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-DA meetings to provide advice on proposed development activities. Pre-DA meetings are not mandatory and are free of charge.

You can schedule a meeting with us in Queanbeyan on every second Thursday from 2pm. We have 45 minute sessions starting at 2pm to discuss detailed applications like townhouses, large shops and subdivisions.

For straightforward applications and advice we have a duty planner 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 a planner by calling 1300 735 025

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

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.

4. 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

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.