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IMPORTANT: In response to COVID-19, Development Assessment services are continuing to be provided via email, on the phone on 1300 434 434 or via teleconference. We encourage you to lodge your application via the NSW Planning Portal.

Steps to take prior to lodging your development application

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?

Begin by downloading a Development Application, Modification or Review Form

Northern Beaches Council uses the same form for the above application types, whether residential, industrial or commercial. The form includes a checklist and comprehensive lodgement requirements which detail everything you will have to supply with your application so it can be processed. This might include plans, reports, certificates and other information.  Contact one of Council's Planning Enquiry Officers if you are unsure of what to provide on 1300 434 434.

Request an application fee quote

DAs must be accompanied with the relevant fees in accordance with Council’s Management Plan and fees for development applications are calculated based on the estimated cost of works. 

To request a fee quote, please complete our online Fee Quote Request and we will email you a quote for your application.

Lodging your application

Council now accept applications through the NSW Department of Planning & Infrastructure Planning Portal.  For instructions on how to lodge your development application, refer to Council's Lodge your Application page.

What to expect when your application has been lodged?

Once you have lodged your application with Council, the following process steps are primarily undertaken depending on the complexity of your application:

  1. Initial review
    An initial review of your application will be undertaken to make sure the application is complete. If the development does not comply and/or it lacks important information, we will give you the opportunity to withdraw the application so you can address the matters raised.

  2. Notification/advertisement
    Once your application is formally accepted by Council, it will be placed on public exhibition and surrounding residents will be notified in accordance with Council's policy. Application's on exhibition are available through Application Search.

  3. Referral
    Referral to relevant referral bodies (internal and/or external) will occur.

  4. Assessment
    The officer will conduct the assessment of the application to determine if it complies with all relevant legislation and development controls and will consider any submissions received.

  5. Determination
    The officer will put forward a recommendation to management or the application may be reviewed by various determination panels, depending on its size, complexity, number of submissions received etc.

  6. Outcome
    The applicant will receive electronic confirmation of the outcome of the application.

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.

Online concurrence and referrals

From January 2020, Council will raise requests for development applications requiring a concurrence and/or referral to the relevant agency through the NSW Planning Portal. If a payment is required, the applicant will be notified via email and the application will not progress until it is paid. For referrals not requiring payment will automatically be forwarded to the agency by Council.

Certain development applications require approval (such as a permit or license) from a NSW Government agency, before a determination can be made by Council, these are called integrated development. Integrated development applications require an approval listed in Section 4.46 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. For example, this may include an aquaculture permit, mining lease, pollution licence, Aboriginal heritage impact permit. For Council to process an integrated development application, an integrated development fee is payable, in addition to a fee payable to the relevant NSW Government agency through the Planning Portal, as outlined above.

The Online Payments for Concurrence and Referrals guide (NSW Government) will assist you in paying the fee through the NSW Planning Portal.

Before you start work

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. 

Once development consent is granted, there are some more steps you must take before you can start to build:

  • Obtain a construction certificate - In most cases, a construction certificate is required and can be obtained through an accredited certifier (private certifier) or through Council. Download the Construction Certificate Form and Checklist. Once completed the form may be lodged by mail or in person. Fees apply at this stage. Call us on 1300 434 434 to find out which fees apply.
  • Appoint a principal certifying authority (PCA) - The certifier will conduct critical stage inspections and provide final completion certificates once your project is completed. See the Building Professionals Board for more information on appointing a private certifier.
  • Notify Council in writing of the PCA's details and the date of commencement of building works, at least 2 days prior to commencement.