WHAT IS A SECTION 149 CERTIFICATE?
Why do I need a Section 149 Certificate?
When land is bought or sold, the Conveyancing Act, 1919 requires a Section 149 Planning Certificate to be attached to the contract of sale. Another reason is to help an existing owner decide about the uses of their land.
Section 149 Planning Certificates, also known as zoning certificates, are legal documents issued by Council under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. They contain information about how a property may be used and restrictions on development that may apply.
A Section 149 certificate is a zoning certificate that is generated by the local council, which is specific to the property in question. It is based on the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) within the local council. It includes information such as the land zone (e.g. R2 Residential) as well as whether it is affected by Bushfire, Flooding, road widening etc. It also states which State Government policies apply to the site (SEPP). All property sale contracts will enclose a Section 149 Certificate and it is important that it isn’t too old as policies within councils change on a regular basis. If you wish to obtain approval for a development via Complying Development (through a private certifier rather than council)
If you’re looking to do a development, the documentation required for your approval will be dependent on what is shown in the 149 Certificate. If your property is in a flood zone, you may require a flood report and may need to build the floor level of your dwelling higher, or you may not be able to build at all.
The Section 149 Certificate is one of the most important items to be read prior to purchasing a site as the restrictions on the property may greatly affect the sale price.
What is the difference between a Section 149(2) and a Section 149(5) Certificate?
Section 149(2) – Provides information such as the zoning of the land, permissible and prohibited land uses, details of exempt and complying development, controls for development or hazards. These include matters such as heritage, coastal protection, bush fire, contaminated land and flooding. These matters are identified in Schedule 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
Section 149(5) – Provides both the information available in a Section 149(2) and additional matters such as dwelling permissibility, burials on private land and information on applicability of the Council’s Management of Contaminated Land Policy if applicable.
Note: if required a simple Section 149(2) certificate can be issued which only includes exempt and complying development provisions. This certificate is not to be relied upon for the purpose of an Annexure to a Contract for the Sale of Land under the Conveyancing Act 1919.