What you need to know about DAs

Building developers look over building plans.

Exempt and complying development

Certain minor building works, if they are low impact and have minimal environmental impact, can be done without approval as exempt development if your project meets specific development standards in the state legislation.

Some small-scale residential, commercial and industrial developments can also be done as complying development, if they comply with specific standards in the state legislation. 

Navigating legislation can be challenging and technical and we recommend engaging the services of a suitable professional to support and assist you through this process.

Check if your works qualify as exempt or complying development refer to the NSW Department of Planning & Environment or the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Large DAs

You may wish to engage the services of a planning consultant to assist you in the preparation of your development application and associated plans and technical reports if required.

A pre-lodgement meeting can help speed up the resolution of your development application or building works, particularly for large DAs.  

It allows you to discuss your proposal and understand Council expectations. This can help avoid delays, financial loss and refusal of an application.

To request a pre-lodgement meeting, submit a pre-lodgement application along with supporting documentation and fees. Council will then schedule an appointment.

Minor DAs

This service is aimed at small-scale residential projects such as new dwellings, dual occupancies and small business applications such as a change of use.

This is a free service for meetings of up to 30 minutes where potential applicants will have an opportunity to meet with Council staff to discuss their proposal.

Pre-lodgement advice

For advice on DA or building/construction matters, contact Council's Built Environment staff on (02) 6625 0500 between 8:30am and 4:30pm Monday to Friday. If unavailable, they will return your call within 48 hours.

A Duty Planner is also available for free, 15-minute consultations at the Corporate Centre in Goonellabah between 8:30am and 10:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays, no appointment necessary. Appointments can be scheduled outside of these hours.

The Duty Planner can provide preliminary advice on land zoning and constraints and planning controls, application/approval process and necessary submission documents.

Minor residential development

To improve your home with a pool, deck, fence, carport, garage, etc that does not meet exempt and complying development, you must submit a development application and obtain a Construction Certificate before starting work.

To do this:

Modifications (Section 4.55 applications)

To modify a previously approved development consent, the original applicant or their representative can apply via the NSW Planning Portal. This can be done if the proposed changes result in substantially the same development as was originally approved, in accordance with Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

If not, a new development application must be submitted. The types of modifications allowed include minor errors, wrong description, miscalculation, minimal environmental impact and other modifications. Additional Construction Certificate may be required.

Review of determination

Under the provisions of Division 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, an applicant may request that we review a determination of an application which is not complying, integrated, designated or submitted by or on behalf of the Crown. 

The request for a review must be made within six months after the date of the determination. You will need to make application on the NSW Planning Portal and provide supporting documentation.