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Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2017 – Public Exhibition

Public Consultation has now closed on the draft planning for bush fire protection 2017.

Planning for Bush Fire Protection (PBP) was developed by the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) to provide development standards for building in bush fire prone areas in NSW. It provides for the protection of human life and helps to minimise the impacts on property from the threat of bush fire.

Planning for Bush Fire Protection has been reviewed to incorporate lessons learnt from major bush fire events such as the 2009 Victorian Black Saturday fires, along with changes to building code and construction standards. The revision of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 has been undertaken by the NSW RFS.

Download the Key Changes Fact Sheet.

Download the Draft Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2017.

Download Local Government Areas and FDI.

If you have any questions, contact NSW RFS:

Frequently Asked Questions

A series of frequently asked questions has been published to provide additional information and can be accessed below. Simply click on a question to expand the answer.

What is Planning for Bush Fire Protection?

Planning for Bush Fire Protection identifies best practice for developing in bush fire prone areas. NSW planning law requires all new development on bush fire prone land to be done in accordance with PBP.

The aim of PBP is to provide for the protection of human life and to minimise the impacts on property from the threat of bush fire, while allowing for development potential, keeping the aspects which contribute to the site’s overall character and protection of the environment.

PBP is based on industry best practice and available science to ensure that new development is not exposed to high bush fire risk.

What does Planning for Bush Fire Protection cover?

Planning for Bush Fire Protection covers everything from strategic land use planning to building construction requirements. It provides standards for specific provisions for new residential and rural residential subdivision allotments, bush fire protection measures for new buildings, as well as guidance in upgrading existing development. It provides specific provisions for the most at-risk developments, like schools and aged care facilities.

Planning for Bush Fire Protection is applicable to all development applications and complying development on bush fire prone land in NSW.

Why has Planning for Bush Fire Protection been reviewed?

Since the last revision of PBP in 2006, there have been improvements in the understanding of the underpinning science and changes to building construction standards. Also, following the findings from the Victorian 2009 Bush Fires Royal Commission, changes in bush fire protection measures have also been made which needed to be considered. Over the last few years, the NSW RFS has written and published a multitude of fact sheets to clarify or update PBP, and these have been incorporated into the revised PBP.

What are the major changes to Planning for Bush Fire Protection?

A major change to PBP is a restructure of the document for ease of use and clarity. Key changes also include:

  • simplified approach for grasslands
  • simplified access requirements
  • clarification on residential infill
  • a section on special fire protection purpose developments (for example, home based child care) restructured and different criteria provided for specific uses
  • improved alignment with Australian Standard 3959-2009
  • greater emphasis on strategic planning, which considers state, regional and local level plans.

When does the revised PBP take effect?

The revised draft of Planning for Bush Fire Protection will be on public exhibition for six weeks, from 15 May 2017 to 14 July 2017. The NSW RFS will then review the submissions and make any required amendments before it is approved and released. We anticipate the release of the final publication in late 2017.

There will be a transition period before the new version of PBP takes effect in legislation. All development applications which are submitted following the date at which the legislation takes effect will be determined under the new document.

Where can I get more information about building in bush fire prone areas?

To find out if you live in a bush fire prone area you can use our online search tool at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/check-bfpl. For more details on developing in bush fire prone areas, visit www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/building.