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The DA 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.

Use the NSW Planning Portal from 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021, applications such as development applications and post-consent certificates must be lodged via the NSW Government's Planning Portal. From 1 July 2021 the NSW Planning Portal is the only way you can lodge these applications.

NSW Planning Portal: frequently asked questions

Find answers to all of your questions about lodging certain planning applications online through the NSW Planning Portal:

Guide to the DA process

The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's guide to the DA process 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.

If your home or business premises was destroyed or damaged by bushfire, you can also learn how we can help you through the rebuilding process.

There are many different types of development. The planning controls for Eurobodalla set out where different types of development can be undertaken.

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.

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:

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:

  1. whether the amount of native vegetation being cleared exceeds a threshold area (listed under the next heading on this page)
    or
  2. whether the area being cleared is mapped as 'sensitive' on the Biodiversity Values Map published by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
    or
  3. 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
    and
  • on a lot that was the result of a subdivision carried out before 25 August 2017
    and
  • 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.

Building and development on bushfire-prone land

Bushfire-prone land is defined as an area of land that can support a bushfire or is subject to bushfire attack, as designated on a bushfire-prone land map.

The purpose of a bushfire-prone land map is to identify land that is at risk from bushfire attack. It also triggers additional planning and development controls on bushfire-prone land for new development or building work.

To check whether your property is situated on bushfire-prone land:

  • use our GIS mapping tool where you can view Council’s bushfire-prone land maps:
    • insert your property address in the ‘address search’
    • expand the ‘development restrictions’ layer on the left side of the screen
    • tick ‘bushfire-prone land’ to see whether your property is located on bushfire-prone land.
  • or use the Planning Portal:
    • insert your property address
    • click on the ‘hazard’ layer on the left side of the screen and tick the ‘bushfire prone land’ box
    • click on the ‘legends’ tab to view the bushfire-prone land category rating
  • or order a section 10.7 planning certificate.

You can also refer to our Bushfire-prone land mapping page, where you can download the certified Bushfire-Prone Land Map for Eurobodalla Shire.

New development or building work on bushfire-prone land must comply with the requirements of the NSW Rural Fire Service’s Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019. This document outlines bushfire protection measures that may be required for new development in NSW such as ‘asset protection zones’ and ‘emergency access’.

You must also meet the requirements of Australian Standard: 3959-2018 Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas (AS3959-2018).

You will need to submit the following with your Development Application:

The report (and completed certificate) must be prepared by a suitably qualified consultant in bushfire risk assessment recognised by the NSW Rural Fire Service. These consultants can also provide advice on what building materials you can use in your development proposal.

The report must include:

  1. the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) that applies to the property
  2. the relevant Asset Protection Zones (APZ) required
  3. advice that the proposed development (including landscaping) conforms to the relevant specifications and requirements of Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 and AS3959-2018.

Please ensure that the plans referenced in the report and certificate match the plans submitted with your DA.

Refer to Step 3: Preparing and lodging your Development Application on this page for information about how to lodge your DA, and the required bushfire assessment documents.

From 1 July 2021 the NSW Government made the online lodgement of certain applications such as DAs, mandatory on the NSW Planning Portal.

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 web page 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.

Prepare your plans

Many delays that occur during the processing of applications are the result of inadequate or incorrect plans or information. We suggest you have your plans drafted by a qualified design professional, as the plans must be adequate to allow full assessment by Council and comply with the legal requirements for the standard of plans. Freehand, single line or illegible drawings will not be accepted. Your Development Application (DA) may not be registered and will be returned to you if your plans are inadequate.

Site plan

This plan is a birds-eye view of the existing and proposed development on the site and its position in relation to boundaries and neighbouring developments.

A site plan must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100 or 1:200 and include:

  • setbacks to boundaries from existing and proposed buildings
  • the location, boundary dimensions, site area and north point of the land
  • existing vegetation, trees and watercourses on the land
  • the location and uses of existing building on the land, along with floor and ridge heights
  • existing and proposed levels of the land in relation to buildings and roads
  • the location and uses of buildings on sites adjoining the land
  • proposed landscaped area and the calculations
  • Private Open Space (POS) needs to be highlighted
  • effluent disposal areas need to be nominated onsite
  • Asset Protection Zones (APZ).

Site analysis

A thorough analysis of the environmental characteristics of the site enables preparation of a design that can reinforce positive elements and minimise negative impacts.

A site plan is an aerial view of your proposal and shows its placement in relation to the boundaries of the property and to neighbouring developments. The site plan must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100 or 1:200, and shall include:

  • constraints
  • views
  • wind direction
  • solar analysis
  • adjoining development.

Vegetation removal / Biodiversity Assessment Report

A vegetation removal plan must be included in your application and must include m2 of clearing, including the entire APZ and associated clearing, ie, access roads, fencing etc, required for your development.

Are you exceeding the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme thresholds or is your property mapped on the Biodiversity Values Map? If yes to either, a Biodiversity Assessment Report must be supplied with this application.

For more information, refer to the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme.

Floor plan

A floor plan is a birds-eye view of the dwelling with the roof removed. The floor plan must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100, and must include:

  • height of floor level in relation to existing and future ground levels
  • the layout, partitioning, room sizes (dimensions) and intended uses for each part of the dwelling
  • window and door locations and sizes
  • floor levels and steps in floor levels
  • the location of plumbing fixtures
  • wall structure type and thickness
  • location and numbering of section plans (see below).

Section plan

A section plan is a diagram showing a cut through the dwelling which identifies the materials to be used in the construction.

Section plans must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100, and include:

  • section names/numbers relating to the floor plan (see above)
  • room and window heights
  • door locations and sizes
  • roof drainage
  • existing and proposed RLs for the building (ceiling and floor level), and the site showing proposed excavation and filling (if any) distance between floor levels and finished ground level
  • internal and external sheeting
  • weather proofing and flashing
  • method of construction
  • roof pitch and covering.

Elevation plans

Elevation plans are the side-on view of the dwelling or how the dwelling will look when viewed from the front, back and sides after it has been completed. Elevations of all four sides of the dwelling (north, south, east and west facing) need to be included in your application.

Elevation plans must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100, and must include:

  • exterior cladding type and roofing material
  • window and door locations and sizes
  • downpipes and gutters
  • reduced levels from an assumed datum point must be provided for roof ridge, floor, ceiling and natural ground levels.

Where land is identified by Council as flood affected, AHD levels must be established by a registered surveyor for floor and natural ground levels.

Notification plan

In addition to the above plans, you must also supply one plan on A3 or A4 size paper which shows the four elevations of the dwelling, and any other building proposed (including the maximum height of the building(s) and its position on the site giving boundary setbacks and building envelopes. This is a separate plan and it may be used by Council to notify adjoining property owners of your proposal.

It is also available to any interested members of the public who may wish to know what you propose to construct. For privacy reasons, do not show the floor plan of the building on this copy.

Landscape plan

A landscape plan prepared by a suitably qualified person is required to accompany applications for multi-unit, tourism and industrial development, or where a landscaping component is required to satisfy the BASIX requirements.

The landscape plan shall include the following information:

  • shows planting beds, fences and other landscape features
  • includes a schedule of planting indicating botanical and common names, number, mature height and descriptive or planting details
  • indicates materials, finishes of soft and hard areas and edging details
  • indicates existing vegetation to be removed or retained, the location of underground and overhead services, paved areas, garden furniture, rubbish bins, lighting and waste disposal areas, letterboxes
  • include a landscape maintenance program.

Driveway section plan

  • Details of driveways, vehicle crossing profiles and transitions - design in accordance with one of Council’s standard plans is acceptable.
  • Maximum driveway grade 1:4.

Schedule of exterior finishes

  • Exterior finishes (existing and proposed) eg, material and colour of roof, walls, etc.

Drainage

  • The proposed layout and levels for stormwater disposal, location of rainwater tank and overflow point.
  • Drainage patterns across the site, areas of concentrated runoff, ponding, possible flooding.
  • Location of any watercourse, creek, stream etc, on the site or any within 40m from the site.

Rainwater reuse concept plan

Approval of a DA for a new dwelling will require information to be lodged for the installation of a rainwater tank. In assessing the suitability of an installation, Council will take into account aesthetic considerations with regard to location, material of construction and colour scheme.

Detailed information is available in our policy and code of practice:

A concept plan for the rainwater reuse system is to be provided, which shows:

  • site layout
  • ground and inlet to water tank levels
  • tank location and size
  • hatching and calculations to show roof areas connected to the rainwater tank
  • downpipe locations
  • first flush pit size and disposal
  • surcharge pit locations and spot heights for overflow.

Services and easements

  • The location of above or below ground services, including power, water, telephone and sewer.
  • The location of any easements within and immediately adjacent to the land.
  • The location of Council’s services (including sewer, water and stormwater) within or immediately adjacent to the land.
  • The location of the existing Council road, road drains and footpath immediately adjacent to the property.

Specifications

Required where Construction Certificate (CC) applied for as part of an application. Specifications are a comprehensive written statement covering all facets of building work. One set of specifications must be lodged with your application. It must include:

  • the type of construction and materials to be used
  • type of external finishes
  • whether the materials will be new or second-hand and if second-hand materials are to be used, particulars of the materials
  • the method of drainage, sewerage/septic and water supply
  • all structural member details, including sizes.

Note: The detail required on a DA plan can be quite different to that required for a CC plan. Please refer to the Construction Certificate checklist for plan details and specifications:

BASIX

A BASIX certificate identifies the sustainability features required to be incorporated in the building design. These features may include sustainable design elements such as: recycled water; rainwater tanks; AAA rated showerheads and taps; native landscaping; heat pump or solar hot water heaters; roof eaves/awnings and wall/ceiling insulation.

The applicant will be required to submit a BASIX certificate with the DA or Complying Development Certificate Application. The plans and specifications must also identify the BASIX commitments that will be checked by a professional Building Certifier prior to release of the CC and during construction. Commencement dates and details of types of development requiring a certificate are available on the NSW Planning Portal.

Disclaimer: This page provides a summary of the major issues concerning the submission of plans for a DA. Any person using this information must do so on the basis that not every scenario and issue can be addressed.

Lodgement

From 1 July 2021, across NSW it is mandatory to lodge certain applications, such as DAs, on the NSW Planning Portal.

Quick reference guides and resources

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment also has a range of resources and quick reference guides on the NSW Planning Portal to guide you through the lodgement process:

You can also get Eurobodalla Council's answers to frequently asked questions about lodging applications through the NSW Planning Portal specifically relating to Eurobodalla customers:

Prepare all required documents

There are various supporting documents that are required to be lodged with your DA. You will need to have your supporting documents prepared, ready to upload with your application on the Planning Portal. In addition to the documents referred to in the checklist that applies to your development, you need to also complete:

Checklists

Make sure you have addressed all of the requirements detailed in the relevant checklist and have your supporting documents ready to upload with your DA:

You will need to prepare all of your supporting documents as separate PDFs.

Before you lodge your DA it is important that all of your supporting document requirements have been addressed, as you may be charged another portal service fee if you are required to re-submit your application.

Please note that portal service fees are issued by the NSW Government to support the ongoing maintenance and delivery of the NSW Planning Portal. Fees payable through the ServiceNSW gateway may incur a surcharge depending on the payment method.

If you have any queries about portal service fees, please contact ServiceNSW:

  • T:  1300 305 695.

Lodge your application electronically

Once you have prepared your supporting documents, you can lodge your DA on the NSW Planning Portal:

Your application will be reviewed by our Development Assessment Team and you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is accepted, you will be issued with an invoice for the DA application fee.

Pay your application fee

Once you receive an invoice for the DA application fee, you will need to pay the fee by following one of the payment options detailed on the invoice.

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.

Submissions

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.

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:

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 2019
  • 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.

Internal referrals

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.

External referrals

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.

We will make a determination that either:

  • grants conditional approval
    or
  • refuses the 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. 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:

  • general
  • 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.

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.

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.

You may apply to modify your development consent, provided that the modified development remains substantially the same as the one that was initially approved. There are three types of modifications:

  • 4.55(1) minor modifications - to correct a minor error, misdescription or miscalculation. For example, incorrect plan numbers were referenced on the development consent.
  • 4.55(1a) minor modifications - involving minimal environmental impact. For example, changes to an approved landscape plan or minor changes to the internal configuration of a building.
  • 4.55(2) other modifications - where environmental impact is possible. For example, changes to approved hours of operation or the external configuration of a building such as window placement or height.

If you're not able to satisfy Council that the modified proposal is substantially the same as the one that was initially approved, you will need to lodge a new DA - refer to Step 3: Preparing and lodging your DA.

Lodgement

You must prepare and lodge your Mod DA electronically on the Planning Portal.

Quick reference guides and resources

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment also has a range of applicant resources available, including quick reference guides, on the NSW Planning Portal to guide you through the lodgement process:

You can also get Eurobodalla Council's answers to frequently asked questions about lodging applications through the NSW Planning Portal specifically for Eurobodalla customers:

Prepare all required documents

There are various supporting documents that are required to be lodged with your Mod DA. You will need to have your supporting documents prepared, ready to upload with your application on the Planning Portal. In addition to the documents referred to in the checklist, you may need to also complete:

Checklist

Make sure you have addressed all of the requirements detailed in the checklist and have your supporting documents ready to upload with your Mod DA:

You will need to prepare all of your supporting documents as separate PDFs.

Before you lodge your Mod DA it is important that all of your supporting document requirements have been addressed, as you may be charged another portal service fee if you are required to re-submit your application.

Please note that portal service fees are issued by the NSW Government to support the ongoing maintenance and delivery of the NSW Planning Portal. Fees will be payable through the ServiceNSW gateway may incur a surcharge depending on the payment method.

If you have any queries about portal service fees, please contact ServiceNSW:

  • T:  1300 305 695.

Lodge your application electronically

Once you have prepared your supporting documents, you can lodge your Mod DA on the NSW Planning Portal:

Your application will be reviewed by our Development Assessment Team and you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is accepted, you will be issued with an invoice for the Mod DA application fee.

Pay your application fee

Once you receive an invoice for the Mod DA application fee, you will need to pay the fee by following one of the payment options detailed on the invoice.

For assistance using the NSW Planning Portal please contact Service NSW:

If you would like to discuss the details of your application or supporting documents you need to lodge, please contact Council's Development Help Desk: