Development advice services

We offer a three-tiered service to customers seeking advice about development matters. You can get advice for:

  • general enquiries
  • specific enquiries that need written advice
  • pre-lodgement services
  • post approval services.

For general enquiries, the best place to start is to call or email us. We recommend you contact development support services to confirm which service best fits your proposal.

Level 1 - Development Support Services

The first level of assistance is with Council’s Development Support Officers (DSO).

DSOs provide a free development support service to assist with enquiries relating to planning and development in the Byron Shire. The can assist with:

  • Fee quotes for all development related applications.

  • General advice regarding State and Local Government regulations.

  • Reviewing and accepting all development related applications.

  • Advice regarding Exempt Development.

  • Advice regarding Complying Development.

  • Coordination of Development Related Advice requests.

  • Coordination of Development Advisory Panel meetings.   


Use this form to submit your questions or phone 02 6626 7025 during office hours.

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Level 2 - Development related advice

For complex or technical advice the next level of assistance allows for either written advice or a meeting with a technical officer. This is referred to as Development Related Advice (DRA). There is a fee involved that is charged at an hourly rate. 

It is recommended that you use this service, rather than the Development Support Services for large or complex matters, particularly if you would like a written advice before you lodge a development application.

If you require information from more than one Technical Officer, for example a Planner and a Development Engineer, this can be arranged via a written response, rather than having a Development Advisory Panel (DAP) meeting.

Council will provide you with detailed and researched written response of the information in respect of the question/s you have asked or advice you are seeking via a letter mailed or emailed to your address within 14 days of receiving your application.

There is a minimum fee of $180 associated with this service (further fees of $180/hour may be applicable) for most services. Although, because of the complex nature some services are charged at a higher rate up front. These include:

  • Research relating to a dwelling entitlement - $540 ($180/hour - min 3 hours).

  • Research relating to the lapsing of development consents - $360 ($180/hour - min 2 hours).


Complete the request for development related advice(PDF, 175KB) form and submit it to Council, along with your payment.

Level 3 - Development Advisory Panel

The third level of assistance is a Development Advisory Panel (DAP) meeting.

A DAP meeting is a support service where prospective applicants can meet with a team of technical staff to discuss a development proposal before formally lodging the development application (DA) with Council. 

DAP meetings provide the opportunity to discuss and receive feedback from Council on the technical and merit aspects of a development proposal following a preliminary assessment of submitted plans and documents detailing the proposal. This service usually applies to larger scale developments or sites / proposals with more complex issues.

Council will provide minutes of the meeting, highlighting relevant controls, providing recommendations and indicating design changes that may be needed to improve the quality of a proposal.

There is no mandatory requirement to have a DAP meeting prior to making a development application. however meetings are encouraged by Council as the most appropriate means of dealing with enquiries of a complex or site-specific nature, or where formal feedback is being sought from Council on a specific development concept or proposal plan.

Bookings for DAP meetings are essential and subject to a fee, refer to the fees and charges.   


Complete the Development Advisory Panel - Request for meeting(PDF, 226KB) and submit it to Council.

Benefits of development advice

Seeking advice in the early stages of a proposal: 

  • Saves you time.
  • Ensures you address all identified development issues.
  • Improves the quality of your application.
  • Streamline assessment timeframes.
  • Reduces costs.
  • Helps you understand what supporting information you may need to provide.
  • Clarifies process and timeframes.
  • Identifies specific technical issues and relevant legislative requirements.