Rebuilding After Bushfire
For many the next step in the bushfire recovery journey is building your new home.
The rebuilding process can be daunting and to achieve a streamlined, fast development process, Council recommends you engage the services of a suitably qualified building consultant/designer to put your application together for you.
These steps are designed to help better understand process.
- View any plans Council may hold that relate to your property
- Engage the services of a building consultant/designer to draw up new plans
- Download the Single Dwelling Self Assessment Kit from the RFS website to find out what Bushfire requirements will apply to your new building
- Arrange a Pre-lodgement meeting with Council to discuss your proposed application
- Lodge your Development Application (DA)
- Receive approval via a Development Consent and Construction Certificate
- Rebuild to specifications and critical stage inspections
- Receive your final occupation certificate as the last step in the building process
We're here to help.
Below we've put together some FAQs based on these steps.
If you have any questions regarding the rebuild process, Council is here to help you.
Please reach out to our Community Recovery Officer or our expert planning team on 1300 275 782 (1300 ASK SVC) or [email protected]
Q. Can I view any plans Council holds that relate to my property?
Yes, property owners can enquire to access any property files and house plans that Council may be holding.
Owners may also provide a signed authorisation/letter to their builder or another authorised representative to enable them to access these files on your behalf.
Q. Why should I engage the Services of a building consultant/designer to draw up my plans?
The rebuilding process can be daunting which is why we recommend engaging the services of a professional building company or consultant to assist you with drawing up the necessary plans and complying with the relevant legislation.
Your building professional may also be able to assist you with compiling and lodging the application on your behalf.
Q. What bushfire requirements will apply to my new building?
The RFS Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 sets out all the rules that will apply to any new buildings in mapped bushfire prone areas, and the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) will determine the specific requirements.
The NSW RFS can help with identifying your Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) and can provide advice on bush fire protection measures.
The key documents for building in a bush fire prone area are the NSW RFS publication Planning for Bush Fire Protection and AS 3959 – Construction of buildings in bushfire- prone areas. You can get help and advice from the NSW RFS on 1300 NSW RFS (1300 679 737).
The NSW RFS also provides the Single Dwelling Application Kit for homeowners to undertake a self-assessment.
Alternatively, you can engage a Consultant to provide you with this assessment
If you choose to lodge a Complying Development Certificate instead of a Development Application you will need to have a BAL Certificate. This can be obtained from a bush fire consultant or Council.
Council will refer applications for higher risk properties to the NSW RFS for review – this is for homes with a bush fire attack level of BAL-40 or BAL-FZ.
For more information visit the NSWRFS website www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/building-in-a-bush-fire-area/building-after-bush-fire/faqs
Q. Why should I arrange a Pre-Lodgement Meeting?
We strongly recommend a pre-lodgement meeting with Council’s planning and building staff to discuss your proposed rebuild. Pre-lodgement meetings are aimed at ensuring all the
relevant documentation has been prepared to enable the assessment process to proceed smoothly.
Q. What forms or documents will I need to lodge my DA?
Before you go to lodge your Development Application ensure you have the following:
- Development Application Form – this form is also used for Construction Certificate, Complying Development Certificate and Activity Applications
- Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE)
- A BASIX Certificate (if applicable)
- Principal Certifiers Agreement (PCA) if you wish to engage Council as the Registered Certifier for the development and to undertake a Construction Certificate assessment and mandatory inspections of the building works.
These forms can be found on Council’s website, or you can call Council and have these either emailed to you or hard copies available to be picked up at our front counter.
Applications can be submitted as a hard copy at our front counter, or via the NSW Planning Portal at www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/onlineDA
Q. What approvals do I need?
A Development Application (DA) or planning approval will be required in most instances. Council will assess the potential impacts of a development and apply conditions of consent to ensure approved works comply with policies and legislation. Your guide to the Development Application Process is available on the NSW Planning Portal via this link www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au
A Construction Certificate (CC), or building approval is required following the DA approval. The CC ensures that the works approved in the DA will comply with the National Construction Code. Construction Certificates can be obtained from Council or a Registered Certifier.
In some instances, it may be possible to obtain approval through a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) instead of a DA and CC. The CDC provides both planning and building approval. Unlike the DA process, complying development is not merit based and requires a development to meet specific requirements. A CDC can be obtained through Council or a Registered Certifier.
An Activities Approval, or a ‘S.68 LG Approval’ will also be required for approval of the installation of a septic tank or solid fuel heater, the installation of a transportable home or moveable dwelling, or to undertake water, sewer or stormwater works. Activities approvals can be applied for in conjunction with other applications such as a DA. Council staff can give guidance on what activities approvals you will require.
Q. Will I need a new BASIX Certificate?
A BASIX Certificate will be required for dwellings and dwelling alterations/additions valued at more than $50,000. They are not required for transportable homes constructed off-site.
BASIX Certificates can be obtained via your building consultant or building company or online at www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/basix
Q. What are the fees involved?
Council continues to waive application fees associated with the lodgement of a Development Application, a Construction Certificate and other certificate fees for impacted landowners submitting applications to rebuild structures lost in the bushfires (where the size and nature of the development remains the same).
However, Section 7.11/7.12 Contributions may still be required to be paid (unless the dwelling to be replaced was constructed prior to 1965).
Q. Will Council inspect my build?
Your builder or contractors will need to build to the plans and specifications. The inspections as outlined in the Development Consent will need to be followed throughout the process
Q. When will I receive my Final Occupation Certificate?
When the building is complete you can arrange an occupation inspection through Council or your private certifier. Provided the home is built to specifications, you will receive your Final Occupation Certificate which means you can then move into your brand-new home.