What is a Statement of Environmental Effects?
A Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) is a legal requirement for all DAs under Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, regardless of the scale of the development proposal.
A SEE identifies and explains the potential impact of a development proposal both during construction and after the development is complete. It also includes any steps proposed to manage and mitigate any potential impacts and protect the environment. Compliance of the proposal with relevant planning controls and regulations that apply to the land or type of development is also required.
A high quality SEE is an important component of a development application as well as high quality, well designed plans.
What is required for a minimal impact development?
Only a brief statement is required for proposals likely to have minimal impact (eg internal alterations, and certain minor residential building work). You must, however, justify why there will be minimal impact.
Council's form, A Guide to Preparing a Statement of Environmental Effects, is a checklist form available when preparing lodgement documentation for minimal impact development proposals.
What do I need to do for larger developments?
1. Details of your proposal
Provide a description of your proposal and the details of the consent sought, including but not limited to:
- identify any demolition works required through any stage of the development;
- describe the elements of the proposal including construction works, subdivision, ancillary structures, earthworks, etc;
- identify any removal or impact on trees and other natural features as a result of the proposal; and
- describe how the establishment will operate (required for commercial and industrial proposals, entertainment facilities, late night trading premises, hotels, motels, boarding houses, bed and breakfast and backpacker accommodation).
2. Site location and analysis
Provide a general description of the site and its surrounds, considering the suitability of the site for the proposal, including (as relevant) but not limited to the following:
- identify where the subject land is and where it is located;
- identify / describe the physical features of the site, including site constraints;
- define the current land use and previous uses of the land;
- identify the sites broader context, including characteristics about the existing streetscape and the character of existing surrounds; and
- identify compatibility of the proposal with adjoining development and visual setting.
3. Relevant planning controls
Provide a compliance statement and table with the relevant planning controls (LEPs, DCPs and SEPPs), including any concurrence, referral or comment from other agencies.
4. Assessment of the likely impacts of the proposal
An assessment of the likely impacts of the proposal is to be undertaken, documenting the environmental impacts of the proposal, discussing its merits, and steps taken to avoid, minimise or manage any adverse impacts. Provide an assessment of the likely impacts of the proposal, including (as relevant) but not limited to the following:
- the likely impacts of the development on the natural and built environments;
- the suitability of the site for the development; and
- the public interest including the views of the neighbours and if relevant the community.
Provide a conclusion including justification for undertaking the proposal, taking into consideration any proposed steps to avoid, minimise or manage any adverse impacts on the environment or to improve environmental outcomes.