A licence is an authority granted by Crown Lands and gives permission to occupy and use Crown land for a specified purpose/s. If you are granted a licence it does not provide you with exclusive use and possession of the land.
A general licence is used if there are multiple purposes that the licence is needed for or because the grazing, access and events, film and short-term licences are not applicable.
The department issues licences to individuals, companies, and community organisations for several purposes, including:
- site investigations
- wind farms
- community facilities
- storage of bulk materials
- solar farms
Where substantial development involving significant capital investment is involved, a lease may be more appropriate.
Most licences can be granted under direct negotiation arrangements. If the application does not meet the direct negotiation criteria, the licence may also be granted through expressions of interest. The competitive process is used when the Crown land may be of interest and of use to several parties.
Check your eligibility
- The proposed site must be on Crown land
- Anyone aged 18 years or older
The activity cannot be licensed as:
- filming, events and short-term
How your application will be assessed
Crown Lands considers each application received on its merits and will assess the application against the following:
- related policies and guidelines
- land assessment requirements
- Aboriginal land claims
- native title
- site inspection
- development consent
- current land use and condition.
What you need to apply
Check the ePlanning Spatial Viewer to confirm the land is Crown land, its lot/dp and zoning.
Using the menu options in the search field select address or lot/dp – enter the relevant information.
Select land application map from the menu on the right side of the screen to access the local environment plan (LEP).
You must check:
- lot/section/dp numbers are correct
- if the LEP requires a development application.
You will need to provide:
- A site diagram including site location, boundary fencing (where grazing is a purpose), existing structures including any pipelines and pump sites.
If your proposal involves development (i.e. use of land, erection of a building/structure, carrying out of work or demolition) on Crown land you will need to consider and demonstrate an appropriate planning pathway.
For further information, visit Planning Approval Pathways.
You will need to provide:
- A copy of any approved development consent, if required, OR
- A copy of the Complying Development Certificate (CDC) if the proposal is "complying development", OR
- If development consent is not required - confirmation that the proposal is "exempt development" or "development without consent" under a planning instrument. If the proposal is "development without consent" - you will need to provide details of the potential environmental impacts associated with undertaking the proposed development on the land.
If the land is subject to an Aboriginal land claim, a letter of consent is required from the Local Aboriginal Land Council (LALC) or NSW Aboriginal Land Council (NALC). You can request for a search of the land claim register may be made to the Office of the Registrar ( Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1983 NSW).
- in some circumstances, for "development without consent", Crown Lands may require additional information to be provided (for example where a formal Review of Environment Factors (REF) is required under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979).
- "Exempt development" does not require environmental assessment, but does require the proposal to meet certain pre-conditions as specified in the relevant planning instruction.
- All forms of development must comply with due diligence requirements of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 in relation to the protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage - see Due Diligence Code of Practice for the Protection of Aboriginal objects in New South Wales, NSW Environment and Heritage.
If you are applying on behalf of a company, it must be a current registered company with an Australian Company Number (ACN). You will need to provide a recent company search (from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) which lists company officeholders (directors and secretaries) and authorised signatories.
If you are applying on behalf of an incorporated association, you will need to provide a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation (from NSW Fair Trading) and minutes showing elected office bearers.
Sole traders or partnerships must apply under their individual names.
Licences are subject to several conditions, which are set out in the licence agreement. Additional special conditions may be included that relate to the purpose of the licence to provide specific environmental protection.
Licence conditions outline the duty and responsibilities of a licence holder and, as with any contract, the conditions also make clear the rights of both the licensee (you) and the landlord (Crown Lands).
An invoice for the application fee will be sent to you when the application starts to be process. Refer to Fees.
Most licences are also subject to payment of an annual rent, which is determined from the current market value. You will be notified of the annual rent payable after the licence application has been assessed.
How to apply
When you submit an application for a new licence, you must complete the application form in full and submit all required documentation.
Download, print and mail your completed form: