What is a “Statement of Environmental Effects”?

A “Statement of Environmental Effects” or “SEE” is an important document that is required for all development applications in NSW.

The Statement of Environmental Effects supports your proposal and providing justification for the development. The SEE is essential in the planning process. It ensures that all potential environmental effects are considered and addressed before any development proceeds.

Whilst the report will describe the site and the proposed development in detail, it also provides a comprehensive review all of the planning instruments which apply to the site and the proposed development. Any property constraints and the potential impacts of your development on the natural and built environments is also included in the SEE. If the development results in any non-compliances with the development controls, these should be justified within this report too. The SEE will refer to other reports and documents submitted with the application and summarises of all relevant matters for Council to review.

The Statement of Environmental Effects must address several key points:

  • Environmental Planning Instruments: The SEE must demonstrate compliance with relevant environmental planning instruments; State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs), Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), and any Development Control Plans (DCPs).
  • Environmental Impacts: The SEE should detail the likely environmental impacts of the development, this includes both the natural and built environments, as well as social aspects.
  • Impact Identification: The document must identifiy environmental impacts resulting fromteh development.
  • Mitigation Measures: The SEE should outline steps taken to protect the environment from any expected harm as a result of the development.

A well written Statement of Environmental Effects is used by Council to understand your proposal. The SEE will be similar in content to the assessment report prepared by Council’s Development Assessment Officer.

Providing a thorough and accurate Statement of Environmental Effects is critical to ensuring minimal delays during Council’s assessment.

Below are three tips for ensuring your Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) is thorough and accurate:

  1. Make sure your SEE covers all aspects relevant to your proposal. This includes site suitability, compliance with development standards, design guidelines, operation and management, access and traffic, privacy, air and noise, drainage, erosion control, heritage, energy efficiency, waste, and site management.
  2. Engage with the team of consultants on the project, to ensure that your SEE adequately addresses potential environmental impacts.
  3. Present your findings and plans in a clear, concise, and accessible manner. Avoid technical jargon where possible to ensure that the document is understandable to non-specialists.

When lodging your Development Application

It is often said that the most difficult part of any building project is the approvals process. After having the plans prepared, the next key item you require is the Statement of Environmental Effects.

You must be confident that all planning matters have been addressed within the SEE. This ensures that Council has a clear picture of the development in the documentation provided to them. Having your Statement of Environmental Effects prepared by a qualified town planner is in your best interest. As professionals in this field they are familiar with the legislation and planning instruments applicable to the site and development.

Urban Planning and Building Consultants uses a proven assessment formula, local government experience and SEE template. Our SEE’s enables your development to be assessed by council officers in a timely manner. This results in efficiencies for you, with no delays in the delivery of your development.

Call or email Urban Planning & Building Consultants for further information about how we can prepare your Statement of Environmental Effects and help get your development approved.


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