Do I need a Development Application?

Council supports well designed and suitable developments and not all projects need a Development Application (DA). To help you decide if you need to submit a DA or can build using other avenues you need to consider the planning rules for where you live and what you want to build there. We have developed a Simple Guide for Residential Developments to help you understand the differences between Development Applications, Complying Development Certificates and Exempt Development and the application process. 

Exempt Development (no approval required) has minimal environmental impact and subject to satisfying pre-specified standards, there is no need for planning or construction approval to be obtained. Visit the NSW Government’s Planning and Environment page to see if your project is exempt development.

Complying Development (strict requirements, 10 day approval process) is considered to have a minor environmental impact on neighbourhood amenity which can be addressed by predetermined development standards. Types of complying development include internal alterations to a house, a new single dwelling and a below ground swimming pool.  Visit the NSW Government’s Planning and Environment page to see if your project is complying with development requirements.  You can also visit the NSW Planning Portal, which will provide specific property details.

If your project is not considered exempt or able to be built using Complying Development standards, search Council's planning rules for your property to see if it is permitted with consent. If this is the case you will need to lodge a Development Application.

Use our online tools to apply for a complying development certificate:

Attend a DA Pre-lodgement Meeting

We encourage you to attend a Pre-lodgement meeting for large-scale, complex or controversial Development Applications. The service enables you to meet with relevant Council officers to discuss any issues about your proposal prior to lodging your application.

Council recommends you use Property Search to first research and obtain preliminary application requirements and planning controls for your proposal.

Whilst there is no guarantee regarding the outcome of your Development Application, a pre-lodgement meeting is beneficial as Council officers can provide early comments on your proposal and applications are lodged with all relevant documentation and specialised reports. Pre-lodgement advice provided by Council is based on information provided by the applicant. The advice is provided to the applicant in the form of a report, to assist in the preparation of the Development Application by identifying the relevant statutory requirements to be addressed and highlights potential issues that may arise during the assessment process of the application.

Please note: DA Pre-lodgement Meetings are held on Tuesdays & Thursdays in Council's Dee Why office.

Need More Advice?

We recommend that you contact us to confirm that your project is permitted. Phone 1300 434 434 or visit any of Council's Customer Service Centres to speak with a Duty Officer.