Important changes to NSW planning

Development Assessment fee discounts, a new biodiversity offset system and transport requirements may interest renewable energy developers.

Discounts for Development Assessment (DA) fees in REZs: there will be 30% discount on DA fees for all renewable energy and storage projects in the REZs, following a recent MOU signed between EnergyCo NSW and NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).

New Biodiversity Conservation Fund: a new Biodiversity Conservation Fund (BCF) Charge System commenced on 17 October 2022. This System will be used to determine the cost of meeting biodiversity offset obligations for proponents who choose to pay into the BCF. It will replace the current Biodiversity Offsets Payment Calculator (BOPC).

Transport NSW now require over-size, over-mass studies earlier in the planning process. This creates problems for projects which have not selected a port, equipment, transport provider and so on. Transport justifies the change because some projects have woefully underestimated the extent of upgrades required.

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