When preparing a development application on land that has been identified as bush fire prone on council's Bush Fire Prone Land Map, applicants need to submit suitable information to council and the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS). In particular, a Bush Fire Assessment Report must be prepared outlining how the proposal complies with Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006. The information below outlines the requirements for a Bush Fire Assessment Report for the different development types.
Building Construction, Alterations, Additions and Other Development (s79BA of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979)
The construction of a new building, alterations and additions to an existing building or development that is classified as 'Other' under Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 are considered under section 79BA Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. As such the Bush Fire Assessment Report should address the following:
- a statement that the site is bush fire prone land, where applicable,
- the location, extent and vegetation formation of any bushland on or within 100 metres of the site,
- the slope and aspect of the site and of any bush fire prone land within 100 metres of the site, which may determine the likely path of any bush fires,
- any features on or adjoining the site that may mitigate the impact of a high intensity bush fire on the proposed development, and
- a statement assessing the likely environmental impact of any proposed Bush Fire Protection Measures.
- whether any building is capable of complying with AS 3959/1999 in relation to the construction level for bush fire protection.
For smaller applications this can be done relatively simply and can be accompanied by a diagram showing the required features with approximate distances. The NSW RFS has also produced guidelines for lodging of information for single dwellings - Single Dwelling Application Kit.
Subdivisions or Special Fire Protection Purpose Developments (s100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997)
Proposals to develop Special Fire Protection Purpose developments or subdivide bush fire prone land are considered 'Integrated' and are captured by section 91 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 and section 100B of the Rural Fires Act 1997. The detailed information to be contained within a Bush Fire Assessment Report for these development types are outlined by Clause 46 of the Rural Fires Regulation 2002 and includes the following:
- a description of the property
- provide Lot No., DP of subject land
- street address with locality map
- zoning of subject land and any adjoining lands
- staging issues, if relevant, and description of the whole proposal;
- aerial or ground photographs of subject land including contours and existing and proposed cadastre
- the classification of vegetation out to 140 metres from the development
- provide a structural description consistent with the identification key in Keith D (2004) and PBP.
- identify any past disturbance factors and any future intended land uses that could alter the vegetation classification in the future.
- an assessment of the effective slope to a distance of 100 metres
- usually 5m contours will suffice for subdivisions, 10 metres should be used only if there has not been a survey undertaken by a registered land surveyor.
- the effective slope is the slope under the vegetation assessed as being a hazard in relation to the development and not the slope within the asset protection zone.
- identification of any significant environmental features - these could include the presence of:
- riparian corridors
- SEPP 14 – Coastal Wetlands
- SEPP 26 Littoral rainforests
- SEPP 44 – Koala Habitat
- areas of geological interest
- environmental protection zones or steep lands (>180)
- land slip or flood prone areas
- national parks estate or various other reserves.
- details of threatened species, populations, endangered ecological communities and critical habitat known to the applicant
- details of some threatened species can be found on the web (www.environment.nsw.gov.au)
- past studies or surveys for the area (eg local environment studies)
- documentation supplied to council in relation to flora and fauna
- details of Aboriginal heritage known to the applicant
- past surveys and information held by the DEC. (application fees may apply)
- a bush fire assessment that addresses –
- asset protection zones (including any management arrangements, any easements including those contained on adjoining lands)
- siting and adequacy of water (in relation to reticulation rates or where dedicated water storage will be required)
- capacity of public roads (especially perimeter roads and traffic management treatments)
- whether public roads link to fire trails and have two way access
- adequacy of access and egress
- adequacy of maintenance plans (eg landscaping) and emergency procedures (especially SFPP developments)
- construction standards to be used (where non-conformity to the deemed-to-satisfy arrangement is envisaged, which aspects are not intended to conform)
- adequacy of sprinkler systems (only as an adjunct to other passive controls).
- an assessment of how the development
- complies with the acceptable solutions,
- performance requirements and relevant specific objectives within Chapter 4 of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006.