Electronic document formatting requirements

To lodge a development or associated application, electronic copies of all plans and documents are required to be uploaded to the NSW Planning Portal.

Electronic documents lodged with your application must satisfy our digital requirements, including file format, size, resolution and naming conventions. 



Electronic documents submitted to the Council must be exact and fully legible reproductions of the original documents or plans.

File Format

All documents must be submitted in PDF or PDF/A format. All security settings such as password protection and editing restrictions must be disabled.

The plans and documentation should not be scanned and must be directly created or converted into PDF or PDF/A format where possible.


All documents must be A4 formatted and optimised for minimum size (online publishing). Files larger than 10MB must be broken up into logical parts and supplied as separate files.

Subfolders and zip files must not be used.


Plans must be

  • saved in PDF format, grouped together with their relevant plan type, and should be titled using our naming conventions below.
  • to scale, and the scale should be clearly displayed on every page.
  • rotated to landscape and provided in PDF format.

Plans should not be scanned and must be directly created or converted into PDF or PDF/A format where possible.

Colour plans are highly desirable and are to have a resolution between 300 and 900dpi. Black and white plans may be accepted on the basis that they are created in grayscale at a resolution of at least 300dpi.

Photos or Photomontage

Photos are to be provided as PDF or PDF/A format.

Public exhibition of the development proposal

Supporting documents must not contain any personal or financial information. Documents provided with an application will be available in line with the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act 2009.

File naming conventions

All document titles must follow our required style as follows 'Document description - Property address'.

For example, Site plan - 123 Station Street Mullumbimby or Sections - 123 Station Street Mullumbimby.


How to create a PDF

While not every computer user will have the same software as you to view your text or graphic files, the software to read PDFs is free and widely installed. PDF is often used as a print-friendly format on the web. PDFs are also:

  • a compressed file
  • viewed the same on any computer
  • able to include any text, tables or graphics in a single file.

Converting your files

There are numerous PDF conversion software products available. Most user needs can be met by using Adobe Acrobat, which is a separate product to Acrobat Reader. Acrobat provides 3 ways to create PDF files:

  • PDF Writer – the quickest and easiest method to create PDF files.
  • Acrobat Distiller – uses a more intensive process to optimise compression and functionality.
  • Acrobat Capture – converts scanned paper documents into PDF pages.

The exact method of creating a PDF file depends on the version of Acrobat you have installed.

Online services

Many companies on the web offer PDF conversion services such as:

While some are free, others charge a fee.