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Development Application process

The main steps in lodging a development application (DA) and what happens after approval are described here. You must read the forms provided to gain a full understanding of the process. And you should talk to your builder or consultant about complying with all your legal obligations.

There are three steps you should take before preparing a development application:

Step 1: You need to establish what is permissible on your property, what potential constraints affect your property and what controls apply to the proposed development. Go to Council’s Property Search.

Step 2: Consider all design issues taking into account the site, its context, the specific development controls that apply to the proposal, together with any hazards that affect the land and prepare concept plans.

Step 3: Talk to your neighbours and to any local community groups with these concept plans to assist them to understand your proposal. Consider their concerns and seek to compromise to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

What information do I need to submit a DA?

To lodge a DA, Modification or Review of Determination with us you must begin by downloading the form. Northern Beaches Council uses the same form for all developments, whether residential, industrial or commercial. The form includes a checklist which details everything you will have to supply with your application so it can be processed. This might include plans, reports, certificates and other information. Use the checklist and lodgement requirements to ensure your application is complete.

Lodging your DA

The following details a step by step process for lodgement of your development application:

  • Review relevant codes and policies
  • Attend a pre-lodgement meeting with Council if necessary - you can find the pre-DA lodgement meeting form here.
  • Complete the development application form and obtain all land owners' consent
  • Go through the DA Lodgement Requirements

Once complete, your application must be delivered to Council by mail or in person. DAs cannot be lodged online. The address is on the first page of the DA form. Please ensure all required documents are with the form submitted.

DAs must be accompanied with the relevant fees in accordance with Council’s Management Plan. Fees for DAs are calculated on the estimated cost of works.  Call us on 1300 434 434 if you are unsure of which fees apply to your application.

What happens next?

After an initial review to make sure your application is complete, Council will advertise the proposed development and allow time for community submissions.

Next we’ll assess the DA to see if it complies with all the relevant legislation and development controls. If the development does not comply and/or it lacks important information, we will give you the opportunity to withdraw the DA so you can address the matters raised.

The DA may be reviewed by various determination panels depending on its size, its complexity, or on a number of other factors. After this determination process we will advise you of the outcome.  

Note:  All applications for development which include demolition or construction, must be accompanied by a Waste Management Plan and satisfy Council’s Waste Management Guidelines.

Track the progress of your application

After you lodge your DA, Council will assess it and let you know whether it has been approved. See the progress of your DA in the application search

After your DA is approved

Once your DA is approved, there are some more steps you must take before you can start to build:

  • obtain a Construction Certificate
  • appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

To obtain a Construction Certificate, download the form and complete the checklist. Once complete the form must again be lodged by mail or in person. Fees apply at this stage. Call us on 1300 434 434 to find out which fees apply.

You must appoint a certifier for your project. The certifier will supervise the works on your site and will provide final completion certificates when your project is completed. You can appoint Northern Beaches Council to be your PCA or you can appoint a private accredited certifier. See Building Professionals Board for more information on appointing a private certifier.

Before you start work

It is important that you note this information is not legal advice. Before you start any work, make sure you seek advice and approvals from Council or a planning professional. Protect yourself, your project and your community by following the guidance you are given to avoid unnecessary financial and legal consequences.