- Lodging a Development Application
- How Will My Development Application Be Processed?
- How Long Will It Take?
- Whom Can I Talk to During the Processing of My Development Application?
- Who Determines My Application?
- Will My Application Be Advertised or Notified to Neighbours?
- Construction Certificates
- Other Approvals
- The Development Application Process
The starting point for all zoning, land use and development enquiries is the Byron Local Environmental Plan 1988 (BLEP 1988). Through the zoning tables and the accompanying zoning maps, you will be able to work out the range of land uses that are allowed in the zone that affects your property.
To ensure that you have the correct information relating to your property, Council strongly advises that you purchase a Section 149 Zoning Certificate.
Byron Council issues two types of certificates.
- 149(2) certificate ($53)
- 149(2) & (5) certificate ($133)
Urgent certificates are able to be requested and are available within 24 hours of the application being received by Council (during normal business hours). The additional fee for an urgent certificate is $40.
To obtain a 149 Certificate complete the application form which is available from Council’s Customer Service Counter or may be downloaded from the Councils website and return to Council with the appropriate fee to make your application.
While the planning certificate will state all the relevant planning instruments that apply to the property, it does not specify specific development standards or terms of the instruments. If a development is being proposed, it will be necessary to research thoroughly all of the terms of the planning instruments, which apply to the land.
Once you have determined what is permissible on your property and are considering a development, you are then required to address the more detailed planning controls of Council's Development Control Plans, such as Development Control Plan 2002.
Depending on the works that you are proposing or the location of your property, you may also need to refer to State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP).
For additional information refer to Council’s 'Development related plans, policies and strategies' page.
If your proposal requires development consent, you need to lodge a development application with Council. It is usually helpful, both to you and to Council, if you first liaise with the Duty Planner by visiting Council’s Mullumbimby office between 9.00am and 1.00pm weekdays, or by telephoning 02 6626 7025 to discuss your proposal.
The Duty Planner may suggest that you meet with the Development Advisory Panel, for a Pre-lodgement meeting. The panel is made up of Council specialists who can advise you on the specific needs of your proposal. For information on a Pre-lodgement meeting or to arrange a meeting, please refer to Pre-lodgement Meeting Information.
Planning law is complex and specialised. Whilst Council officers can advise you on some aspects of your proposal, they cannot prepare the application for you, or give you detailed technical or legal advice. Should you decide not to prepare the application yourself, you can engage an experienced consultant or consultants to assist you. Please note that Council staff cannot recommend consultants.
Once you have decided on your proposal, first read the Development Application Help Guide available from Council, and then fill in the Development Application Form, and any other forms that the Help Guide says you need to complete.
Once you are sure you have included all the necessary information, attach all necessary fees as advised in the “Fees and Charges” schedule, and send the completed application, together with the accompanying information and the fees, to Council. You may lodge the application in any of the following ways:
- By personal delivery to Council’s office at 70 Station Street, Mullumbimby (this is the preferred method, as it allows Council to immediately check the completeness of your application);
- By mailing it to Byron Shire Council, PO Box 219, Mullumbimby, 2482;
Once your application is lodged, it will be given a preliminary check to make sure it is complete. It will then be referred to one of Council’s Assessment Officers, who are trained in disciplines including Planning, Engineering, Building and Environmental Assessment. Council will write to you, advising who is managing your application, how to contact that person (including an email address, which is the preferred means of contact), and details of any additional information you need to submit before the application can be assessed.
Depending on the issues involved, the assessment officer may call on additional expertise such as traffic engineering, environmental health or ecology to assist with the assessment. Council may also need to refer your application to various government departments for their consideration, and may need to advertise it for community comment.
Your application will be considered in terms of Council and NSW Government Planning Instruments and Policies, including
- Byron Local Environmental Plan 1988,
- Byron Development Control Plan 2002,
- Any other relevant DCPs,
- North Coast Regional Environmental Plan,
- State Environmental Planning Policies
and other applicable policies and legislation. The assessment officer may request a meeting or additional information from you to assist with that assessment. The assessment officer will then prepare a report and recommendation for determination of the application, based on the results of the assessment.
The development assessment process relies on co-operation between you as the applicant, and the Council and its staff as the determining authority.
It is your responsibility to provide Council with all of the information it must have to assess your application. It is Council’s responsibility to assess your application efficiently, professionally and impartially, in accordance with its statutory obligations.
The time taken to determine a development application will be affected by a number of factors, including:
- Whether you have had discussions with Council staff prior to lodging your application, to seek some guidance about Council’s requirements;
- Whether you have submitted sufficient information, and the quality and professionalism of that information, to enable Council to meet its legal obligations to assess your application;
- The response to your application from your neighbours and the wider community;
- Whether Council considers there is a need for you to vary your proposal to meet planning requirements or community concerns;
- Responses from government agencies involved in assessing your application;
- The resources available to process your application; and
- Whether your application can be determined entirely under delegation, or whether it needs to be reported to Councillors at an Environmental Planning and Local Approvals Committee meeting.
Council will write to advise you of the name and contact details of the Assessment Officer who is managing your application. That person should always be your first contact point for any enquiries you have about your application. Contact by email is preferred. Council will advise you if the person managing your application changes for any reason.
Most applications (around 95%) are determined by Council officers under Delegation from the Council. The remainder are determined by the elected Councillors, based on a report from the Director, Planning, Development and Environment Services, to the Ordinary (Planning) meeting.
How and when the application is determined depends on the level of delegation given to Council officers, the level of objection received from the public, and whether elected Councillors wish to make the determination. If your application is determined at a meeting of the elected Councillors, you may request the opportunity to address the meeting.
Most development applications will be advertised or notified to neighbours for comment. Whether or not your proposal needs to be notified, and the way it will be notified, is determined by Development Control Plan (DCP) 17 - Public Exhibition and Notification of Development Applications. DCP 17 aims to define the most appropriate level and means of public participation for different types of development.
If your application has to be advertised or notified, further fees will apply.
If your proposal involves building or structural work you will almost always require a construction certificate, as well as a Development Application, before you can commence work.
You may apply for a Construction Certificate at the same time as you submit your development application if you wish. Otherwise you can apply at any time after lodging your DA.
You may need other approvals, either from Council or from other government departments, before you commence work. For example, you may need approval from Council under the Local Government Act, 1993 (water and sewer work, connection of Stormwater pipes, etc.) or the Roads Act, 1993 (Driveway).
You can apply for these approvals either as part of this development application or separately, at a later date. If you choose not to apply for these approvals with your development application, only planning matters will be assessed with the development application. However, your development may not commence until you have obtained those other approvals from Council. If you do choose to apply now for these additional approvals with the application your development may commence once development consent and the approval are granted, provided you first comply with any prerequisite conditions of the consent and approval.
Certain other types of development require specific approvals from NSW Government departments as well as development consent from Council. These are called “Integrated Development”.