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The DA process

Development includes building, renovating, demolishing and changing the use of a building or land. If you are considering developing, you may need to submit a Development Application (DA) to seek Council approval.

Council's flowchart shows the major steps in the development process. It is a general guide only and does not cover every scenario. Processes may vary for some developments based on legislative requirements:

  • Flowchart of the Development Application process (237.2 KB)
  • 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.

    Guide to the DA process

    The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) has developed a guide that helps explain the DA process. The guide will help you to prepare and submit an application and will explain the next steps required to begin building.

    This page also explains the development process in more detail and the steps that your DA will go through.

    If bushfires destroyed or damaged your home or business, 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.

    You can carry out some minor building works such as garden sheds or carports without requiring approval from Council.

    For existing commercial properties you can also undertake some changes in use or signage without approval. These are examples of exempt development.

    You can also carry out some larger but straightforward development as complying development. This is a combined DA and Construction Certificate (CC) process.

    If your proposal is not exempt or complying development, you will need to submit a DA.

    You can use our land-mapping tool to access information on your property to help you prepare your DA. This includes zoning, heritage and development control information.

    Read Council's 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 you can carry out.
    • The Development Control Plan (DCP) sets out 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.

    New houses must meet a basic level of energy efficiency. Factors such as the location of the home, hot water and energy systems, insulation and window area dictate the rating achieved.

    Before you get started on your application, we can help you to understand the development process and answer your questions:

    If your development involves removing vegetation or a prescribed biodiversity impact

    The NSW Government introduced a new Biodiversity Offsets Scheme (BOS) in August 2017. The purpose of the scheme is to assess and offset the biodiversity impacts of development that involves clearing of native vegetation and other biodiversity impacts prescribed by clause 6.1 of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.

    On this page you will find the steps you need to take if your development involves clearing native vegetation or a prescribed biodiversity impact:

    1. Determine if the BOS applies

    • There are three key triggers for entry into the BOS. These triggers apply to any development that requires native vegetation to be removed or a prescribed biodiversity impact.
    • You must consider all clearing associated with your development. This includes clearing for driveways, fences and Asset Protection Zones (APZ) for bushfire safety. You can engage a bushfire consultant to help determine clearing required for an APZ.
    • If you determine the BOS doesn't apply to your development, you will need to include a vegetation removal plan. This plan must show the extent of clearing (m2) in your DA to support your decision.
    More information
    • You can read about the BOS triggers and if they apply to your development under the heading 'BOS thresholds'.
    • Find more information about the BOS on the Department of Planning and Environment's (DPE) website.
    • biodiversity assessment and approvals decision support tool is available from the Office of Local Government to help identify biodiversity assessment requirements for proposed developments and activities.

    2. Contact an accredited assessor

    If the BOS applies, you must contact an accredited assessor to assess the environmental impacts:

    The BOS is based on the ‘avoid, minimise, offset’ hierarchy. Using the hierarchy, you must:

    1. consider whether the development can avoid a negative impact on biodiversity values
    2. then consider whether the development can minimise any negative impacts that cannot be avoided
    3. once all reasonable steps to avoid or minimise biodiversity impacts have been exhausted, consider whether any remaining impacts can be offset.

    3. Accredited assessor completes a Biodiversity Assessment Report

    The assessor may suggest changes to your proposal to avoid and minimise any biodoversity impacts. The assessor will provide a BAR which includes any offset requirements.

    4. Submit the BAR with your DA

    You must ensure the BAR is certified within 14 days of your application.

    5. Council assesses your DA

    Council will assess and consider all aspects of your application. If there are serious and irreversible impacts on biodiversity values, Council will refuse your application.

    6. Comply with offset requirements

    If Council approves your application, you are required to comply with the conditions of consent. This will need to occur before any Construction Certificate or Subdivision Works Certificate can be issued, and may include offset requirements such as:
    • purchasing biodiversity credits
    • funding a conservation action
    • making a payment into the Biodiversity Conservation Trust Fund.
    Costs are negotiated on a case-by-case basis and Council is not involved in this process.

    More information

    Contact DPE for more information about the BOS and offset requirements:

    BOS thresholds

    The Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017 sets out the thresholds that trigger the BOS. The threshold has three triggers, whether:
    1. the amount of native vegetation you're proposing to clear exceeds an area threshold
    2. the impacts occur in an area mapped on the Biodiversity Values Map (BV Map) published by the Environment Agency Head
    3. a significant impact is likely according to a 'test of significance'.
    If native vegetation clearing or biodiversity impacts meet or exceed any trigger, the BOS will apply to your development proposal.

    1. 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. It applies to all proposed clearing of native vegetation in your development proposal. For example, in the case of a subdivision, it is important to consider all future clearing across the lots subject to the subdivision.

    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

    2. Biodiversity Values Map

    The BV Map identifies land with high biodiversity value defined by clause 7.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.

    3. Test of significance

    If your development proposal does not trigger the BOS by exceeding the clearing or mapping thresholds, but threatened species or ecological communities are likely to occur on the site, an ecologist must carry out a 'test of significance' of the impacts.
    If the test shows there could be a significant impact, an accredited assessor must complete a Biodiversity Assessment Report (BAR).

    Building and development on bushfire-prone land

    Bushfire-prone land is 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 further planning and development controls for building or development on bushfire-prone land.

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

    • use our land-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,
    • 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,
    • order a section 10.7 planning certificate
    • download the certified bushfire-prone land map for Eurobodalla Shire.

    New development or building on bushfire-prone land must adhere to the requirements of the NSW Rural Fire Service's Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019. This document outlines bushfire protection measures required for new development in NSW. These measures include APZs 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 lodge with your DA:

    A qualified consultant in bushfire risk assessment must prepare this report and certificate. It is imperative that the consultant is an accredited practitioner recognised by the NSW RFS. They 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 your property
    2. the relevant APZ required
    3. advice that your 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.

    Prepare your supporting documents

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

    You must submit a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) with your DA if the development is not State significant. The SEE must include:

    • environmental impacts of the development
    • how you identified these environmental impacts
    • 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 page preparing a Statement of Environmental Effects.

    If you have a larger development or a development with high environmental value, you may need to submit a site-specific SEE with your DA.

    If you are building on bushfire-prone land you'll also need to prepare:

    You can read information about these documents under 'Building and development on bushfire-prone land'.


    Many delays that occur when processing DAs are the result of inadequate or incorrect plans or information. Council recommends you engage a qualified design professional to draft your plans. The plans must be adequate to allow Council to make a full assessment:
    • Plans must adhere to the legal requirements for the standard of plans.
    • Plans must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100.
    • Council will not accept freehand, single line or illegible drawings.
    • Council may not be able to register your DA if your plans are inadequate.
    Site plan
    A site plan is an aerial view of the existing and proposed development on the site and its position in relation to boundaries and neighbouring developments. A site plan must 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 use of existing buildings 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 use of buildings on sites adjoining the land
    • proposed landscaped area and the calculations
    • private open space highlighted
    • nominated effluent disposal areas onsite
    • APZs.
    Floor plan
    A floor plan is a birds-eye view of your dwelling with the roof removed. The floor plan must include the:
    • height of floor level in relation to existing and future ground levels
    • layout, partitioning, room sizes (dimensions) and intended use for each part of your dwelling
    • window and door locations and sizes
    • floor levels and steps in floor levels
    • location of plumbing fixtures
    • wall structure type and thickness
    • location and numbering of section plans.
    Notification plan
    You must supply one plan (A3 or A4 size) which includes the four elevations of your dwelling. The plan should also show:
    • any other proposed building (including the maximum height of the building(s)
    • its position on the site
    • boundary setbacks
    • building envelopes.
    This is a separate plan to the other plans required and Council may use it to notify adjoining property owners of your proposal. The plan is also available to members of the public interested in your proposal. For privacy reasons, do not show the floor plan of your building on this copy.
    Section plan
    A section plan is a diagram which shows a cut through the dwelling. It identifies the materials that you will use in the construction. Section plans must include:
    • section names/numbers relating to the floor plan
    • room and window heights
    • door locations and sizes
    • roof drainage
    • existing and proposed RLs for the building (ceiling and floor levels) 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 your dwelling or how it will look when viewed from the front, back and sides after it's completed. Your application must include elevations of all four sides of the dwelling (north, south, east and west facing). Elevation plans must include:
    • exterior cladding type and roofing material
    • window and door locations and sizes
    • downpipes and gutters
    • reduced levels from an assumed datum point for roof ridge, floor, ceiling and natural ground levels.
    If Council identifies your land as flood-affected, a registered surveyor will need to provide AHD levels for floor and natural ground levels.
    Landscape plan
    You will need to provide a landscape plan prepared by a suitably qualified person, if your application involves a:
    • multi-unit, tourism or industrial development,
    • landscaping component to meet the BASIX requirements.
    The plan must include the following information:
    • planting beds, fences and other landscape features
    • planting schedule including:
      • botanical and common names
      • number of plants
      • mature height
      • planting details
      • materials, finishes of soft and hard areas and edging details
      • existing vegetation to be removed or retained
      • landscape maintenance program
    • location of:
      • underground and overhead services
      • paved areas
      • garden furniture
      • rubbish bins
      • waste disposal areas
      • letterbox
      • lighting.
    Vegetation removal plan
    • Consider all clearing associated with your development. This includes clearing for:
      • driveways
      • fences
      • APZ for bushfire safety.
    • You can engage a bushfire consultant to help determine clearing required for an APZ.
    • If the BOS doesn't apply to your development, you will need to include a vegetation removal plan.
    • The vegetation removal plan must show the extent of clearing (m2) in your DA to support your decision.
    Driveway section plan
    • Details of driveways, vehicle crossing profiles and transitions. A design using one of Council’s standard plans is acceptable.
    • Maximum driveway grade:1:4.
    Rainwater reuse concept plan
    For new dwellings, Council requires information relating to the installation of a rainwater tank with your DA. You will need to provide a concept plan for the rainwater reuse system 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.
    When Council assesses the suitability of the rainwater tank installation, we will take into account the:
    • location of the tank
    • materials used
    • colour scheme.
    Detailed information is available in our code of practice:

    Services and easements

    The location of:

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

    Schedule of exterior finishes

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


    • 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 and possible flooding.
    • Location of any watercourse, creek, stream etc, on the site or any within 40m from the site.

    Site analysis

    An analysis of the environmental characteristics of the site will enable preparation of a design that:
    • reinforces the positive elements
    • minimises the negative impacts.

    Vegetation removal and Biodiversity Assessment Report

    You must include a vegetation removal plan in your application. The plan must include the APZ and associated clearing (m2), ie, access roads and fencing etc, required for your development. You should also submit a BAR with your application if:

    For more information, refer to the BOS.


    You will need to provide specifications when you apply for a Construction Certificate (CC) as part of an application. Specifications are a comprehensive written statement covering all aspects of building work. You must submit one set of specifications with your application and include:
    • the type of construction and materials you propose to use
    • type of external finishes
    • whether the materials will be new or second-hand and if second-hand, provide details
    • the method of drainage, sewerage/septic and water supply
    • all structural member details, including sizes.
    Note: The detail required in a DA plan is quite different to the detail in a CC plan. You can refer to the checklist for plan details and specifications:


    A BASIX certificate identifies the sustainability features required in the building design. These features, known as sustainability commitments, 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
    • wall/ceiling insulation.

    You will need to submit a BASIX certificate with your DA or Complying Development Certificate Application (CDC).

    Your plans and specifications must identify the BASIX commitments. The construction process will be inspected by your building certifier.

    Other supporting documents required

    There are various other supporting documents you will need to prepare and upload with your DA. Some of these include:

    Lodge your DA

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

    Step 1: prepare to upload your supporting documents

    Once you have prepared the supporting documents detailed on this page, you will need to save them as separate PDFs and label the files, ready to upload with your DA.
    File naming protocol example
    Title of document
    • Development Application Checklist
    • Plan Set (site, floor, elevations, landscape etc,)
    • Statement of Environmental Effects
    • BASIX Certificate
    • Bushfire Assessment Report
    • Waste Management Plan
    • Specialist Report (eg. heritage, flora and fauna etc,).
    Amended documents

    Amended plans or documents submitted for applications currently under assessment must also be labelled in this format, with the updated issue/revision number and date as an extension to the document title. For example:

    • Title of Document – Revision Number – DAY MONTH YEAR.pdf.

    Step 2: address all requirements in the checklist that applies to your development

    You will need to address all requirements outlined in the checklist that applies to your development:

    This is important so that you're not charged another portal service fee to re-submit your DA. The NSW Government issues portal service fees to support the ongoing maintenance and delivery of the Planning Portal.

    Please note that fees payable through the ServiceNSW gateway may incur a surcharge.

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

    • T:  1300 305 695.

    Step 3: lodge your DA and supporting documents on the NSW Planning Portal

    Council's Development Assessment Team will review your application and notify you of the outcome.

    Council will issue you with an invoice for the DA application fee if we accept your application.

    Step 4: 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.

    Council's Community Engagement Strategy states that we must notify the public about some types of DAs. This includes development that may impact neighbour views or privacy, or overshadow other properties:
    Council is not required to notify neighbours or the public for most residential development. This includes new dwellings that comply with all development controls. If Council does need to notify neighbours or the public, we will:
    • send a letter and a copy of your plans to adjoining and adjacent landowners
    • publish details of your DA in the local newspaper
    • make plans available for viewing on our website under 'development proposals on exhibition' on our lodge, track and plan page
    • erect a notice on the development site
    • include details of your DA on our online DA tracking tool.


    During the notification period community members can provide feedback about your development proposal. They can do this by making a written submission to Council online:
    A planning officer will review any submissions received. In some instances, the officer may ask you to consider and respond to the issues raised before they can determine your application.

    A planning officer will assess your application under Section 4.15 of the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. During the assessment process the planning officer will inspect the site and consider:
    The planning officer will also consider:

    Council will contact you if there are concerns about your proposal or if we need further information from you. You will have 28 days to provide a response to allow us to continue to assess your application.

    Internal referrals

    Your planning officer may need to seek advice from officers in other areas of Council, depending on the type of development proposal. This can include engineers, compliance officers, heritage consultants and environmental health officers. The officer will consider the comments and recommendations received from other officers before making a final recommendation.

    External referrals

    Your planning officer may need to refer your DA to certain NSW Government departments and agencies. This is dependent upon the type of development you are proposing. The officer must consider any comments received when determining the application.

    A development that will produce a large volume of traffic and requires access to a State highway is the type of development the planning officer will refer. The State Environmental Planning Policy (Transport and Infrastructure) 2021 (previously State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007) stipulates that Council must refer this type of application to the Roads and Maritime Service (RMS) and consider any comments received.

    Referral to other agencies may include DPE, RFS and WaterNSW. These agencies or external referral bodies may need further information from you. The planning offer will inform you if this applies to your DA.

    Some developments also need a specific approval or licence from other authorities such as the RFS. This is known as integrated development. Council must refer the application to the relevant authority and seek its general terms of approval.

    Council will make a determination and:
    • grant conditional approval
    • refuse the DA.
    Council will issue a formal notice of determination (consent) to you which will specify whether your DA is approved or refused.
    • If Council approves your DA, the notice of consent will include conditions. Council will provide you with a set of the stamped and approved plans and documentation by email, if possible.
    • If Council does not support your application we will let you know in writing. This will give you the opportunity to decide whether you would like to:
      • provide further information
      • have the application formally refused,
      • withdraw your application.
    • If you decide to withdraw your application Council may be able to refund some fees.
    Please note that construction cannot start until Council has issued the CC.

    Conditions of consent

    Any development approval (consent) will generally be subject to conditions. The notice of consent will group the conditions into categories. This will help you to determine at what stages of the development you need to comply with the conditions:
    • general
    • prior to issue of the CC
    • prior to the start of works
    • during construction
    • prior to the release of the Subdivision Certificate (for applications involving subdivision)
    • prior to occupation or start of use.

    Once Council issues development consent, you will need to read the conditions. These consent conditions outline what you must complete:
    • before construction begins
    • during construction, and
    • after construction of your development
    If your approval involves any form of construction works, you will need to apply for a CC. Once your principal certifier issues the CC, you can start building. A CC is necessary to ensure your development will meet the conditions of your consent. This includes any required building standards such as the Building Code of Australia.
    You will also need to appoint a principal certifier to assess the CC for your proposed development. You can engage Council or a private registered certifier.
    • Council's Certification Team is available to discuss your development. If you would like to appoint Council as your principal certifier we can provide you with a fee proposal.

    You can apply to modify your development consent if the modified development remains substantially the same as the initial approved development. There are three types of modifications:

    • 4.55(1) minor modifications: to correct a minor error, misdescription or miscalculation. For example, incorrect plan numbers referenced on the development consent.
    • 4.55(1a) minor modifications: involves 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 initial approved development, you will need to lodge a new DA.

    Lodge your Mod DA

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

    Step 1: prepare your supporting documents

    There are various supporting documents that you will need to prepare and upload with your Mod DA. Some of these include:

    You must save all supporting documents as separate PDFs, ready to upload with your Mod DA.

    Step 2: address all requirements in the checklist

    You will need to address all requirements outlined in the checklist:

    This is important so that you're not charged another portal service fee to re-submit your Mod DA. The NSW Government issues portal service fees to support the ongoing maintenance and delivery of the Planning Portal.

    Please note that fees payable through the ServiceNSW gateway may incur a surcharge.

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

    • T:  1300 305 695.

    Step 3: lodge your Mod DA and supporting documents on the Planning Portal

    You can now lodge your Mod DA and supporting documents on the NSW Planning Portal:

    Council's Development Assessment Team will then review your application and notify you of the outcome.

    Council will issue you with an invoice for the Mod DA application fee if we accept your application.

    Step 4: 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.

    Resources to help you lodge your DA on the Planning Portal

    DPE has a range of resources to guide you through the DA lodgement process:

    You can also get Council's answers to frequently asked questions about lodging DAs through the Planning Portal. This information relates to Eurobodalla customers:

    We can help you

    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:

    Disclaimer: This page provides a summary of the major issues relating to the submission of plans for a DA. This information does not address every issue that could occur.