What is a Development Application?

A Development Application is commonly referred to as a DA. It is a formal request for consent to carry out proposed development, such as change of use of land, subdivide land, and carry out building, landscaping and other work. 

You must lodge a Development Application and have it approved by Council before you begin. A Development Application consists of:

  • Plans and drawings of the proposed development
  • Statement of Environmental Effects and supporting documentation
  • Application form

Generally speaking any building work in heritage conservation areas or affecting properties that are heritage items needs Council approval, and depending on the type, height and size of structure you propose to build you may also need consent even if you live outside these areas. New two storey dwellings; alterations and additions to dwellings and other buildings, as well as changes of use of a building may require Council approval.

What makes a good DA?

Good developments, whether small or large, succeed because projects are well conceived as part of a thorough site analysis process, have been designed having regard to Council’s planning rules and are well documented to enable Council to carry out assessments. 

For major applications, the process is not simple and may benefit from the employment of expert consultants such as planners, architects and other relevant experts.

It is good practice to consult with your neighbours or other persons or bodies that may be affected by your development. Issues can be identified at an early stage and addressed as part of your planning process.

You, or your architect, should not commence the design of a project until you have completed your site analysis, have read and fully understand the planning rules and have consulted with those who may be affected.

Illegal Work

Unauthorised development, or using a premises without the required approvals is an offence, which can result in significant penalties.