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Temporary office exemptions for bushfire affected businesses

Amendments to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 allow bushfire affected businesses to operate temporarily out of a portable office for up to two years without council approval, while they plan and rebuild their permanent premises.

The provision will only allow existing approved businesses in business and industrial zones to continue to operate and the use must be a previously approved commercial or industrial use.

The maximum number of such portable offices for business and/or storage purposes is two.

Click here for the full article and more information.

Why Cedarspan™?

Unlike other kits, our buildings are panellised and specifically designed for owner assembly… or for quick, easy and economical assembly by your local tradesman.

  • They are easy to assemble and are error free.
  • All of our structures include a complete, weather tight shell. Dwelling Structures include a prebuilt elevated floor. Customers can chose to delete components, including windows, doors, cladding, etc., and source those locally.
  • All materials are selected for quality and ease of assembly and fit. The weight of each panel is limited to what two individuals can handle. The kits are made of individual, pre-built sections, and are fully “panellised”.
  • The required construction techniques are easy. All panels are designed for an easy ‘bolt-together’ or ’screw-together’ assembly.
  • All of the terms in the instructions are easily understandable by amateurs. Our customers will work from our drawings and step-by-step instructions, instead of difficult to read blueprints.
  • All of our kits are sized and designed so that assembly is not too large a project for non-professionals. They go together quickly.

We have been in business for over 35 years…

  • We have many years of experience designing buildings to customers’ specific requirements.
  • We have a very clear purpose and mission: to manufacture kit buildings primarily for assembly by owners with no prior building experience.
  • We provide you with information and assistance to make your project successful.
  • We offer free technical support before, during and after your building project.

Understanding NSW Bushfire ratings

There are six bush fire attack levels that are used to determine the appropriate construction to be applied to a development:



Minimal attack from radiant heat and flame due to the distance of the site from the vegetation, although some attack by burning debris is possible. There is insufficient threat to warrant specific construction requirements, but residents should still do basic property preparation.


  • BAL-12.5

Attack by burning debris is significant with low levels of radiant heat (not greater than 12.5kW/m2). Radiant heat is unlikely to threaten building elements (i.e. unscreened glass). Specific construction requirements for ember protection and accumulation of debris are warranted (Level 1 construction standards).


  • BAL-19

Attack by burning debris is significant with an increased radiant heat levels (not greater than 19kW/m2) threatening some building elements. Specific construction requirements for protection against embers and radiant heat are warranted (Level 2 construction standards).


  • BAL-29

Attack by burning debris is significant and radiant heat levels (not greater than 29kW/m2) can threaten building integrity. Specific construction requirements for protection against embers and higher radiant heat are warranted. Some flame contact is possible.


  • BAL-40

Increased attack from burning debris with significant radiant heat and the potential for flame contact. The extreme radiant heat and potential flame contact could threaten building integrity. Buildings must be designed and constructed in a manner that can withstand the extreme heat and potential flame contact.


  • Flame Zone

Radiant heat levels will exceed 40kW/m2. Radiant heat levels and flame contact are likely to significantly threaten building integrity and result in significant risk to residents who are unlikely to be adequately protected. The flame zone is outside the scope of the BCA and the NSW Rural Fire Service may recommend protection measures where the applicant does not provide an adequate performance solution. Other measures such as drenching systems and radiant heat barriers may also be required.


The categories of attack are determined by: 

The type of vegetation

How close your building is to the vegetation

What the effective slope is (i.e. fire runs more readily and with greater intensity uphill).

The Fire Danger Index applicable to the region

The Cedarspan™ difference

The best thing about using Cedarspan for your granny flat is that we are onsite for less than one week!

So, we ask, what is good about being onsite for less than a week….?

  1. Less disruption to your life style
  2. Less disturbance to your neighbours
  3. If you are renting, this becomes income producing 12 – 25 weeks sooner………. Look how much extra this will earn for you.
  4. If you are already paying rent yourself, move into your own place up to ½ a year sooner!
  5. Factory built to ensure smooth and trouble free site time
  6. Less chance of site delay due to inclement weather etc.

The Cedarspan™ Cabin base…

The clever pole-floor design by Cedarspan gives many advantages over a normal static cabin, saving time, money, hassle and danger of flooding!

  1. “Our Structures Do Not Require A Concrete Base Or Concrete Foundation.” We do not need a concrete foundation, therefore not needing a concrete base means we can keep our prices considerably lower.
  2. “Our Structures Can Be Fitted On Very Uneven Ground.” Every section of the base is individually adjustable which means that your cabin or barn can be fitted on very uneven ground. With other structures, you would have to have a concrete foundation laid as flat as possible, otherwise it would not be level. This is not an issue with our cabins. Virtually any severity of sloping land can be accommodated.
  3. “Your Cabin Can Sit On Different Foundations.”Some of the foundation could be lawn, some could be slabs, some could be an old concrete foundation. So if the site for your cabin is a mixture of grass, gravel, concrete, slabs, soil, etc. it is not a problem for Cedarspan’s floor system.
  4. “The Base Means Zero Danger Of Dampness.” The base means there is always an air gap between the ground and your Cabin so there is zero chance of dampness being a problem.
  5. “Your Cabin Can Be Fitted In Areas Where Flooding Is A Danger.” This advantage been pointed out to us by a number of our customers. One client lives right next to a river and wanted their cabin to be elevated above any likely flood level.  This was very easily accommodated.
  6. “The Base Means We Can Install Your Cabin More Quickly.” If we can install your cabin quickly, this means we have lower wage bills, lower vehicle hire costs, lower overnight accommodation costs. All of these savings can be passed on to you. Our prices represent excellent value because our designs are more efficient.
  7. “You Must Always Have A Strong Foundation.” Many of our Cabins are used as gyms where there is extra weight and stress. Our base is designed to withstand this type of stress.

NSW Council Exemption – Cedarspan™ Barns…

Worried about needing council approval for your barn or workshed? Look no further.

So long as you are on Rural zoned land in NSW, it is unlikely that you will be required to obtain council approval for your ‘farm’ building. See below for an extract from the relevant NSW legislation;


Subdivision 16 Farm buildings (other than stock holding yards, grain silos and grain bunkers)
2.31   Specified development

The construction or installation of a farm building (other than a stock holding yard, grain silo or grain bunker) that is not used for habitable purposes is development specified for this code if it is—

(a)  constructed or installed on land in Zone RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4 or RU6, and

(b)  not constructed or installed on or in a heritage item or a draft heritage item or in an environmentally sensitive area, and

(c)  not constructed or installed on land shown on any relevant Procedures for Air Navigation Services—Aircraft Operations Map prepared by the operator of an aerodrome or airport operating within 2 kilometres of the proposed development and for which a PANS-OPS surface is identified that may compromise the effective and on-going operation of the relevant aerodrome or airport.

Note 1.

 Farm building is defined in the Standard Instrument as a structure the use of which is ancillary to an agricultural use of the landholding on which it is situated and includes a hay shed, stock holding yard, machinery shed, shearing shed, silo, storage tank, outbuilding or the like, but does not include a dwelling.

Note 2.

 Subdivisions 16A and 16B make special provision for farm buildings that are stock holding yards, grain silos or grain bunkers.

2.32   Development standards

(1)  The following standards are specified for that development—

(a)  the development must not be higher than—

(i)  for a landholding that has an area of less than 10ha—7m above ground level (existing), and

(ii)  for a landholding that has an area of 10ha or more—10m above ground level (existing),

(b)  if the development is located on land that is identified for the purposes of an environmental planning instrument as “Land with scenic and landscape values” on a Scenic and Landscape Values Map or as “Scenic Protection Area” on a Scenic Protection Map or Scenic Protection Area Map—it must not be higher than 7m,

(c)  if the development—

(i)  is on a landholding that has an area of more than 4ha, and

(ii)  is on a landholding in relation to which the natural ground at any point within 100m of the ridgeline of any hill is at least 20m lower than the ridgeline, and

(iii)  is located within 100m of that ridgeline,

it must be sited on the landholding so that the highest point of the development is at least 5m below that ridgeline,

(d)  subject to paragraph (e), the footprint of a farm building must not exceed 200m2,

(e)  the footprint of all farm buildings (other than grain bunkers) on a landholding must not exceed the footprint shown in the following table—

Landholding area
Maximum footprint of all farm buildings (other than grain bunkers)
2.5% of the area of the landholding

(f)  the development must be located at least 20m from any road boundary and have a minimum setback from any other boundary as shown in the table to this paragraph—

Building footprint
Minimum setback from boundary

(g)  a farm building must be located at least 6m from any other farm building (including any farm building that is a stock holding yard, grain silo or grain bunker) on the landholding or on an adjoining landholding,

(h)  the development must be located at least 50m from a waterbody (natural),

(i)  the development must be designed by, and constructed in accordance with the specifications of, a professional engineer,

(j)  if the development is a shipping container, there must not be more than the following number of shipping containers per landholding—

(i)  for a landholding that has an area of less than 400ha—1,

(ii)  for a landholding that has an area of 400ha or more—5,

(k)  the development must not penetrate any obstacle limitation surface shown on any relevant Obstacle Limitation Surface Plan that has been prepared by the operator of an aerodrome or airport operating within 2 kilometres of the proposed development and reported to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority,

(l)  despite clause 2.30(a), excavation for the purposes of structural supports may exceed a depth of 600mm, measured from ground level (existing), unless the land is identified for the purposes of an environmental planning instrument as Class 1–5 on an Acid Sulfate Soils Map.

(2)  In this clause, footprint means the area of the ground surface occupied by a building, including the walls, footings and roofing of the building, and extending to the perimeter of the foundations and other means of structural support to the building, but does not include the area of access ramps, eaves and sunshade devices.

Note 1.

 There are other existing legislative requirements relating to the clearance of power lines, substations and Obstacle Limitation Surfaces near airport flight paths.

Note 2.

 The consent of the appropriate roads authority is required under section 138 of the Roads Act 1993 for the carrying out of certain works in relation to roads, including the building of any crossover or creating road access.

For further information:

As this policy can change without warning, please view the complete up to date planning policy at…

You can find your land zoning and print a property report using the spatial viewer on the NSW planning portal.


Arborvitae – “Tree of Life”

Western Red Cedar is normally a fine-grained wood which exudes an aromatic odour, especially when freshly cut. In weight it is one of the lightest of the world’s valuable woods. It is characterised by a complete absence of pitch or resin. Its resistance to decay under most conditions results from the presence of natural preservative oils, some of which are phenolic compounds. It is also naturally resistant to termite and insect attack.

It has a seemingly endless variety of distinctive grains and textures coupled with natural colour tones ranging from light straw through buff and warm red to the occasional deep brown.

The Aristocrat of External Wall Coverings

The advantages of using Western Red Cedar as a wall covering are,

  • Long life, insulation and greatly increased structural strength
  • The long life of Western Red Cedar is legendary
  • Insulation is a special benefit of the peculiar cellular structure

Under the microscope Western Red Cedar reveals millions of tiny air-filled insulating cells. Western Red Cedar has a K-factor 12 times better than bricks.

Why Build In Wood?

  • About half its weight is carbon
  • Carbon is only released as carbon dioxide when the wood decays or is burnt
  • It is a renewable resource
  • This makes wood carbon positive and offsets greenhouse gas emissions
  • This may help climate change


CEDARSHIELD is a premium-quality semi-transparent timber finish specially formulated to enhance and protect timber surfaces against the harsh Australian climate. This scientifically-proven formula utilises the most recent technology and superior-quality ingredients to achieve the maximum protection against damaging environmental elements for both dressed and rough-sawn timber. The careful formulation yields a premium product which is easy to apply and outlasts alternative products.

Guaranteed not to crack, peel or blister when applied according to label directions or CEDARSHIELD will supply sufficient coating to recoat affected areas.


CEDARSHIELD is suitable for application to Western Red cedar weatherboards, railings, verandah posts etc., and can also be used with stunning effect on most other timbers. CEDARSHIELD is not recommended for use on windows, doors, decking or outdoor furniture.


Stir thoroughly prior to application and regularly during application. For best results, apply three coats of CEDARSHIELD to ensure sufficient film thickness to adequately protect the timber surface. Initially, CEDARSHIELD has an opaque milky appearance which quickly clears; then when dry it has the warm appearance of natural timber. If necessary the first coat can be thinned with 5% water (50cc/litre) when painting in hot, dry conditions. Avoid painting in direct hot sunlight and when the temperature is below 10°C. Ensure an even coverage on all surfaces including side and end grain. Allow 2 hours between coats, depending upon conditions and before the likelihood of rain or condensation.


New timber must be sound, clean and free from dust, dirt, mould and grease, and reasonably dry. CEDARSHIELD can be used to overcoat acrylic-finishes and cover most oil finishes, provided they are well weathered. Wash down thoroughly with water and detergent using a stiff brush. If the existing coating is not sound or acceptable, it is necessary to remove it by suitable means to ensure a clean and sound substrate on which to build the CEDARSHIELD system.

Clean Up

Clean equipment with water immediately after use. Methylated spirits can be used if the CEDARSHIELD has dried and will not clean up with water. Keep the can sealed when not in use.


One litre will cover approximately 10-14 square metres on smooth timber and approximately 6-10 square metres on rough-sawn timber, depending on the texture of the surface being treated.


Occasional inspection will reveal if maintenance is required. Any area which may show discolouration, fading or timber-cracking should be sanded, washed clean and the necessary coats applied to restore the original appearance.