What is a Development Application?
A Development Application (DA) is an application made to Council to carry out development including subdivision, demolition and possibly renovation – depending on the size of the project. Development within a Council area is generally controlled by Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
The LEP outlines, among other things, the landuses permissible within different zones of a Council area. Prior to submitting an application, you should get and read carefully any relevant Development Control Plans (DCP) or guidelines to the development proposed. These documents are available from Council.
Why do I have to submit a Development Application?
You are legally bound to submit a Development Application to Council for any building, renovation and subdivision works and for any development requiring consent under the LEP. If in doubt, always check with your Council before proceeding with any work.
Development Applications are required so that Council may assess your plans and information, inspect your property and determine whether your proposal is appropriate.
Council needs to ensure that a proposal:
- Is a permissible and appropriate use of the site according to its zoning;
- Complies with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (as amended);
- Complies with the relevant DCP or the landuse activity;
- Complies with any Development Control Plans applicable to the land;
- Has no detrimental visual impact upon a locality;
- Has no adverse impact upon occupants of adjacent properties in the locality.
Any development application is to be followed by a Construction Certificate to build or construct works, which may be issued by Council or a private certifier.
Is it necessary to discuss an application with a Council officer?
Before formally submitting the development application and accompanying information to Council, it is always best to brief the relevant Duty Officer or Town Planner on your project. A little time spent up front could save a lot of grief later on!
What about my neighbours?
Public notification of an application depends on the type of development proposed. However, it is advised, prior to lodgement of the development application with Council that you discuss your proposal with your neighbours. It may also provide an opportunity for you to consider any suggestions from your neighbours and thereby avoid delay in the processing of the application at a later date.
What information is needed to accompany an application?
Need to check with your Council here. All applications are to be made on Council Development Application form, signed by all owners of the site and generally accompanied by a Statement of Environmental Effects and the required plans including the appropriate fee.
The number and type of plans to be submitted and extent of detail to be provided depends on the type of development proposed and its complexity. It’s best to check with your Local Council for specific needs in your area.
Submission of the Development Application must be accompanied by the appropriate Development Application fee. A Schedule of Fees can be obtained from your Council. The calculated fee is usually based on the estimated cost of the work for the development.
How will my application be determined?
Once lodged with Council, your application is usually assessed and then determined by one of the following decision making processes:
- Under Delegated Authority.
- By your Council’s Development Assessment meeting. Development applications determined by the DA Meeting are those which do not comply with the relevant planning regulations/ policies, and/or where an objection has been submitted.
- By an Ordinary Meeting of the Council. Development applications determined by the elected Council are those of a controversial nature that may have been referred by the DA Meeting or attracted a large volume of objection.
After my application is determined, how will I be advised?
You should be advised in writing of the determination of your application. If your application is granted consent then you will be sent a copy of the Development Consent including conditions of Consent and approved plans.
Should your application be refused, a refusal notice will be sent advising of the grounds of refusal.
If you are unsure about any part of this process please ask your Council. Although the process is generally the same, there are often subtle differences between councils.