When planning a granny flat, a concern may be if there are building restrictions on your property. This can easily be solved by acquiring a Section 10.7 Certificate. So, what exactly is a Section 149 / 10.7 certificate?
A Section 10.7 Certificate is issued by your Council under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EPA). It provides information on how your land may be used and the restrictions on its development.
Today I will cover the difference between Section 10.7 and Section 149 Certificates. I will discuss what the certificate tells you. And provide an example certificate, giving a breakdown of what it shows you below.
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I will discuss how to interpret the Certificate. Lastly, I will mention what to do once your certificate has been issued!
Difference Between Section 149 Certificates and Section 10.7 Certificates
There is really no difference between the Section 149 and 10.7 Certificate.
Certificates were once called the Section 149 Certificate. Then, the Environmental Planning and Assessment (EPA) Act 1979 was amended on 1st March 2018.
The EPA regulates Planning Certificates, so when this happened, the name of the Certificate was changed. What was previously known as the Section 149 Certificate was updated to the Section 10.7 Certificate.
What Does the Certification Tell You?
The Certification is known as a “zoning certificate”. They are legal documents issued by NSW Council’s under the EPA.
The Certificate is:
- A title-related document noting restrictions placed on owners and their land-use.
So, with a Certificate 10.7, you can see:
- Most restrictions, controls and conditions that apply to the land.
- How the land can be used.
- Any restrictions on development.
Breakdown of an Example Certificate and What it Shows You
An example of Page 1 of a Section 10.7 Certificate (formerly Section 149 Certificate) is below.
Example Pages from a Section 10.7 Certificate
This includes general information including:
- Your local council.
- Your name and address.
- The Certificate Number and Date (they expire after 3 months).
- Your Lot Description in legal terms.
- Your Zone – This is important for further detail on restrictions on land zone uses.
How to Interpret a Section 149 or Section 10.7 Certificate
Your Certificate will provide information on the below.
STATE ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING POLICIES (SPECIFIC TO YOUR LOCATION AND GENERAL)
- Each environmental planning policy that applies to developing your land.
- All proposed environmental planning instruments that will apply.
- Every environment policy that is/has been the subject of community.
Read carefully, as these show restrictions that apply to building on your land.
ZONING AND LAND USE (UNDER RELEVANT LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL PLANS)
This identifies your zone, either by:
- Reference to a name (i.e. “Residential Zone” or “Heritage Area”)
- Reference to a number (i.e. “Zone No 2(a)”).
It then shows what special activities are permitted in your zone:
- Without consent (i.e. jetties, moorings, roads).
- With consent (i.e. port facilities, neighbourhood shops, environmental facilities).
It also shows what is prohibited within your zone, for example:
- Caravan parks
- Funeral homes
- Centre-based childcare facilities
- Educational establishments
- Entertainment facilities
- Garden centres
- Hardware stores
- Medical centres
- Recreational facilities
You are also advised whether you are located within a:
- An item of environmental heritage is located on your property.
These are your development control plans.
- Housing Codes – These state what extent your property is land on which you can undertake complying development.
It advises if your land is affected by:
- Housing Codes
- Low Rise Medium Density Housing Codes
- Rural Housing Codes
- Housing Alterations Codes
- General Development Codes
- Commercial and Industrial (New Buildings and Additions) Codes
- Commercial and Industrial (Alterations) Codes
- Subdivision Codes
- Demolition Codes
- Container Recycling Facilities Codes
- Fire Safety Codes
If your land is not affected by these, your Certificate will read that;
- Complying development may be carried out for these codes
- (In conjunction clauses 1.17A and 1.19 of State Environmental Planning Policy 2008.).
Your contribution fees.
- Coastal protection fees – Whether annual charges for coastal protection apply.
If the owner (or any previous owner) has consented in writing to the land being subject to annual charges.
The charges are for coastal protection services relating to existing coastal protection works.
“Existing coastal protection works” are works to reduce the impact of coastal hazards on the land.
- Contribution Plans – Council fees to maintain and enhance amenity and service delivery within the area.
ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS OR CONSTRAINTS
These are whether or not the land is affected by a policy that restricts its development, and are listed below.
Whether the land is contaminated due to mine subsidence.
ROAD WIDENING AND RE-ALIGNMENT
Whether or not the land is subject to any road widening or re-alignment proposals.
COUNCIL AND OTHER PUBLIC AUTHORITY POLICIES ON HAZARD RISK RESTRICTIONS
If the land is affected by a policy that restricts the development of the land due to likelihood of;
- Land slip
- Tidal inundation
- Acid sulphate soils
- Any other risk (except floods)
The policy must be:
a) accepted by Council, or
b) accepted by any public authority and advised to Council.
Whether development on the land or part thereof is subject to flood related development controls.
LAND RESERVED FOR ACQUISITION
If any environmental planning instrument or proposed environmental planning instrument can:
- Compulsorily acquire the land.
BIODIVERSITY CERTIFIED LAND
If the land is biodiversity certified land Under the Part 7AA of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1955.
This takes into account whether development is likely to significantly affect any;
- Threatened species
- Ecological community
- Its habitat
If the land is subject to a biobanking agreement under Part A of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1955.
A biobanking agreement may contain the following terms, which bind the owner to the land;
- Requiring the owner to carry out certain management actions on the land.
- Restricting the use of the site.
NATIVE VEGETATION CLEARING SET ASIDES
If the land contains a set aside area under Section 60ZC of the Local Land Services Act 2013.
Only if Council has been notified of its existence by Local Land Services or it’s in the public register.
BUSHFIRE PRONE LAND
If any of the land is bush fire prone land (as per Councils’ records).
PROPERTY VEGETATION PLANS
If the land is land to which a property vegetation plan is approved under Part 4 of the Native Vegetation Act 2003.
Only if Council has been advised of the plan by the person or body that approved the plan.
A property vegetation plan lasts for a maximum of 15 years and may restrict what you can do.
This is as the plan may make arrangements for native vegetation management on the land, including:
- Proposals for clearing native vegetation on the land
- The identification of native vegetation on the land as regrowth.
ORDERS UNDER TREES (DISPUTE BETWEEN NEIGHBOURS) ACT 2006
Whether an order has been made under the Trees (Disputes Between Neighbours) Act 2006.
This involves carrying out work in relation to a tree on the land. Only if Council has been notified.
DIRECTIONS UNDER PART 3A
If there is a direction by the Minister in force under section 75P (2) (c1) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act;
- That is, an environmental planning instrument prohibiting or restricting carrying out a project or any stage of a project.
- Which any regulation under Part 4 of the Act DOES NOT already effect.
SITE COMPATIBILITY CERTIFICATE AND CONDITIONS FOR SENIORS HOUSING
If SEPP (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004 applies to the land.
Whether there is a current, site compatibility certificate (seniors housing).
The Council must know about the proposed use for the land.
SITE COMPATIBILITY CERTIFICATES FOR INFRASTRUCTURE
Whether there is a valid site compatibility certificate for infrastructure, schools or TAFE’s.
Council must be aware of the intended development.
SITE COMPATIBILITY CERTIFICATES AND CONDITIONS FOR AFFORDABLE RENTAL HOUSING
Whether there is a current site compatibility certificate (affordable rental housing).
The Council must know of the proposed development.
PAPER SUBDIVISION INFORMATION
The name of any development plan adopted by a relevant authority that;
- That is proposed to be subject to the consent ballot.
- The date of any subdivision order.
SITE VERIFICATION CERTIFICATE
Whether there is a current site verification certificate, of which Council is aware.
LOOSE-FILL ASBESTOS INSULATION
Whether there is potential for loose fill asbestos to be found on properties in the Council’s precinct.
As per the Council’s Loose-Fill Asbestos Insulation Register.
What to Do Once a Certificate Has Been Issued
Now you know your restrictions, you can start designing your granny flat. this certificate must be passed on to your planner/designer and council or private inspector for the inspection of the build.
If you are going to try and build yourself, see my article “Can You Build Your Own Granny Flat?“. This will advise you what other permits you need to get from your council now you are aware of your restrictions.
The hazards shown on your Certificate should also be taken into account when planning your build. For example, if the land is affected by landslip, obtain the services of a qualified engineer and building surveyor.
Or, if building in a flood proof area, you must build a flood aware granny flat.
After all, your safety is the most important factor.
A Section 10.7 (formerly Section 149) Certificate is very important to acquire when planning to build a granny flat. It lets you know what you can and cannot build on your land, what your restrictions are.
Only once you have obtained this Certificate can you start properly designing. And feel a lot more confident you will have a fully approved granny flat.