Do you live on Bushfire Prone Land in NSW? Are you planning to do a renovation to your existing home or build a new house? There are some important requirements to make your dreams become a reality. One of them is to work with a good bushfire consultant.
A designer with experience in the design of homes on Bushfire Prone Land will already have a Bushfire Consultant whom they work with. Engaging your designer to coordinate with their preferred Bushfire Consultant on your behalf, will simplify and speed up the process.
Alternatively, the following information outlines the process to find a good Bushfire Consultant.
Is my home on Bushfire Prone Land?
Bushfire Prone Land is an area of land that can support a bushfire or is likely to be subject to bushfire attack.
Your local council prepares Bushfire Prone Land Maps for the council area. The Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) will then certify these maps.
Your local council can supply you with a Section 10.7(2) and (5) Planning Certificate which will confirm whether your property is on Bushfire Prone Land.
Types of BAL reports
There are specific reports and certificates to assess the BAL (Bushfire Attack Level) for each type of proposal for development of your property.
- BAL Risk Assessment Certificate
- Full Bushfire Assessment Report
To obtain the correct type of bushfire report, it is crucial to know which type of approval you require. Do you need to lodge a DA (Development Application) to Council? Or will you be applying for a CDC (Complying Development Certificate)?
There are criteria that make a DA the only option for some developments on properties with high BAL ratings. There are several other rationales that make either a DA or CDC the best option for your specific situation.
The best way to know which way your application will be handled is to seek a designer specifically experienced in bushfire design and construction of buildings in bushfire prone areas.
You can read more on this topic in my blog post on “What You Must Know Before You Renovate on Bushfire Prone Land“.
Your level of bushfire risk affects your requirements for a BAL report
For low bushfire risk and a CDC, you will need a BAL Risk Assessment Certificate.
For high bushfire risk and a DA, a Full Bushfire Assessment Report will be required. A Full Bushfire Assessment Report explains how to achieve compliance with Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 (PBP 2019).
If your property’s category of bush fire attack is BAL-FZ (flame zone), your proposal will not be complying with the acceptable solutions of PBP 2019 and relevant Australian Standards. In that case, your DA will be referred to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS).
In NSW, the NSW RFS recognise suitably qualified and certified consultants in Bushfire Risk Assessment.
How to obtain a BAL Report
BAL Rating reports are written by Certified Bushfire Consultants.
The Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) maintains a registry of all accredited Bushfire Consultants.
FPA Australia is the National Peak Body for Fire Protection.
It also administers the Bushfire Planning and Design (BPAD) Accreditation Scheme.
How to find a Bushfire Consultant
- On the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) website, locate the button for “Find a Bushfire Consultant.
- Then click on “View BPAD Accredited Practitioner Register”.
- Sort the list by Location and look up the local practitioners in your area.
A Level 2 or 3 Bushfire Consultant will be able to assist you.
Martin Kolarik Home Design has a wealth of experience in the design of homes on bushfire land. We also have the network of consultants to make your renovation experience stress free.