The development process
Development includes building, renovating, demolishing, subdividing land, display of advertising or changing the use of a building or land. If you are considering development, you may need to lodge a Development Application (DA) with Council to seek consent to carry out this development.
The following flowchart shows the major steps in the development process:
The flowchart is a general guide only and does not cover every scenario. Processes may vary for some developments based on legislative requirements.
NSW Government Planning & Environment have also developed a guide to the DA process. This guide helps explain the Development Application process to assist you in preparing and lodging a DA, as well as explaining the next steps to get you building.
The information below also explains the development process in more detail and the various steps that your DA will go through before it is determined.
Step 1: does your development need approval?
Once a dwelling is built, you can carry out some minor building works, like garden sheds or carports, without needing approval from Council.
For existing commercial properties you can undertake certain changes in use or signage without consent. These are examples of exempt development.
You can undertake some larger but straightforward development as complying development, which is a combined Development Application and Construction Certificate process.
If your proposal is not exempt or complying development, you will need to submit a Development Application to Council.
Step 2: research and pre-application consultation
You can use our GIS mapping tool and online property information system to get information on your property including zoning, heritage and development controls to help you prepare your Development Application.
You can read local plans to find out how they will affect your proposal:
- The Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan (LEP) sets out land zones and the types of development that may be undertaken.
- The Development Control Plan (DCP) provides the design controls for new development and any relevant Council policies. You can use the table of contents at the front of the DCP as a guide for the type of issues you may need to address in your development design.
If your development includes any vegetation removal, please refer to the following fact sheet:
- Vegetation removal fact sheet (1.18 MB).
All new houses must also meet a basic level of energy efficiency and are rated on factors such as the location of the home, hot water and energy systems, insulation and window area.
For information, guidance and advice on sustainable building principles for our local climate, please refer to the following publication:
This guide will provide you with useful information about energy and resource use, lifestyle and sustainability in the South East region, which will assist you in the planning stage of your development.
If you feel you would like some help before you get started, you can use our pre-lodgement services to help you understand the development process and answer your questions.
Step 3: preparing and lodging your Development Application
- Complete a Development Application (DA) form and use the relevant checklist to make sure you have all of the necessary information.
- For development that is not State significant development, a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) must accompany your Development Application. The SEE must include the following:
- environmental impacts of the development
- how these environmental impacts have been identified, and
- the steps taken to protect the environment or to lessen the expected harm to the environment.
- Refer to our fact sheet, 'Preparing Plans for Development Applications', for information about how to prepare your plans for lodgement with your DA and the detailed information required:
Council has produced this proforma of the SEE for minor applications:
For all other applications, refer to Council's fact sheet 'Preparing a Statement of Environmental Effects':
However, if you have a larger development, or a development with high environmental value, a site specific SEE may need to be lodged with your DA.
Lodge your application online
You can now lodge your DA online with our new online applications system.
Lodging online has many benefits - it's convenient and efficient, and you can pay for your application online at the time of lodgement via our safe payment gateway.
How do you lodge your application online?
Refer to our ePlanning page for detailed information about how to lodge your application online.
Other ways of lodging your application
Council encourages you to lodge your application online via our new Online Applications system, however, you can also lodge your application the following ways:
- You can lodge your DA and SEE with Council's Development Help Desk staff in person:
- at the customer service centre, corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya
- between 8.30am and 4.30pm. Please note: ensure you arrive before 4pm so there is sufficient time to thoroughly check and lodge your application. Please make sure you have your completed application form, checklist and required copies of plans and documents with you. You will also need to pay your application fees at the time of lodgement.
- You can email your application and SEE to Council's Development Help Desk staff:
We will send you an acknowledgement letter that includes the DA number and the name and contact details of the planner who will assess your application.
You can track the progress of your DA with our online DA Tracking Tool.
Applications and checklists
Applications and relevant checklists for the different types of development include:
- Online Applications - Development Application Package (2 MB)
- Development Application Form (50.3 KB)
- Development Application Checklist (481.7 KB)
- Development Application Checklist - Use of Existing Unapproved Building or Works (784.3KB)
- Development Application Checklist - Commercial, Industrial or Change of Use (486.3KB).
Step 4: public notification
Council's Community Engagement Framework and Participation Plan requires us to notify the public about some types of Development Applications, such as development that may impact neighbour views, privacy or may overshadow other properties.
We do not need to notify neighbours or the public for most residential development, such as new dwellings that fully comply with all development controls.
Where we do need to notify neighbours or the public we will do this by:
- sending a letter and a copy of your plans to adjoining and adjacent land owners
- publishing details of the Development Application in the local newspaper if we need to notify the public
- making copies of plans available to be viewed via Council's website under 'Development proposals on exhibition' on our ePlanning web page
- erecting a notice on the development site
- including details of the Development Application on our online DA tracking tool.
During the notification period the community can give their feedback about your proposal by making a written submission to Council. The assessing officer will review any submissions and, in some cases, may ask you to consider and respond to the issues raised before your application is determined.
Submissions should be made via 'Applications on exhibition' on our ePlanning web page.
You can also view Council's Community Engagement Framework and Participation Plan:
Step 5: assessment of your application
A planning officer will assess your application under Section 4.15 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
The assessment process involves inspecting the site and considering:
- all relevant planning instruments
- state environmental planning policies
- local environmental plans
- development control plans
- Council policies
- the likely impacts of the development on the natural and built environment
- the site's suitability for the proposed development
- any submissions received.
The planning officer will consider things like:
- solar access, landscaping and open space, height, form and materials, building setbacks, streetscape, visual and acoustic privacy, views, traffic and parking implications
- bushfire assessment in accordance with the NSW Rural Fire Service Planning for Bushfire Protection Guidelines 2006
- potential impacts of the development on the natural environment
- other approvals: Section 68 Local Government Act 1993 (for example water, sewer or stormwater works, installation of a solid fuel heater) or Section 138 Roads Act 1993 (works within the road reserve including construction of a driveway crossover).
Council is required to take into consideration matters raised in submissions during the assessment of your application. If we need more information from you or if there are any concerns about your proposal, we will contact you. You will have 28 days to consider the request and provide a response to allow us to continue assessing your application.
Step 6: referrals and consultation
Depending on the type of development proposal, it may be necessary to seek internal advice from officers of different areas of Council, beyond the main town planning and building assessment officers, such as engineers, compliance officers, heritage consultant and environmental health officers, on various issues such as flood risk and traffic considerations.
Comments and recommendations received from these areas of Council are taken into consideration by the assessing officer before a final recommendation is made.
With some forms of development, specific legislation requires that Development Applications must be referred to certain NSW Government departments and agencies, and that Council must take into consideration any comments received when determining the application. An example of this type of development would be a development that will produce large traffic volumes that require access to a state highway. The State Environmental Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 stipulates that Council must refer this type of application to the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) and must take into consideration any comments received.
Referral to other agencies may include the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Rural Fire Service and the Office of Water. Any one of these agencies or external referral bodies may need further information from you. We will advise you if this applies to your Development Application.
Some developments may also require a specific approval or licence from another authority (eg, the NSW Rural Fire Service or the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage) under other legislation. This is known as integrated development and Council must refer the application to the relevant authority and seek its general terms of approval.
Step 7: determination and notice
We will make a determination that either:
- grants conditional approval, or
- refuses the Development Application (DA).
We will send you a formal notice of determination (consent) advising whether your DA has been approved or refused. Where approval is granted, a notice of consent will include conditions and a set of your submitted plans and documentation for the development that has been endorsed (ie, stamped) as being approved. Council will, where possible, email you the notice of determination and stamped approved plans.
If Council does not support your application we will let you know in writing so you can decide if you would like to provide additional information, have the application formally refused, or withdraw your application. We may be able to refund some fees for withdrawn applications.
Please note that any construction works cannot commence until you have also received a Construction Certificate.
Conditions of consent
Any approval of development (consent) will generally be subject to conditions. The notice of consent will group conditions into the following categories to assist you in determining at what stage of the development the conditions must be complied with:
- prior to issue of the Construction Certificate
- prior to the commencement of works
- during construction
- prior to the release of the Subdivision Certificate (for applications involving subdivision)
- prior to occupation or commencement of use.
Step 8: apply for a Construction Certificate
Once you have received your development consent, you need to read the conditions which will outline what needs to be completed before, during and after construction of your development.
If your approval involves any form of construction works, you will need to obtain a Construction Certificate (CC) before carrying out any building. A CC is needed to ensure your development will meet the conditions of your consent and any required building standards such as the Building Code of Australia.
You will also need to appoint Council or a private Accredited Certifier to assess your Construction Certificate and act as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) for your proposed development.
If you decide to appoint Council as the PCA and would like us to issue your Construction Certificate, you can complete the following application:
- Construction Certificate Application and Appointment of Principal Certifying Authority Form (549.6KB).
You can also read about the different steps of the construction process and how you can apply for a Construction Certificate.
You can fast-track assessment of the CC by using Council's combined application process, allowing you to lodge your DA and CC at the same time with one application form:
- Development and Construction Certificate Application (50.3KB)
- Development Application Checklist (482.6KB).
Council's Certification Team is available to discuss your development and can provide a fee proposal so that you have all of the information available when deciding who you will appoint as your Principal Certifying Authority.
Step 9: pre-commencement of building works
You must notify Council of your intention to commence works at least two days before any building works start. This must be a formal, written notification that includes:
- the proposed start date of the building works
- the details of your appointed Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). The Principal Certifying Authority is usually the same person or organisation that issues the Construction Certificate
- the name of your builder. If you do not appoint a licensed builder and you would like to be the owner builder (project manager) for residential work exceeding $10,000, you will need to provide the Principal Certifying Authority with a copy of your Owner Builder’s Permit prior to commencement of works. If you are using a licensed builder, the builder will also need to provide your PCA with a copy of your insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (formerly Home Warranty Insurance Scheme).
You can complete the following form to notify Council of your intention to commence work:
Step 10: building works commence
Once your Construction Certificate (CC) has been issued, your building works can commence.
The Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 specifies critical stage inspections that are required at certain stages of the building works and, if missed, you may not be able to get an Occupation Certificate. You need to be aware of these inspections and ensure they are carried out at the appropriate time.
Where Council is your Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) we will provide a letter with your CC that includes a list of the critical stage inspections required throughout the construction of the building.
Either the contractor (builder) or the owner builder can request inspections from Council.
To request an inspection, contact us at least 24 hours before an inspection is needed via:
- phone: 02 4474 7444
- our online booking request form.
Once Council has completed all critical stage inspections and is satisfied that the work is compliant, you will be issued with an Occupation Certificate.
Step 11: issue of Occupation Certificate
Following completion of all critical stage inspections, and if Council is satisfied that the building work is compliant, you will be issued with an Occupation Certificate, however, you will need to apply to Council to obtain this certificate. You can make application for an Occupation Certificate at any time during the construction process.
An Occupation Certificate, issued under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979, allows a person to occupy and use a new building or change the use of an existing building.
An Occupation Certificate verifies that the Principal Certifying Authority (Council or a private Accredited Certifier) is satisfied that the building is suitable to occupy or use in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). The BCA sets the standards for the design and construction of different classes of buildings to protect health, safety and amenity. There are two types of Occupation Certificates:
- A Final Occupation Certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a new building (including alterations/extensions), or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change in its use.
- An Interim Occupation Certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a partially completed building, or of a new use of part of an existing building, resulting from a change of use of the building. If an Interim Occupation Certificate is issued, a Final Occupation Certificate is still required when all building work or the change of use is complete. A Final Occupation Certificate revokes any Occupation Certificate issued previously.
An Occupation Certificate is required for any new building work, or change of use of a building, that has development consent or a Complying Development Certificate.
Occupation Certificates are not required for buildings which are exempt development.
We can help you
If you need more information, please phone our Development Help Desk:
- T: 02 4474 1231
- E: Council's Development Help Desk
- visit our customer service centre at the corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.