pipe beyond the alignment of a public road, and
(c)  the carrying out of a work includes a reference to:
(i)  the rebuilding of, the making of alterations to, or the enlargement or extension of, a work, or
(ii)  enclosing a public place in connection with the carrying out of a work, and
(d)  a work includes a reference to any physical activity in relation to land that is specified by a regulation to be a work for the purposes of this Act but does not include a reference to any activity that is specified by a regulation not to be a work for the purposes of this Act, and
(e)  the demolition of a building or work includes a reference to enclosing a public place in connection with the demolition of a building or work, and
(f)  the carrying out of development includes a reference to the use of land or a building, the subdivision of land, the erection of a building, the carrying out of a work, the demolition of a building or work or the doing of any other act, matter or thing referred to in section 26 that is controlled by an environmental planning instrument.
(3)  Where functions are conferred or imposed by or under this Act on a council:
(a)  except as provided in paragraph (b), those functions may be exercised in respect of an area by the council of that area, or
(b)  if the functions are conferred or imposed in respect of part of an area, those functions may be exercised in respect of that part by the council of that area.
(3A)  Where functions are conferred or imposed by or under this Act on a public authority, being a government Department or some other unincorporated group of persons, those functions may be exercised by a person who is authorised to exercise those functions on behalf of the public authority.
(4)  A reference in this Act to the exercise of a function includes, where that function is a duty, a reference to the performance of that duty.
(5)  A reference in this Act to the Director-General or a council preparing an environmental planning instrument or an environmental study includes a reference to the Director-General or a council, as the case may be, causing that environmental planning instrument or environmental study to be prepared on the Director-General’s or the council’s behalf.
(6)  The Minister may, by order published in the Gazette, declare any land, whether or not consisting of areas or parts of areas, to be a region for the purposes of this Act.
Editorial note.
 For orders pursuant to this subsection, see the Historical notes at the end of this Act.
(6A)  However, for the purposes of sections 5A, 79B (5) and 112D, a region has the same meaning as in the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 or (subject to section 5C) Part 7A of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.
(7)  A reference in this Act to a direction is a reference to a direction in writing.
(7A)  A power, express or implied, of the Minister to make a declaration under this Act includes a power to revoke or amend the declaration.
(8)  A power, express or implied, to give a direction under this Act includes a power to revoke or amend the direction.
(8A)  If an environmental planning instrument confers a power on any person or body to make an order (whether or not the order must be in writing), the power includes a power to amend or repeal an order made in the exercise of the power.
(9)  A reference in this Act to a prescribed form includes a reference to a form that is to the effect of that prescribed form.
(10)  A reference in this Act to any act, matter or thing as specified in an environmental planning instrument includes a reference to any act, matter or thing that is of a class or description as specified in such an instrument.
(11)  A reference in this Act to the granting of consent includes a reference to the granting of consent subject to conditions.
(12)  Without affecting the generality of section 8 (b) of the Interpretation Act 1987, a reference in this Act to the owner or lessee of land includes a reference to joint or multiple owners or lessees of land.
(13)  Notes in this Act are explanatory notes and do not form part of this Act.
(14)  A reference in this Act to an original document, map or plan includes a reference to a document, map or plan created, or a copy of which is kept, in electronic form.