The Development Application Guide provides a step-by-step overview of the Development Application process.
Download the DA Pack for information and forms which can be used to start most DA's.
Development Application Guide
Step 1 – Check if Council approval is required
Before you can undertake any development or building works, you need to check what type of approvals are required.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 defines development as any of the following:
- the use of land, and
- the subdivision of land, and
- the erection of a building, and
- the carrying out of a work, and
- the demolition of a building or work
- any other act, matter or thing controlled by an environmental planning instrument.
Certain types of minor development may be carried out as Exempt or Complying Development (descriptions below). All other development will require a Development Application to be submitted to Council.
Exempt development is development that complies with a specified criteria. It is of a minor nature and may be carried out without Council consent.
For development to be carried out without consent, all of the criteria and requirements specified in the relevant planning instrument must be met, including compliance with the Building Code of Australia. If any of the criteria cannot be fully met, a complying certificate (if applicable) or development approval must be obtained before carrying out the work or development.
Complying development is development that has a greater impact than the exempt development types, but is still considered to have minor environmental impact on neighbourhood amenity which can be assessed using predetermined development criteria.
Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward development that can be determined by Council or a private Accredited Certifier.
Exempt and Complying Development is specified under:
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007; and
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
- Wollondilly Local Environmental Plan 2011
If your proposal meets the Exempt Development criteria, Council approval is not required, however it is suggested that you inform Council in writing of your proposal.
If your proposal meets the Complying Development criteria, then approval is required. Approval can be issued by an Accredited Certifier or Council. If approval is sought from Council please complete the Application for Complying Development Certificate.
To check basic planning information relating to your property visit the NSW Planning Portal.
Development on Unregistered Land
The lodgment of an application on unregistered land will only be accepted by Council if it satisfies certain criteria. For full details download the Development on Unregistered Land fact Sheet.
Approval under the Local Government Act 1993 - Section 68 Approval
Approval under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW) may also be required for a range of activities on public or private land by residents of the Shire. The most common s68 approval relating to development within the Shire of Wollondilly include:
- Approval for on-site disposal of wastewater on unsewered land
- Installation of a domestic oil or solid fuel heating appliance
- Installation of a manufactured home, movable dwelling or associated structure on land
A full list of all activities requiring approval can be found under Section 68 the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW). Complete the Permit for Road Side Vending (Section 68) Application to apply for approval.
If the proposal does not meet the Exempt or Complying Development criteria, or the s68 Criteria then proceed to the next step.
Development in Odour Buffer Areas
This fact sheet provides information related to the assessment of development applications located within an odour buffer area. There is currently one odour buffer area in East Tahmoor which can be viewed via the link on this page.
Fact Sheet - Odour Buffer Area
Other Types of Approval
Follow the links to find out what approval is required for:
Step 2 – Consult Wollondilly LEP and DCPs
If your proposal requires a development application you will need to check if your proposal is permissible on your land and what requirements you need to satisfy you will need to consult the following Wollondilly Shire Council documents:
These documents contain planning controls and requirements for development in Wollondilly.
Step 3 – Discussing Your Plans with Neighbours and Consulting with Council Staff
We suggest that you consult with your neighbours to provide an opportunity to accommodate any reasonable concerns. Consulting neighbours can improve the development application process because they have an understanding of the proposal before the Development Application is lodged.
We recommended that before you submit the Development Application you consult with Council staff to discuss your proposal. It's better to get input before preparing detailed plans. You can get council input by either meeting with the duty planner or booking a pre-lodgement meeting.
Discussing your proposal with Council’s duty planner can provide a general indication as to whether the proposal meets the objectives of the planning controls in Wollondilly. Also, it can identify issues that need to be addressed in the Development Application. Council’s Duty Planner is available by phone or in person from 8.30am - 2.30pm Mon – Fri by calling (02) 4677 1100.
Formal Pre-lodgement Meeting
Council offers a formal pre-lodgement meeting service for a fee.
Fees for pre-lodgement meetings are found in Council’s adopted fees and charges schedule.
A pre-lodgement meeting gives you:
- an understanding of issues that might cause delay, need further consideration, have some sensitivity or cause concern;
- knowledge about what information, plans, drawings or technical reports you need to lodge with your development application;
- an understanding of the permissibility of your proposal and the relevant development standards, controls and policies;
- a meeting with at least two assessment staff where the discussion will be documented;
- written feedback outlining any issues or concerns raised by the proposal and;
- If you decide to go ahead and lodge your application, staff will refer to the pre-lodgement meeting minutes as part of the assessment process.
Important note: Attending a pre-lodgement meeting and addressing concerns and comments made does not imply that the development will gain development consent. The views of the community, internal specialists and other government authorities are not able to be taken into account in the pre-lodgement process.
How do I arrange a formal pre-lodgement meeting?
To book a pre-lodgement application meeting call Council on (02) 4677 1100 or complete the Request for a Pre-DA Consultation Meeting Form. You must provide any plans and supporting documentation you have prepared at least 10 days before the meeting.
What do I supply with a pre-lodgement meeting?
It is important to be prepared for the pre-lodgement meeting. You will need to have an outline of what is being proposed. The amount of input given by staff depends on the amount and quality of information that you are able to provide. Useful material includes:
- concept plans and survey plan;
- general information covering what you hope to achieve on the site and how you propose to address any likely impacts on the local area; and
- details about the site and adjoining development.
Step 4 – What to submit with an Application
Development Applications must contain all necessary information as described in Section 2 of the Wollondilly DCP 2016
- DA Fees (please contact Council to obtain a quote on 4677 1100)
- the DA Pack has a basic set documents
The following information must be provided with all development applications:
- CD or flash drive with all document submitted with DA required as a separate PDF in Adobe format; as per Development Application Document Lodgement Requirements advice
- scaled architectural plans including site plan, elevations and sectional details;
- site analysis plan;
- survey plan;
- concept drainage plans (which may require installation of an on-site detention system and/or the creation of an easement through adjoining property/ies); and
- Shadow diagrams.
- Statement of Environmental Effects
- Completed Development Application Checklist
The following information is to be provided with Development Applications if applicable in accordance with the DA Electronic documents requirements advice:
- BASIX Certificate
- Certification Service Agreement
- Landscape plans and calculations;
- Architectural model – may be required if the value of the work is above $1.3 million for large scale developments such as residential flat buildings, seniors living, medium density, shopping centres etc;
- Statement of Heritage Impact – if the property is heritage affected;
- Traffic and Parking Impact Study – commercial and multi-residential development;
- Building Code of Australia (BCA) – particularly for development where BCA requirements may affect the design of the building;
- Acoustic report – where the proposal has the potential to generate a noise impact on other development;
- Where works are classified as Integrated Development additional documentation may be required to forward the proposal to the relevant Government authorities, such as the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) and the Rural Fire Service (RFS) – contact Council for more information about Integrated Development;
- Arborist report;
- Schedule of finishes for new buildings;
- Geotechnical report;
- Bushfire report;
- Flora and Fauna report;
- Subsidence Advisory NSW;
- Wastewater report;
- NORBE Assessment
Section 68 requirements
- Completed approval to operate form (for on-site waste water disposal systems)
Further information is provided in the Development Application checklist.
For specific advice relating to documentation required for your development please contact Council on (02) 4677 1100 or email email@example.com.
Step 5 – Lodging an Application
The Development Application lodgement process aimed at reducing waiting times and assisting applicants with their applications. This applies to all Development Applications and Applications to Modify Development Consent.
Development Applications are lodged directly through the NSW Planning Portal.
Rejection of Application
Once your application is lodged Council's planning staff will conduct an initial review within 14 days of lodgement. If the application lacks required documentation, it may be returned so that the all documents can be supplied, and the application resubmitted.
During assessment, if information is not adequate or additional information is required to complete the assessment of your application, Council’s planning staff will contact you to outline what additional information is required.
If you are unable to meet the timeframe specified for submitting additional information you may request in writing for Council to grant you an extension. If information is not provided within the time frame specified and an extension has not been requested or approved your application may be refused.
Step 6 – Public Notification
Council will notify only certain types of planning and development applications (DAs) which are identified in Council’s Development Control Plan. There are a broad range of applications that are not required to be notified that are detailed in this plan as well.
The type of public notification will vary based upon the type of application being proposed and may include any one or combination of the following:
- giving a notice to the owners and occupiers of all adjoining land in the form of a letter;
- publishing a notice in a local newspaper (e.g. Wollondilly Advertiser);
- placing a notice (sign) on the land;
- on Council's website DA Tracker.
Applications are normally open for submissions for 15 days. Longer submission periods exist for certain development types such as some Integrated and Designated Development. The exact time frame will be noted on any letter, notice or sign in regard to the notification of an application.
Documents lodged with the application can be viewed, subject to privacy requirements on Council's DA tracker on the website or on a computer at Council’s Administration Building - 62-64 Menangle Street, Picton - during business hours 8:30am – 5:00pm (Public Holidays excepted).
Please note, proposals that are categorised as either Exempt or Complying Development have different requirements for notification which is listed in the relevant SEPP.
Step 7 - Making a submission
Any person (either a property owner or resident) who feels that their property or locality may be affected by a notified/advertised development can make a submission to Council.
Considerations When Making a Submission
In making a submission it is recommended that the following matters are considered:
- Property owners (or anyone that has obtained the consent of the property owner) may lodge a planning application to develop land.
- The lodging of a submission does not imply that Council will refuse the application or that if a submission of support is received that Council will approve an application.
- Objectors to planning applications do not have the right to prevent the approval of a planning application or provide a right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court. Rights of appeal are only provided in specific circumstances (see Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979). There is an entitlement to request that legitimate concerns be considered during the consideration of the application.
- The lodging of a submission does not mean that Council will necessarily support the reasons put forward for or against a proposed development.
Under applicable planning controls Council is required to consider planning applications having regard to a range of legislation including:
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
- Wollondilly Local Environmental Plan 2011
- Wollondilly Development Control Plan 2016
These planning controls provide certain entitlements to landowners. For instance, allowing the construction of industrial buildings on land that is zoned for industrial purposes provided that the design is able to meet the criteria contained within the relevant planning controls.
Properly Made Submissions
A properly made submission must:
- Be in writing
- Be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer
- Be signed by each person who made the submission unless it is made electronically (i.e via email)
- State the name and residential or business address of each person who made the submission
- Clearly state what aspects of the plan or proposed development that is being supported or opposed
- Be received by Council during the formal public notification period.
Sending a Submission
You can send your submission via:
- Council's DA Tracker;
- Mail to: Wollondilly Shire Council, PO Box 21, Picton NSW 2571 or;
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Political Donations and Gifts
Any person who lodges a relevant public submission to Council in relation to a planning or development application is required to disclose reportable political donations and gifts (if any). These include gifts and donations made by the person making the submission or any associate of that person within the period commencing 2 years before the submission is made and ending when the application is determined:
- all reportable political donations made to any local councillor of that council,
- all gifts made to any local councillor or employee of that council.
The Disclosure of Political Donations & Gifts Form contains further explanatory information that will assist in completing the declaration.
What Happens if I Make a Submission?
Council (or the relevant consent authority) is required to consider all relevant matters that have been raised within the submissions made in respect to a planning or development application before making its decision. In addition to reviewing submissions received, Council also takes into account the following matters:
- requirements of relevant planning instruments, standards and codes
- suitability of the site for the development proposal
- anticipated impacts of the proposed development
- the public interest
Council may either approve (with or without conditions) or refuse an application. Should an application be refused, the applicant is able to appeal Council's decision in the Land and Environment Court or submit a request for a review of determination to Council.
How do I Find Out What is Happening?
You may track the progress of an application on Council’s DA Tracker or alternatively, phone Council's Customer Service Centre on (02) 4677 1100. Please note that you may also be contacted by Council’s development assessment staff to clarify any matters that you have raised in your submission or to be notified that the application is being referred to a Planning Panel for determination.
Following Council’s determination of an application, any person who has made a submission will be notified of the decision regarding this application.
Withdrawing a Submission
If you decide to withdraw your submission in respect to a planning application or do not wish to pursue your submission, you can withdraw it by writing to Council. You can also withdraw a submission conditionally, for example, provided certain amendments are made to the planning application.
Making a Submission Fact Sheet
Download our Making a Submission Fact Sheet for a summary of information.
Step 8 – Determination: Decisions, Delegations and Meetings
In 2017, the NSW Government introduced changes to make Local Planning Panels (LPPs), formerly known as independent hearing and assessment panels, mandatory for all councils in Greater Sydney.
The establishment of the Wollondilly Local Planning Panel (WLPP) means that development applications will be determined by either Council staff, the Wollondilly Local Planning Panel or the Sydney Western City Planning Panel.
The WLPP considers and determines the following development applications:
- Development applications (other than for certain minor developments) for which the applicant or landowner is the Council, a Councillor, a member of Council staff, a member of Parliament, or a relative of such a person;
- Contentiousness development applications that receive ten (10) or more unique objections;
- Development applications accompanied by a proposed voluntary planning agreement;
- Development applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard;
- Development applications for:
- residential flat buildings assessed under SEPP 65;
- demolition of heritage items;
- licensed places of public entertainment and sex industry premises;
- designated development, as set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
- Any other development application, application to modify a consent or application to review a determination on a development application or application to modify a consent, at the discretion of the General Manager (Chief Executive Officer) or their delegate.
Further information can be found on the Wollondilly Local Planning Panel page.
Regional Planning Panels will continue to assess and determine development applications within its scope, such as developments with a capital investment value of more than $30 million.
Step 9 – Complying with Consent, Issue of Construction Certificate
Once development consent is issued there may be conditions that must be complied with before a Construction Certificate can be issued. A Construction Certificate must be issued by either Council or an Accredited Certifier before any construction commences.
Refer to the Building Professionals Board for further detail in relation to the role of Accredited Certifiers.
Application for a Building Construction Certificate
Application for a Civil Construction Certificate
Optional Step 9A. BUILDING
If Council is the Principal Certifier (PC) you must submit a Notice of Commencement of Building or Subdivision Work Online Form or PDF Form prior to commencing works.
Step 10 – Construction and the Principal Certifier
A Principal Certifier (PC) is required to inspect the building work during the course of construction to ensure compliance with the relevant standards. This PC may be the Council or authorised contractors subject to the terms of their accreditation. Council must be notified who the PC is at least 2 days before work commences.
Note: For details of accreditation of appropriate professionals visit the Building Professionals Board.
How do I find out what is happening?
To check the progress of your development application please visit the DA Tracker and enter your details.
For further information on the Development Application Process please visit the Department of Planning & Environment website.
Professional Bodies Who Certify and Provide Advice on Consultants
A development application may require professional input depending on its complexity. An applicant can hire a certified consultant to provide this information. When hiring a consultant it is important to ensure they are qualified and certified. Numerous consultants can provide assistance depending on the development application type. Below is a list of professional organisations which may offer assistance when searching for consultants. This list is designed as a guide and is not intended to promote individual consultants.
Association of Australasian Acoustical Consultants
Acoustic Consultants can provide acoustic reports to accompany a development application. An acoustic report may be required when a Development Application has the potential to create excessive noise and disrupt local acoustic amenity.
Australian Institute of Architects
Architects can aid in the design process for a development application and can provide historical assessments.
Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
Landscape Architects provide assistance in site planning, landscape design and project management.
Surveyors may be required to provide information on the property. They collect, analyse and assess geographical data.
Ecological Consultants Association
An environmental report may be required if a development application is thought to have a potential negative impact on flora and fauna in the area.
Depending on the type of the application an Engineer may be required. The site above contains a comprehensive register of qualified engineers from numerous fields including structural, civil, electric and environmental.
Fire Protection Association Australia
Depending on the type and locality of a Development Application a bush fire protection and planning design may be required.
Planning Institute of Australia
Town Planners can provide assistance with forms, reports and correspondence with council.
Building certifiers can assist in the preparation of development applications and construction certificate applications, assess and approve complying development certificates, construction certificates, occupation certificates and subdivision certificates.