The amendments to the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act), issued earlier this year, removed references to interim occupation certificates.
Interim occupation certificates currently authorise the use or occupation of partially completed buildings or parts of buildings that have undergone a change in use. The initial changes to the EP&A Act meant that developers with existing development consents would have been unable to obtain interim occupation certificates from 1 September 2018.
Interim occupation certificates are particularly useful for staging occupation in development projects.
We have been informed that the ability to obtain interim occupation certificates has been extended by 12 months to 1 September 2019. An amendment to the legislation is yet to be made.
The change, when it does come into operation, will require developers to revise their development programs. Developers in NSW should now consider how this extension of time will impact their current and new projects.