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Planning regulations

The below pyramid depicts the order of influence of Federal, State and local legislation and planning regulations.

Planning hierarchy.jpg

1 EP&A Act – Under Section 79C of the Environment Planning and Assessment Act, an environmental impact that is a likely consequence of development must be considered even though it results from an activity that is not itself the subject of the relevant development application.

2 SEPPs – State Environmental Planning Policies include BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) and Bushland in Urban Areas.

3 Building Code of Australia - The BCA is a uniform set of technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures throughout Australia. It allows for variations in climate and geological or geographic conditions.

Useful links

  • The NSW Department of Planning and Environment have introduced a new set of online planning tools known as ePlanning to standardise planning services and controls across the state.

Current ePlanning tools are:

  • Application tracking - enables people to track development applications online.
  • BASIX tools - assesses water, energy and thermal consumption and performance of a proposed development.
  • Electronic housing code - determines whether a development can be carried out under exempt or complying development and if so, facilitates electronic lodgement of applications considered as complying development.
  • Interactive buildings - allows users to find relevant information on minor/low impact development on their homes.
  • Local insights - provides information on where DAs have occurred in the vicinity of a particular site, and gives access to those surrounding DAs.
  • Planning viewer - enables viewing all of the KLEP (Local Centres) 2012 and Draft KLEP 2014 mapping features.

Climatic influences

Each property sits within a planning zone and within a climate zone. The Building Code of Australia (BCA) defines the climates zones within which local government areas fall. Section J of the BCA relates to the requirements of the building fabric. This covers requirements relating to floors, walls and roofs.

There are eight climate zones that range from Zone 1 (hottest) to Zone 8 (coldest). For Zone 1, the main energy concern is cooling, while for Zone 8, it is heating. Ku-ring-gai area falls in Zone 5 (warm temperate).

The main characteristics of the Ku-ring-gai area (which falls in Zone 5) are:

  • Moderate diurnal (day–night) temperature range
  • Four distinct seasons: summer, winter, spring and autumn
  • Cool to cold winters with low humidity
  • Warm to hot summers with low to moderate humidity
  • Widely variable solar access and cooling breeze directions and patterns

Fortunately Zone 5 requires simple design considerations and provides the most cost-effective opportunities to achieve 8-10 star NATHERS ratings compared to other zones.