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.
This 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.
The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and 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.
This page also explains the development process in more detail and the 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.
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.
If you would like some help before you get started, we are available to help you understand the development process and answer your questions:
If your development includes vegetation removal
The NSW Government introduced a new Biodiversity Offsets Scheme in August 2017 to consistently assess and offset the environmental impacts of developments that involve clearing. Below are the steps you need to take if your development involves clearing native vegetation.
1. Determine if the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme applies
- There are three key triggers for entry into the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) for developers or land owners for all development that requires the removal of native vegetation. To determine if the BOS applies, please refer to the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's web page, How the Biodiversity Offset Scheme Works.
- Please note that you must consider all clearing associated with the development, including clearing for driveways, fences and asset protection zones (APZ) for bushfire safety. You may engage a bushfire consultant to help determine clearing required for an APZ.
If you determine the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme does not apply to your development, you must include a tree plan showing the extent of clearing (m2) in your Development Application to support your decision.
2. Contact an accredited assessor
If the scheme applies, you must contact an accredited assessor to assess the environmental impacts.
3. Assessor completes a Biodiversity Assessment report
The assessor may suggest changes to your proposal to avoid and minimise environmental impacts. The accredited assessor will give you a Biodiversity Assessment Report, which includes any offset requirements.
4. Submit the Biodiversity Assessment Report with your Development Application
Ensure the Biodiversity Assessment Report has been certified within 14 days of your application.
5. Council assesses the Development Application
Council considers all aspects of the application. If there are serious and irreversible impacts to the environment, the application must be refused.
6. Comply with offset requirements
If approved, the conditions of consent may include offset requirements to be met before starting construction. Offset requirements might include purchasing biodiversity credits, funding a conservation action or making a payment into the Biodiversity Conservation Trust Fund. Costs are negotiated on a case-by-case basis and it does not involve Council.
Where can I get more information?
Contact the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment for more information about the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme and meeting offset requirements:
- T: 1300 361 967
- E: Biodiversity Offsets Scheme Support
Biodiversity Offset Scheme thresholds
The Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 sets out thresholds for when the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme will be triggered.
The threshold has three triggers:
- whether the amount of native vegetation being cleared exceeds a threshold area (listed under the next heading on this page)
- whether the area being cleared is mapped as 'sensitive' on the Biodiversity Values Map published by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
- whether a significant impact is likely according to a 'test of significance'.
If clearing meets or exceeds any trigger, the Biodiversity Offset Scheme applies to the development proposal.
Area clearing threshold
The area threshold varies depending on the minimum lot size shown on the lot size maps in the Eurobodalla Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2012.
The area threshold applies to all proposed native vegetation clearing associated with a development proposal - for example in the case of a subdivision, all future clearing across the lots subject to the subdivision must be considered.
|Minimum lot size associated with the property||Threshold for clearing above which the Offset Scheme applies|
Less than 1 hectare
0.25 hectares or more
1 hectare to less than 40 hectares
0.5 hectares or more
40 hectares to less than 1000 hectares
1 hectare or more
1000 hectares or more
2 hectares or more
Biodiversity Values Map
The Biodiversity Values Map identifies land with high biodiversity value, as defined by clause 7.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017. The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme applies to any clearing of native vegetation on land mapped as sensitive, unless the proposal is:
- not for a subdivision
- on a lot that was the result of a subdivision carried out before 25 August 2017
- zoned R2, R3, RUS, Bl, 82, 84, BS or INl.
You can access the Biodiversity Values Map from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment's website.
Test of significance
If a development proposal does not trigger the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme by exceeding the clearing or mapping thresholds, but there are threatened species or communities likely to occur on the site, an ecologist must undertake a 'test of significance' of the impacts.
If the 'test of significance' indicates there could be a significant impact, you must engage an accredited assessor to complete a Biodiversity Assessment Report.
You can engage an environmental consultant to assist you with these ecological reports.
Step 3: Preparing and lodging your Development Application
Complete a Development Application 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 (DA). The SEE must include:
- environmental impacts of the development
- how these environmental impacts have been identified
- the steps taken to protect the environment or to lessen the expected harm to the environment.
You can use this proforma of the SEE for minor applications:
For all other applications please refer to our webpage about preparing a Statement of Environmental Effects.
If you have a larger development, or a development with high environmental value, you may need to lodge a site-specific SEE with your DA.
This fact sheet explains how to prepare your plans for lodgement with your DA and the detailed information required:
Lodge your application online
You can now lodge your DA online. Lodging online is convenient and efficient, and you can pay for your application online at the time of lodgement via our safe payment gateway.
To lodge online:
- register for an eProperty user account to start your application
- login to submit the online application form
- complete and submit your application
- pay for your application
- once you have submitted your application, you can track its progress by using our DA Tracking Tool
- complete this elodgement for Development Applications and checklist form and email it to our Development Help Desk:
elodgement for Development Applications and checklist (2 MB).
Lodge your application by email
We encourage you to lodge your application online via our online applications system, but you can also lodge your application by email to Council's Development Help Desk.
To assist Council in receiving and processing your application as quickly as possible:
- email your application to the Development Help Desk
- use the subject line: DA lodgement – ‘property address’
- attach the relevant application, plans and all documentation, as required by the checklist
- attach the credit card payment form, as per your fee quote provided by the Development Help Desk, and email to the Development Help Desk:
After you lodge you application by email:
- You will receive an automated email reply. If you do not receive an automated reply, it is your responsibility to ensure that the Development Help Desk has received your application by emailing the officers to obtain confirmation.
- When we receive your application, our Development Help Desk will check that you have supplied all the required information. We will contact you by return email if we require any further information.
- If satisfactorily, you will receive confirmation that your application has been lodged within a few days (typically two to three days).
- Your application will be forwarded for payment processing, reviewed and allocated to a Development Assessment Officer.
- Once registered, you will receive an acknowledgement email advising the DA number so you can track its progress online. You can track the progress of your DA with our online DA Tracking Tool.
Electronic documents lodged with Council may be published on Council's website.
What to include when you lodge by email
Please ensure your electronic documents satisfy the following criteria:
- PDF format - all documents, plans, application forms etc, must be submitted as PDF files. PDF documents can comprise numerous pages - please follow the file naming protocol in the below examples:
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - A - Application form and checklist
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - B – Credit card payment form
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - C - Suite of plans (site, floor, elevations, landscape etc,)
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - D - A4/A3 notification plan
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - E - Statement of Environmental Effects
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - F - BASIX Certificate
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - G - Bushfire Assessment Report
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - H - Waste Management Plan
- 101 Beach Road, Batemans Bay - I - Specialist report (eg, heritage, flora and fauna etc,).
- Formatting - all files are to be formatted to scale and pages rotated accordingly.
- File size - all files are to be optimised to reduce file size for transmission as a single email. Council’s email system does not accept files larger than 20MB.
- File names - the name should clearly indicate the document content and the property address (see above file naming protocol examples).
- Plan set - all plans are to be provided as a single file containing multiple pages.
Applications and checklists
- 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
Our Community Engagement Framework and Participation Plan requires Council to notify the public about some types of Development Applications, such as development that may impact neighbour views or 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 community members can give 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.
Community members can make submissions via 'Applications on exhibition' on our ePlanning web page.
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 for the assessing officer to seek advice from officers of different areas of Council beyond the main town planning and building assessment officers. This can include engineers, compliance officers, heritage consultant and environmental health officers. An example is seeking advice on issues such as flood risk and traffic considerations.
The assessing officer will consider comments and recommendations from these Council officers before making a final recommendation.
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 is a development that will produce large traffic volumes that require access to a state highway. The State Environmental Planning 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 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, Rural Fire Service and the NSW 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 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment) 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
- refuses the Development Application.
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. Where possible, we will 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 development consent, you need to read the conditions that will outline what must 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 Construction Certificate 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 either Council or a private registered certifier to assess your Construction Certificate and act as the principal certifier for your proposed development.
If you decide to appoint Council as the principal certifier and would like us to issue your Construction Certificate, complete the application form on this page and return it to Council along with your plans, the relevant application fee and specifications and construction detail:
- Construction Certificate Application and Appointment of Principal Certifier Form (550KB).
- You can phone or email Council's Development Help Desk to obtain a fee quote for lodgement of your application:
- T: 02 4474 1231
- E: Council's Development Help Desk.
You can also read about the different steps of the construction process and how you can apply for a Construction Certificate.
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 certifier.
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 certifier. The principal certifier 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 certifier 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 principal certifier with a copy of your insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (formerly Home Warranty Insurance Scheme).
You can complete this form to notify Council of your intention to commence work:
Step 10: Building works commence
Once your Construction Certificate 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 certifier, we will provide a letter with your Construction Certificate 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:
- T: 02 4474 7444
- W: Council's 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
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, that has development consent or a Complying Development Certificate. Occupation Certificates are not required for buildings which are exempt development.
Following completion of all critical stage inspections, and if Council is satisfied that the building work is compliant, you can be issued with an Occupation Certificate.
An Occupation Certificate verifies that the principal certifier (either Council or a private registered certifier) is satisfied that the building is suitable to occupy or use in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia. The code 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.
You can make application for an Occupation Certificate at any time during the construction process.
We can help you
For more information, contact our Development Help Desk:
- T: 02 4474 1231
- E: Council's Development Help Desk