In brief - Legislation amended in December 2013 to
permit subdivision for leases of 20 years
Roads and Maritime Services in NSW is currently in the process
of issuing new leases to its lessees. In particular, it is offering
the option of either a three year or 20 year lease. The leases
cover maritime structures such as jetties, slipways, boat houses,
mooring piles, mooring pens, davits and pontoons.
Reliance on existing use rights over maritime structures
A number of lessees who already have maritime structures
adjoining their land had been relying on existing use rights in
relation to development approval for the maritime structures. In
other words, they do not have a current development consent.
In the past, many structures which have been in existence for
many years did not require planning approval, but have relied on
the existing use rights.
Former legislation prevented granting of 20 year leases
At the present time there are a number of waterfront land owners
who wish to enter into a twenty year lease and whose maritime
structures rely on existing use rights. However, Roads and Maritime
Services had been prevented from granting them a new 20 year lease
due to the wording of the State Environmental Planning
Policy (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005, which
prohibited subdivision in the absence of an existing development
To overcome this, an amendment was required to remove the
prohibition and to permit subdivision for leases of twenty years
where the maritime structures rely on existing use rights.
Legislative amendment for waterfront property owners with valid
existing use rights
This amendment will allow waterfront property owners who have
valid existing use rights to be able to take out a twenty year
lease, rather than taking out a three year lease and having it
renewed every three years. It will also create a more consistent
approach to waterfront property owners who have a Roads and
Maritime Services lease, particularly in the case of renewal of
Public must still be able to access foreshores and waterways of
It should be noted that consent for subdivision under clause 18A
of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Sydney Harbour
Catchment) 2005 is subject to the consent authority, namely Roads
and Maritime Services, being satisfied that the subdivision will
not result in any reduction in public access to the foreshores or
waterways of Sydney Harbour.
The Council announced planning policies to encourage more inner suburban retirement village and aged care development.
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