Certifying a development affected by a voluntary planning agreement

A voluntary planning agreement may impose conditions on the developer that must be met before a construction certificate or other certificate can be issued.

For example, a developer may agree to provide or fund public amenities, infrastructure or affordable housing.

If a planning agreement is in place, it is generally referenced at the start of the development consent. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires the preparation of explanatory notes for planning agreements which must identify whether certain requirements must be met before a construction, occupation or subdivision certificate is issued.

Certifiers are reminded to carefully read all conditions of consent. If a planning agreement is in place, the certifier must determine if it sets any conditions at each stage of certification. If so, certifiers are to obtain confirmation from the relevant planning authority that confirms the requirements have been met.

Each council maintains a register of planning agreements that it enters into. Those entered into by the Minister for Planning are available online.

Also, remember that payment made under a planning agreement is separate to payment of developer contributions made under section 94 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

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