The DA process

Prior to lodging a development application (DA) with Council it is helpful to understand the requirements and be fully aware of the process. 'Your Guide to the Planning Process' provides useful information on the planning system in NSW.

From 1 July 2019, Development Applications, (including Modifications and Reviews) maybe lodged online using the NSW Planning Portal.  The Department of Planning have prepared Quick Reference Guides to assist with lodging an application.

View the Quick Guides 

Alternatively, contact Council’s Development Support Team on 02 6626 7025 or for assistance with lodging your Application using the portal.  

Step 1 - Pre-lodgement

Council provides a range of pre-lodgement advice services to assist with development enquiries.  We aim to work with you towards a successful outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible. The benefits of pre-lodgement advice include:

  • Access to all the professionals who may be involved in assessing your application at an early stage, and to save you time and money in preparing your application;
  • Understanding early in the process what it is you are trying to achieve; and
  • Agreement on what is required, as well as what is (or is not) possible on the proposed development site.

 Click here to view Council's pre-lodgement advice services.  

The NSW Planning Portal is a helpful online tool to assist with the process of identifying what may be permissible on your property. You can access planning controls which may affect your property or land and investigate development options based on planning controls.

NSW Planning Portal Spatial Viewer



Step 2(a) - Online Lodgement

Once you are ready to submit your Development Application (including modifications and reviews) you will need to do the following:

  1. Create an account on the NSW Planning Portal - Click here to create an account
  2. Log in  to the Portal to complete the online application form. You will need to submit

    - Statement of environmental effects,
    Land owner's consent(PDF, 90KB)
    - A Cost Estimate Report.
    - Further documentation, depending upon your application.

Please note:  The format and naming conventions used when uploading documents and plans must meet Council's digital application requirements.

Once the application is lodged on the Portal, Council will receive notification of the lodgement.  An initial review will be conducted and your application will be registered onto Council’s system, or a request for further information will be sent to the applicant via the Portal. 

When the application has been reviewed and considered ready for lodgement an invoice will be forwarded to the nominated Payee for payment of the associated fees.

NOTE: Assessment of your application will not commence until the associated fees have been received by Council.

For further assistance with this process please contact Council’s Development Support Team on (02) 6626 7025 or

NSW Portal Guides:

How to register for a Planning Portal account
How to apply for a Development Application online

Step 2(b) - Lodgement at Council

Once you are ready to submit your development application, download a Development  Application Form and complete all required information.  If information is not provided up front you application may be rejected or processing delayed. 

You will need to supply the following:

  • one hard copy of all required documents
  • a digital copy of all documents on a USB (The USB will become the property of Council)
  • fee payment (a fee estimate can be obtained by contacting our Development Support Officers on 02 6626 7025)

Please note: If required, Council may request additional physical copies of plans be supplied during the assessment process.

Your application can be lodged by visiting our Customer Service Centre.  Council's Development Support Officers will review the application to make sure you have prepared the necessary documentation. .

Please note:  The format and naming conventions used when uploading documents and plans must meet Council's digital application requirements.


Step 3 - Notification

Council is required to notify other parties for applicable development applications. This can include adjoining property owners and in some cases the general public by advertising in local newspapers.

 Council's notification process for development applications is detailed in Development Control Plan No 14 Part A14 Public Notification and Exhibition of Development Applications

Step 4 - Assessment

Council must consider a number of statutory matters when assessing your application. These are outlined in section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and include:

  • the provision of any environmental planning instrument ie. state environmental plans, regional environmental plans, and local environmental plans
  • the provision of any draft environmental planning instrument (that is or has been placed on public exhibition)
  • any development control plans
  • the likely impacts of the development (including environmental impacts on both the natural and built environments, and social and economic impacts in the locality)
  • the suitability of the site for the development
  • any submissions made
  • the public interest

Council or the consent authority may then grant development consent, usually subject to a number of conditions, or may refuse your application.

Step 5 - Determination

Council officers have delegation from the General Manager and the elected council (councillors) to determine certain applications on behalf of Council. The elected council determines applications that are outside of staff delegation.

Regionally significant development applications (DAs) and certain other DAs are determined by the Northern Regional Planning Panel. The Panel is an independent body and their determination is not subject to the direction of the Minister for Planning.


What happens when my application is determined

Council will write to the applicant and provide a notice of determination.

If your application is approved, you will receive a copy of the conditions of consent, approved plans, and any other relevant documents. If your application is refused, you will receive the notice of determination with the reasons for refusal.

The DA is valid for a period of five years, in which time works must commence or the consent lapses. Once the development has commenced, the consent cannot lapse.


Step 6 - Post-determination

Once you have obtained development consent, there are a number of other applications, certificates or notices your proposal may require.

Construction certificates

A construction certificate is an approval to carry out building work or subdivision work in accordance with a development consent. You must obtain a Construction Certificate before works can commence.

You may lodge an application with Council for a Construction Certificate at the same time you lodge an application for development consent, or after development consent is granted. Contact Council's Certifying Team who can provide a one-stop-shop service by assessing your application in conjunction with the development application.

To lodge your application for a Construction Certificate after you have obtained development consent, you have two choices:


Notice of Commencement of Building and Subdivision Works

After you have obtained development consent and an approved construction certificate, you must give at least two days notice to Council of your intention to start building or subdivision works.

The Notice of Commencement advises Council who you have nominated as your principal certifying authority for your development, the date you intend to start works, and the details of the builder for your development (either the licensed builder or owner builder).


Modification of consent

You may apply to modify your development consent provided that the proposed development as modified is still substantially the same development. Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 stipulates the requirements for modification of consents. There are three categories that a modification of consent may fall into:

  • 4.55(1) minor error, misdescription or miscalculation
  • 4.55(1A) minimal environmental impact
  • 4.55(2) other modification where the modified development is substantially the same development as the development that was granted consent

To modify a consent, you must complete the relevant application form and lodge this along with the relevant plans to the consent authority.

If the proposed modification does not fall into one of the above categories, you must lodge a new development application.


Need further information?

Council's Development Support Officers (DSOs) are available to answer planning related questions. To speak with a DSO