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Application requirements

Social impact assessment

A social impact assessment (SIA) refers to the evaluation of the social consequences of a proposed decision or action (such as development proposals, plans, policies, and projects) on affected groups of people and on their way of life, life chances, health, culture and capacity to sustain these.

Required SIA

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A detailed SIA is required for the following development applications (DAs):


Development type Size scale
Residential flat building
(for projects located outside of the CBD only)
> 100 units
Affordable housing
(does not apply to secondary dwellings)
> 20 units
Group homes All
Social housing All
Boarding houses > 10 rooms

Liquor and gaming

Development type Size scale
Extended trading hours
Wholesale licence sale
Liquor retail outlet
Licensed restaurant

Pubs (LEP definition)
Bottle shops
Registered club
Licence public entertainment venue

Gaming/poker machine licences > 10 machines or licenses


Development type Size scale
Educational establishments
(includes schools, TAFE
and universities)
New or major

Religious facilities

Development type Size scale
Places of public worship > 250 patrons


Development type Size scale
Major shopping centre New or expansion by 20,000 sqm
Sex services premises
Restricted premises
All sex-service premises


Development types Size scale
Passenger transport
Major public utility undertaking
SIA for responding to proponent applications
and where City of Parramatta is not
the consent authority

Health services

Development type Size scale
Health services facilities New or major

Urban development

Development type Size scale
Planning proposals that seek
major (major complexity)
Recreation facility Major

Qualified practitioners

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A SIA should be conducted by a suitably qualified person with a social science background, training and/or extensive experience in the field of community needs analysis and community consultation.

The qualified practitioner should also be familiar with the types of information and may work in a range of fields including:

  • social planning
  • sociology
  • human geography 
  • anthropology
  • town planning

SIA report content

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When you lodge a SIA, the following level of information and analysis is required:


A description of the proposed development including geographic location.


Pre-change demographics of the suburb that the development is located in.


A description of the key stakeholders affected by the proposal. Consider:

  • individuals and organisations
  • any specific communities of interest relevant to the area/ activity (e.g. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders).

Consultation processes

An explanation of the processes used to collect and consider feedback from key stakeholders.

Proposed changes

Identify the key changes (physical and demographic) likely to occur from the proposed development/activity.

Probable impacts

An analysis of how the proposed changes are likely to impact on key stakeholders. Give consideration to the following relevant areas:

  • health
  • housing
  • earning ability
  • safety
  • neighbourhood identity
  • belonging and connection to community
  • access to and usage of community facilities and services
  • social equity (needs of disadvantaged groups/displacement etc)

Read the social assessment guidelines for more information on scoping questions.


A summary of the report findings:

  • key changes as a result of the proposed development
  • key probable positive impacts
  • key probable negative impacts
  • mitigation strategies/plan to manage the probable negative impacts.

SIA author

A description of the report author, their qualifications and capacity to complete the assessment.

SIA review

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City of Parramatta staff will review the SIA report and consider the following:

  • data/research validity
  • whether the critical impacts have been satisfactorily identified
  • whether the mitigation and monitoring measures are appropriate and support positive social outcomes for the community.

A report will be provided to Council on the planned development activity, including the social impacts.

Conditions of consent for Council’s consideration will be identified and suggested, as well as any gaps within the report.

Council will evaluate the SIA data as part of the DA consideration, which it will then decide to approve (with or without conditions of consent) or refuse.

Get in touch

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If you have any questions you can get in touch with our Duty Planner on (02) 9806 5000 or

You can also visit our Customer Contact Centre at 126 Church Street, Parramatta between 9am–3pm, Monday to Friday.

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