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Development Application Process

What is a Development Application

A Development Application (DA) is a formal request for permission to carry out proposed development. Approval is required before carrying out any development (except where expressly exempted). The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 definition of development is:

  • the use of land
  • the subdivision of land
  • the erection of a building
  • the carrying out of a work
  • the demolition of a building or work
  • any other act, matter or thing referred to in an environmental planning instrument.

Types of Development Application

Exempt Development

Exempt development is development that is of minimal environmental impact and does not require development approval provided it meets certain requirements. Click here for more information about exempt development  

Complying Development 

Complying development is a form of development that is small scale and low impact, with predetermined development standards, outcomes and conditions. It can be approved either by Council or an accredited certifier within 10 days of an application being lodged. Lodgement is also available via the Electronic Housing Code website

Integrated Development 

Integrated development refers to proposals that require a DA and at least one of the approvals listed in section 91 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.  Click here for a list of approvals that make up integrated development   

Designated Development 

Designated development is a type of development that requires a more significant assessment process including the preparation of an environmental impact statement.

DA Process

Steps in the DA process can include:

  • prelodgement advice
  • lodgement
  • assessment
  • community consultation
  • presentation to Council meeting
  • determination
  • construction certificate
  • inspections
  • occupation certificate

Pre-lodgement advice

Council staff can answer your questions or arrange a pre-lodgement meeting to discuss your proposed development. 


Submission requirements document outlines the supporting information required for Development applications.

Assessment and determination 

This step can include community consultation and public exhibition of plans. All submissions received will be considered. Major applications may go to a Council meeting as part of the assessment process. We may refer your application to another section within Council for expert advice (for example if there are heritage conservation or flood prone land issues.)

Following the end of any community consultation period, Council will do a site inspection to assess the impact of the proposed development. 

Applications for certain residential development proposals which require development consent must be accompanied by a BASIX Certificate before they can be assessed and development consent granted. 

If the application is approved, you will be issued with a development consent (outlining conditions of consent). Council is the only authority that can issue a development consent. 

Construction Certificate

This is a certificate that states that building work can commence on an approved development, and that it complies with the terms of the consent and the Building Code of Australia. This certificate can be issued by either Council or an independent Certifier. You must have development consent to obtain a construction certificate.  No work can start before you obtain a construction certificate

Appoint a Principal Certifying Authority

You must also appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) and notify Council 2 days prior to work commencing

To appoint Council as your PCA, please use the PCA Nomination form

You can choose to have a construction certificate assessment by Council or a private certifier. Fast-track this process by using Council's combined application process, allowing you to lodge your development application and construction certificate at the same time.
Home Owners' Warranty Insurance is needed before your construction certificate can be issued. If you are an owner builder, you will need to provide Council with your Owner Builder permit. 
Complete the Notice of Commencement of Works and Appoint a Principle Certifying Authority 

Mandatory Inspections and Certification  

There are certain inspections throughout the course of construction that Council needs to carry out. Council will notify you of these (check your construction certificate).
To book an inspection, Council needs 24 hours notice. Please contact the Development Services Administration Team on (02) 4732 7991.
Once Council has completed all mandatory inspections and is satisfied that the work is compliant, you will be issued with an Occupation Certificate.

Occupation Certificates

An occupation certificate, issues under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows a person to occupy and use a new building or change the use of an existing building.

An occupation certificate verifies that the principal certifying authority (Council or a Private Certifier) is satisfied that the building is suitable to occupy or use in terms of the requirements of the Building Code of Australia. That Code sets required standards for the design and construction of various classes of buildings to protect health, safety and amenity. There are two types:

A final occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a new building (including alternations/extensions) or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change in its use.

An interim occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a partially completed building, or of a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building. It is rare that an interim certificate is issued, but if one has been, a final occupation certificate is still required when all building work or the change of use is complete. A final occupation certificate revokes any occupation certificates issued earlier.

An occupation certificate is required for any new building work, or change of use of a building, that has development consent (DA) or a complying development certificate.

Occupation certificates are not required for buildings which are exempt development. They may not be issued for the occupation or use of a new building after 12 months from the date on which the building was first occupied or used. 

Fees and Charges

Council's Fees and Charges