Exempt development changes

16 July 2020

The ACT Government has made changes to exemptions from development approval for electric vehicle charging points and development at schools. These changes are designed to support the use of electric vehicles in the ACT and ensure that schools can quickly respond to changing demand in enrolments.

Electric vehicle charging points

Changes have been made to the exemption for electric vehicle charging points. The changes aim to incentivise investment and construction of new electric vehicle charging points in the Territory. This is designed to support increased use of electric vehicles and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. This will also support the implementation of the ACT’s Transition to Zero Emissions Vehicles Action Plan 2018-21.

The exemption for electric vehicle charging points has been expanded to include charging points of not more than 2.5 m in height and 2 m2 in plan area. These specifications were developed in consultation with the electric vehicle industry to ensure the exemptions are available to most products currently on the Australian market.

These amendments also ensure public safety is maintained during installation and operation of electric vehicle charging points at some commercial locations and mitigates risks to the power grid by requiring consultation with the electricity utility provider.

More information on the exemptions for electric vehicle charging points can be found in the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.

Development at schools

The changes to exemptions for developments at schools aim to assist the responsiveness to school enrolment demand, particularly in the ACT’s new and developing suburbs.

Before this amendment, the exemptions for schools were only available to those that existed before 24 March 2009 (i.e. established schools). The exemptions have now been extended to apply to minor works at all schools. An initial proposal for a school, or non‑exempt additions, will still require a development application and approval.

The changes to school exemptions also ensure that school buildings in bushfire prone areas meet the relevant bushfire safety standards by requiring agreement from the emergency services commissioner; that supporting infrastructure such as administrative office buildings are included in the exemptions; and that large play areas can be shaded by increasing the size limit of exempt shade structures.

More information on the full set of exemptions for schools can be found in the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.