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Dwelling entitlement search

When buying a property, especially a vacant site, a very important question to consider is 'can I build a dwelling house on the land?' - not all rural land has a legal right to have a dwelling erected upon the land. You may have seen or heard this referred to as a dwelling entitlement.

A dwelling entitlement refers to the potential for Council to approve a dwelling on a certain property. It is important for the community and land-owners to understand that under current Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), rural zones are primarily used for rural production and not the construction of dwellings, unless a dwelling entitlement exists.

The rural zoning that requires a dwelling entitlement search is Zone RU1 - Primary Production.

Check the zoning of your land

You can find out what zone applies to your land to determine whether a dwelling entitlement search is required:

The factors that determine if a property has a dwelling entitlement are the:

  • size of the property
  • zoning history of the land holding
  • date of subdivision approval.

Advice regarding dwelling entitlements within Eurobodalla Shire will include information such as:

Please note that dwelling entitlement advice does not constitute development approval being granted. If the land has a dwelling entitlement, you will still need to apply for development consent by lodging a Development Application. In this regard, consent is dependent upon a merit-based assessment under Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The planning regulations for dwelling entitlements do change over time, and the advice you receive from a dwelling entitlement search only applies at the date of issue. If a previous dwelling entitlement search has been carried out, you will need a new search to confirm if this information is still current. Please note that if you are applying for a dwelling entitlement search for multiple adjoining lots under the same ownership, only one application fee will apply.

Note: if there is an existing approved dwelling on your rural land, you will need a building records search instead to find out what approvals exist (if any) for the dwelling on this land.

Applying for a dwelling entitlement search

You can apply for a dwelling entitlement search by:

  1. sending your written request, including the lot and DP particulars of all relevant parcels of land
  2. paying the application fee of $373. For more complex requests, the standard fee will apply to the first two hours then a fee of $80 per hour will apply thereafter
  3. completing the credit card payment form:
    1. credit card payment form (833 KB).

Your written request and credit card payment form can be submitted:

  • by applying online: via our eServices system
  • in person: at the customer service centre, corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, between 8.30am and 4.30pm
  • by email: Council
  • by post: Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99, Moruya NSW 2537.

Council will usually process a dwelling entitlement search request within 14 days and it will be emailed or mailed to you. Complex searches can take longer, and we will contact you to give you an estimated timeframe if this is the case.

Who can apply for a dwelling entitlement search?

Anyone can apply for a dwelling entitlement search, however, conveyancers, solicitors and prospective property owners are the most common applicants.

More information

For more information, contact our Development Help Desk: