The Development Application Process

1. The DA process explained

Infographic of the DA process
Infographic if DA process - page 2


Download a PDF version of The Development Application Process infographic(PDF, 122KB)

2. Common development works

A Development Application (DA) is a request for permission to carry out a certain development. Development approval can only be granted by Council and the assessment of a DA determines whether or not a development is appropriate for a given location.

Common development works include:

  • Subdivision of land
  • Demolition of a building or other demolition work
  • Erection of a new dwelling
  • Change of use
  • Construction of a new shed
  • Carrying out of a range of other building works.

Find out about exempt developments

The process for applying for a Development Application includes a number of steps and can take up to 40 statutory days, but can take longer if the the application is particularly complex.

We have developed a guide to assist you preparing your application. This can be downloaded here(PDF, 526KB).

3. Pre-lodgement meeting

We offer pre-lodgement meetings to provide advice on proposed development activities. Pre-lodgement meetings are not mandatory and there are fees applicable which are listed below.

Pre-lodgement meetings run for a maximum of 45 minutes and are suitable forum for discussing more complex applications such as townhouses, large shops and subdivisions. Minimum information is required when requesting a booking, and is detailed below.

For straightforward applications and advice we have support available:

  • in Queanbeyan - 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
  • Residents who would prefer to meet in the  Braidwood and Bungendore can schedule an appointment with development support by calling 1300 735 025

You can also call us on 1300 735 025 for advice on whether a pre-lodgement meeting is appropriate for your development.

2024/25 pre-lodgement meeting fees

Type of development Fee
Class and 1 and 10 $200
Class 2-9 minor eg single premises $400
Class 2-9 major eg multi dwelling $800
Subdivision up to 4 lots $400
Subdivision greater than 4 lots $800
Planning proposal (each meeting) $2,000
Cancellation with 7 days prior  50% of fee

4. Preparing a DA

When preparing your DA, you should check the zoning and planning information that applies to your property, such as:

  • Heritage
  • Bushfire
  • Flooding

Check your property details on the NSW Planning Portal or request a Section 10.7 Certificate from Council  (previously known as as Section 149 Planning Certificate).

You should also check the development controls that apply under the relevant Development Control Plan (DCP).

Additional information may be required before we can accept your application, such as:

  • BASIX Certificate
  • Statement of Heritage Impact
  • Bushfire assessment report
  • Flood Management Plan
  • Original Survey Plan that is signed by a registered surveyor
  • Details of external colours and finishes
  • Site Analysis Plan
  • Shadow Diagrams
  • Effluent Disposal Report
  • On site Sewerage Management Plan
  • Engineering design
  • Indicative plan of subdivision.

5. Lodging the DA

All DAs must be submitted via the NSW Planning Portal. Documentation will need to be submitted in an electronic format.

The fee payable depends on:

  • The type of development
  • The estimated cost of the development
  • Whether advertising is required.

Council will receipt the application, date it, and issue a DA number.

The following applications and certificates must be submitted through the NSW Planning Portal. These include:

  • Development Applications
  • Modification Applications
  • Complying Development Certificates
  • Construction Certificates
  • Occupation Certificates
  • Subdivision Certificates
  • Section 68 Application (Local Government Approvals)
  • Notice to Commence

6. Notification & Public Comments

In some cases public notification will be part of the DA process.

This means that, where identified in a planning instrument, a development control plan or the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation, Council will:

  • Notify neighbours of the proposal and invite them to comment
  • Advertise the proposal for comment
  • Refer the proposal to other government agencies if the application is for integrated development or it requires their concurrence, or if the agency has some other regulatory interest.

You can track development applications online here.

7. Assessment of Your DA

Assessment of your application takes into account:

  • The requirements of any local, regional or state planning instrument, or other planning regulation that relates to the site or the proposed development. These may contain issues to be considered or standards that must be met.
  • The impact the proposed development is likely to have on the natural environment, the built environment and the local community.
  • Whether the site is suitable for the proposed development.
  • Any submissions made by neighbours, the wider community and government agencies after the development application was advertised. Any submissions must include the political donations and gifts disclosure statement
  • The public interest.

8. Council’s decision  

Council will either approve or refuse your DA. If the application is approved, Council will usually set out conditions that you must fulfil as the applicant. You can challenge Council’s decision if you are dissatisfied with it.

9. Regional Planning Panel

What is a Regional Planning Panel?

Planning Panels were introduced on 1 July 2009 to strengthen decision-making for regionally significant development and other planning functions under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act. The Southern Regional Planning Panel (SRPP) is a group of experts appointed by the State Government and Council to determine regionally significant Development Applications (DAs) or provide advice about planning proposals.

The SRPP makes decisions about DAs in an open forum without political or other interference. The SRPP is made up of five members. Three of these are independent experts appointed by the Minister for Planning. The other two are Council representatives.

You can find out more about the SRPP, including reports and agenda items, on the NSW Planning Portal website.

What type of development proposals are sent to the Regional Planning Panel for determination?

The State Environmental Planning Policy outlines the types of development considered regionally significant, including development with a capital investment value exceeding $30 million.

The Planning Panel can also decide on less expensive proposals including those related to Council, or those lodged by or on behalf of the State of NSW

Development applications for regionally significant development are submitted to Council. Council officers assess those DAs but do not decide on those DA’s. The Planning Panel is the consent authority for regionally significant development.

Does the Regional Planning Panel get to see any submissions lodged during the assessment of a DA?


Council staff assess the Development Application. This includes notifying the application, receiving submissions and reviewing the issues raised. These issues are raised with the applicant during the assessment process and presented to the Panel. During the assessment process, the applicant receives the issues raised in submissions and they can respond to them. Their response is for Council’s assessment purposes and is not available to the public.

The Council assessment report to the panel collates and summarises issues raised in submissions and includes the assessing officers’ comment in response.

Occasionally an applicant response is published where the Panel has specifically asked them to provide a response.

Does the panel publish the advice it receives from external agencies, for example, Heritage NSW or Transport for NSW?

Yes – but only once the Panel has determined the application.

Prior to final determination, the only documents which are published are the records of any Panel business for example meetings, briefings or site visits.

The assessment report will refer to reports or advice Council has received including assessments by its heritage advisor, traffic reports etc. These are attachments to the assessment report and published once the Panel determines the application.

Council’s information request and any response from the applicant are not publicly available during the assessment stage.

Once the Council assessment report is uploaded to the Portal, any documents referenced in the report for the Panels consideration are published to the public website.

After a determination, the final Determination and Statement of Reasons, declaration forms and any audio links (if available for a public meeting) are made public.

Are submitters able to meet with the Panel or attend a public meeting before a decision is made?

Planning Panels can hold a public meeting prior to determining the DA. They schedule a meeting where there are 10 or more independent submissions.

This is for the Panel to hear the community’s views and other interested parties, such as the applicant and the Council before they make a decision.

A public determination meeting will be scheduled once Council’s assessment report is uploaded to the portal. Submitters will be notified at least a week prior to the meeting. Notifications are sent to the contact details provided in their submission.

A Notice of Public Determination meeting will be posted on the panel website at least 7 days prior to the meeting date.

Anyone wanting to address the panel will need to register to speak. As a guide, individuals will have 3 minutes to speak, a community group will have 10 minutes in total, and the applicant, including consultant(s), a total of 15 minutes to present and address issues raised in public submissions.

After reviewing written submissions on a DA, considering the recommendation in the Council assessment report, and hearing from those wishing to address the Panel, the Panel may determine the application or defer its decision.

For more information visit -

10. Commencing works

Prior to commencing any building works:

  • You may need to apply for a Construction Certificate if this was not done as part of the DA process.
  • A Principal Certifying Authority must be appointed.

11. Post works

Before moving into a new building or registering a subdivision an Occupation Certificate is required.

The authority that has approved the development will then monitor the finished development to make sure that local planning policies, and decisions made under those plans, are achieving their desired outcomes.

If the development does not comply with the development consent, you can be:

  • Fined
  • Ordered to make changes to the development.
  • Taken to the Land and Environment Court. The court may order you to carry out necessary works (such as altering the development or making repairs), or may forbid you to use the premises in certain ways.