Important update on NSW Child Care Planning Policy

Gazettal of State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments & Child Care Facilities) 2017

On Friday 1 September 2017, the New South Wales government gazetted the State Environmental Planning Policy (Educational Establishments & Child Care Facilities) 2017 (SEPP). This policy relates to child care centres, schools, universities and TAFE establishments. The primary purpose of the SEPP is to more effectively facilitate the delivery of educational establishments throughout NSW.

With respect to child care there are a number of key points to note, which include:

  • Where a proposed child care centre doesn’t comply with the minimum unencumbered outdoor and/or internal space requirements under the National Regulations, Council must now refer the DA to the NSW Regulatory Authority for concurrence.
  • Councils cannot grant consent to a proposal for a child care centre not providing the minimum unencumbered internal and/or external areas without concurrence by the Regulatory Authority, unless the latter fails to get back to them within 28 days of the referral.
  • Councils must now take into consideration the Childcare Centre Guideline as part of its assessment.
  • The minimum unencumbered indoor and outdoor requirements under the National Regulations and Supplementary Regulations are now non-discretionary development standards. The purpose of this is that if a proposal meets the minimum areas, then Councils cannot require any more onerous requirements, for example, they cannot insist on a greater outdoor and/or indoor area than what the Regulations currently require. On the flip side, if a proposal doesn’t comply, Councils may start using this as a reason to refuse a DA for child care.
  • The following reports and/or considerations are now not required to be provided as part of a DA for a child care centre if there are controls requiring their provision within a Council Development Control Plan: provision of a plan of management; demonstrated needs assessment; identification of proximity to other child care facilities; and any matter relating to Parts 2 & 4 of the Child Care Planning Guideline (except building height, setbacks and car parking).
  • For proposals within industrial zones, reverse amenity considerations will be made i.e. will a child care centre restrict the operation of industrial uses, which will take precedent?

To read the new legislation please click here.

Jensen Bowers’ Planning Manager, Ben Haynes, leads a team of experts in child care centre development, working on projects for clients nationally. You can view our recent child care centre projects here.

For more information, or for advice on your next Child Care Centre development, please call 07 3852 1771 to speak to a Jensen Bowers Town Planner today.