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Key Guidance


Impacts on amenity must be considered in State significant project assessments

Amenity is the pleasantness, attractiveness, desirability or utility of a place, facility, building or  feature. Amenity is very important to communities and other stakeholders at local, district, regional and State levels. State significant projects should aim to minimise amenity impacts. The documents below should be considered when assessing amenity impacts of State significant projects.


Environmental protection, restoration and enhancement, in combination with sympathetic and good building design, can greatly increase amenity qualities.

Apartment Design Guide

This guide provides consistent planning and design standards for apartments across NSW. Design criteria and general guidance is also provided about how development proposals can achieve the nine design quality principles identified in SEPP 65.

Apartment Design Guide

Noise and Vibration

Noise and vibration associated with State significant projects can have adverse economic, environmental, cultural and social impacts. The guidance below include requirements and best practice for noise and vibration impacts to be avoided or mitigated.

Measurement and analysis of environmental noise

The updated approved methods document for the measurement and analysis of environmental noise has now been published and is relevant for any noise monitoring required by a NSW EPA licence or statutory notice.

The document is finalised taking into account feedback received during consultation on the draft. The document and supporting information including key changes, implementation and transitional arrangements, response to submissions and frequently asked questions are located here:

Approved methods for the measurement and analysis of environmental noise in NSW

The document improves clarity and guidance on what the EPA currently requires, reflect the most up to date analytical methods and remove unnecessary requirements. The document applies now and any reference to previous versions of the document in licences and statutory instruments will be taken to be a reference to the newly gazetted version.  However, the previous versions of the approved methods will apply where they are specifically referenced in previously issued Secretary’s environmental assessment requirements. Detailed implementation and transitional arrangements are available on the EPA’s website here.

Noise Policy for Industry (2017)

This policy sets assessment noise levels, consistent methods, and best practice measures to manage industrial noise. The policy aims to balance industrial activity with community expectations of minimal intrusive noise.

View the Policy

Wind Energy: Noise Assessment Bulletin 2016

This bulletin provides advice about how noise impacts are assessed for large-scale wind energy development projects that are State significant projects. The bulletin applies to all new State significant wind energy projects that obtain Secretary’s environmental assessment requirements after the date of its publication (i.e. December 2016). The bulletin also applies to all modification applications made after its publication.

View the Bulletin

Interim Construction Noise Guidelines 2009

This interim guideline focuses on applying work practices to minimise construction noise impacts, rather than only achieving numeric noise levels. The guideline aims to protect the majority of residences and other sensitive land uses from noise pollution most of the time.

View the Guideline

NSW Road Noise Policy 2011

This policy outlines the range of measures needed to minimise road traffic noise and its impacts. The policy aims to identify the strategies that address the issue of road traffic noise from existing and new roads and road projects. The policy also defines the criteria used to assess noise impacts.

View the Policy

Rail Infrastructure Noise Guideline 2013

This guideline aims to ensure noise and vibration impacts associated with rail development projects are evaluated in a consistent and transparent manner. The guideline applies to heavy and light rail infrastructure projects, including the construction of new rail lines and upgrades to existing lines.

View the Guideline

View the SEPP

Development Near Rail corridors and Busy Roads Interim Guideline 2008

The interim guideline aim is to assist in reducing the health impacts of rail and road noise and adverse air quality on sensitive adjacent development. It assists in the planning, design and assessment of development in, or adjacent to, rail corridors and busy roads. The interim guideline also supports specific rail and road provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021.

View the Guideline

View the SEPP

Assessing Vibration: a Technical Guideline 2006

This guideline presents preferred and maximum vibration values for use in assessing human responses to vibration and provides recommendations for measurement and evaluation techniques.

View the Guideline

Technical Basis for Guidelines to Minimise Annoyance Due to Blasting Overpressure and Ground Vibration 1990

This document specifies recommended comfort criteria for airblast overpressure levels, ground vibration peak particle velocities, blasting times and blasting frequencies. It includes comfort criteria that can be used to minimise annoyance and discomfort to persons at noise sensitive sites (e.g. residences, hospitals, schools) caused by blasting.

View the Guideline


Adverse odours from State significant projects can result in significant community impacts and can lead to numerous complaints. Impacts should be avoided or mitigated where possible.

Technical Framework: Assessment and Management of Odour from Stationary Sources in NSW 2006

The framework details a process for assessing odour impacts from new developments. The framework also outlines a system to help protect the environment and community from odours, while enabling fair and equitable outcomes for odour-emitting activities. The framework is accompanied by a separate booklet.

View the Framework

View the accompanying notes

Visual Amenity

Visual amenity can be adversely impacted upon by State significant projects. There is a range of resources to help avoid or mitigate impacts on visual amenity.

Draft Guidelines for Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment (3rd edition)

This draft guideline aims to ensure that all possible effects of change and development both on the landscape itself and on views and visual amenity, are considered in decision-making for projects.

View the Guidelines

Wind Energy: Visual Assessment Bulletin 2016

This bulletin aims to guide the appropriate location of wind energy development in NSW and to establish an assessment framework for the assessment of visual impacts associated with wind energy. The bulletin applies to all new development applications for State significant development wind energy projects that obtain the Secretary’s Environmental Assessment Requirements issued after the date of its publication (i.e. December 2016). The bulletin also applies to any modification applications, submitted after its publication, which propose additional turbines, a significant reconfiguration or increase in height to the approved turbines.

View the Bulletin

Transport Corridor Advertising and Signage Guidelines 2017

This guideline outlines best practice for the planning and design of outdoor advertisements in transport corridors, such as along or adjacent to classified roads, freeways, tollways, transitways, railway corridors, or on bridges or road and rail overpasses. The guideline complements the provisions of State Environmental Planning Policy No. 64 – Advertising and Signage.

View the Guideline

Dark Sky Guideline 2023

This guideline provides advice on key lighting principles and controls to help minimise the impact of light pollution on the Siding Spring Observatory and in the Dark Sky Region. The Dark Sky Region consists of land within a 200km radius of Siding Spring Observatory and includes Coonamble, Dubbo, Gilgandra and Warrumbungle local government areas. State significant proposals within the Dark Sky Region must consider the guideline.

View the Guideline

Last updated: 13/07/2023