Steps taken to remove complexities experienced by homeowners trying to rebuild a home damaged by a natural disaster in Shire’s RU1 Primary Production zone

Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) recently resolved to incorporate a natural disasters clause in the Liverpool Plains Local Environmental Plan 2011 (LEP) and for the clause to be applied to all land within the RU1 Primary Production zone.

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) has developed a natural disasters clause to support people whose homes have been damaged or destroyed by natural disasters. The clause aims to make it easier for homeowners to obtain an approval to rebuild or replace their home after it has been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster.

The natural disasters clause, once inserted into the LEP, will enable the repair and replacement of lawfully erected dwelling houses and secondary dwellings that have been damaged or destroyed by a natural disaster. The supporting guidance material prepared by NSW DPIE defines ‘lawfully erected’, ‘repair and replace’ and ‘natural disaster’ for the purpose of the clause.

Any DA that uses the natural disasters clause will be subject to a merit based assessment and evaluation under Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The requirements under other applicable legislation, such as the bushfire requirements will also remain applicable.

The Project is being undertaken at no cost to Council and will help to remove some of the complexities experienced by homeowners trying to rebuild a home damaged by a natural disaster under the current planning framework.

The natural disasters clause will be inserted into the LEP via an amending State Environmental Planning Policy, which is being facilitated by NSW DPIE.

“LPSC recognises that overarching planning guidelines and frameworks need to be adapted to our local needs,” said LPSC Mayor, Councillor Doug Hawkins.

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