What is a development application?
A Development Application (DA) is a formal application to Council for carrying out various types of ‘development’ as defined by NSW Planning Legislation and Local Planning Instruments. Development includes activities such as new building works, alterations, additions, demolition, subdivision and the use of land.
Your guide to the DA process
Development that needs consent from Council
The following types of development require a development application:
- New buildings, alterations or additions to existing buildings. In some instances these types of proposal may be considered under State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.
- Change of use of an existing building or premises. (Note: if you are taking over an existing business, it is recommended that you check with Council to see if the business has a valid development consent).
- Demolition of dwellings, heritage items or any building within a conservation area.
- Earthworks, filling or clearing of land.
- Subdivision of a parcel of land including strata title subdivision of a building and boundary adjustments.
Integrated Development is development that requires development consent and at least one approval, permit, licence, authority, or consent from another government body under another piece of legislation listed in section 4.46 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Designated Development is development that is declared to be designated development by an environmental planning instrument (state environmental policies or local environmental plans) or the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
Designated Development includes heavy industry with the potential to pollute, intensive livestock industries, extractive industries, mining operations, marinas, and aircraft facilities. This type of development requires a greater level of rigour and you must provide an Environmental Impact Statement with a Development Application for Designated Development. Designated Development may be either local development where the consent authority is the local authority or State Significant Development where the consent authority is the Minister For Planning. It also has greater public exhibition requirements.
State Significant Development
State Significant Development is development for which the Minister for Planning is the consent authority. A development application for state significant development must be lodged with the Minister for Planning. State significant development is:
- Development that is declared to be State Significant Development by a State Environmental Planning Policy;
- Development that has been declared to be State Significant Development by the Minister for Planning by a ministerial declaration in the government gazette; or
- Development for which the Minister for Planning has called in for determination after the Development Application is made.
The Development Assessment Process
Arranging a Pre-Lodgement Meeting with a Council Officer is considered a valuable step in the overall process. Council is happy to provide advice and input that will facilitate the smoother processing of your application. For larger scale development the meeting might require planning, building & engineering representatives. This is a free and important service. It is also important to determine if what you are proposing is permissible within the land use zone and will comply with relevant planning regulations.
Prior to submitting your Development Application Council recommends consulting with your neighbours. This allows you to explain your development plans in detail and allows them to voice any concerns. A small change in plans prior to submission could make the neighbours happy and potentially save time and money.
How to lodge an Application
You application must be submitted through the NSW Planning Portal. Council is unable to accept a Development Application by traditional methods (e.g. in person, via e-mail or via post).
Once submitted in the NSW Planning Portal, Council will undertake a preliminary check to see if all the information required for the application has been uploaded into the NSW Planning Portal. Council will then contact you to provide additional information (if required) and pay the relevant application fees.
A Construction Certificate is required in addition to a Development Application for any development involving building works. Such applications may be lodged and processed concurrently with Development Applications.
Either Council or an Accredited Certifier can issue a Construction Certificate as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). Should you wish Council to issue the Construction Certificate and act as the Principal Certifying Authority, this can be undertaken via the NSW Planning Portal.
In accordance with Council’s notification procedures, adjoining and adjacent landholders will be formally notified of your application. The notification includes a copy of the site plan and elevations demonstrating the external configuration of the building (with building works). Certain applications will also be advertised in the local paper.
In certain cases such as minor internal alterations and applications in remote areas the notification process may be waived.
The decision making process
Upon receipt of your application a Council Planner and/or Building Surveyor will undertake a preliminary review to determine if the information provided is adequate for assessment purposes. As a result of this review it may be the case that you receive a letter requiring additional information or clarification prior to Council being in a position to determine your application.
The large majority of Development Applications are determined by staff under delegated authority. Under certain circumstances, including where an objection has been received, the application will be referred to a meeting of the Civil & Environmental Services Committee for consideration and recommendation to Council.
Internal and external referrals
Depending on the nature and scale of your application it may be necessary for it to be referred internally to a number of Council Officers for assessment including Planners, Building Surveyors and Engineers.
Certain applications may also need to be referred to external authorities for their concurrence, such as the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS), NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) NSW State Heritage Council, Catchment Management Authorities and/or the NSW Office of Water.
Notice of Determination
Should Council approve your application you will receive a Notice of Determination. Your Notice of Determination will include conditions of consent, stamped plans and a supporting documentation, if applicable. Prior to physically commencing work it is very important the following is undertaken:
- You have read and fully understand the conditions of consent. It may be necessary to comply with certain conditions prior to commencing. The stamped plans should also be reviewed to identify any conditions / amendments marked in red by Council.
- You have formally provided Council with two (2) days notice of intention to commence works.
- In the case of building works you have erected a sign in a conspicuous position at the front of the property identifying the Principal Certifying Authority. Where Council has been appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority a laminated sign will be included with your notice of determination.
DEVELOPMENT OCCUPATION / USE
Council will undertake a completion inspection and if all requirements have been met an Occupation Certificate will be issued. Orders and / or penalty notices may be issued for any non-compliance with approved plans. An Occupation Certificate is a certificate that authorises the occupation of a new building or use of a building.
NOTE: It is an offence to occupy a new building or use the whole or any part of a new/existing building unless an Occupation Certificate has been issued in relation to the building or part.
Last modified 10-Jun-2021