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Infill (Alterations and Additions) and Other (Commercial, Industrial) Development

In general, additions, single dwelling applications, alterations or extensions to an existing building classed as a 1, 2, 3 and 4 under the Building Code of Australia are classified as infill development under Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 (PBP). The performance criteria and acceptable solutions for infill development can be found in Chapter 4 - Performance Based Controls.  

Other types of development on bush fire prone land (e.g. commercial, industrial, other subdivisions) are also addressed through the aim and objectives of PBP 2006 which are outlined in Chapter 1. In some cases, specific planning advice is provided by the NSW Rural Fire Service for these types of development.  

Infill and other development (under the Development Application process) are subject to s79BA of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1997 and require compliance with Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006.  

New residential development under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the Codes SEPP) must comply with the relevant development standards as listed.

The requirement to address bush fire protection for subdivision and other development was introduced on 1 August, 2002. As a result, pre-existing subdivisions may not provide the levels of protection currently required.  

Where a development expectation arises from the zoning of the land to build, rebuild, alter or add to a dwelling(s) in pre-existing subdivisions, attempts will be made to find a solution taking into account the level of risk present. The expectation of building or altering a house is recognised even though the ability to provide for asset protection zones (APZs) or access requirements now required for residential development may not be possible.  

Proposals to reduce APZ requirements or utilise adjoining lands need to consider the advice on exceptional circumstances in Section 3.3 of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006. In such circumstances, greater emphasis may be placed on siting, design, construction standards and landscaping and the maintenance of these systems. Vegetation management practices may be required to ensure improved levels of protection are afforded to the development, its occupants and firefighters.

Where a development falls 'outside of the scope' of the construction requirements of PBP (i.e. the deemed-to-satisfy arrangements of the BCA applicable in NSW), then a performance solution will need to be developed for the construction aspects of the building. In some circumstances, the proposed building's scale and size may need to be modified to ensure a defendable space to enable protection against bush fire attack.