Submitting a Development Application (DA)

Go back to web version

Print version

Preparing your Development Application

If you want to do building work on your property, erect a new building, or increase existing floorspace, you need to lodge a Development Application (DA).

Some minor works may fall under the category of a complying development, and will only require a Complying Development Certificate (CDC).

Before preparing plans, you should contact our Planning Advisers by submitting a planning enquiry. They will advise you if you need to submit a Development Application, and provide guidance about the various controls which apply, such as whether you can add a second storey, or whether your property is heritage listed.

Submit a planning enquiry 

You can also request a more in-depth pre-application meeting with a member of the planning team by submitting a pre-development application form. There is a fee for a pre-DA meeting.

Once you have confirmed you need a DA, you should:

  1. Appoint an architect or draftsperson to draw up your DA, and check it meets the local planning controls set out in our North Sydney Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
  2. Ensure that you know the lot and Deposited Plan (DP) number of your property.
  3. Complete our Development Application Checklist and Declaration form and make sure you have PDFs (no larger than 20Mb in size) of all the required plans and documents, including a Statement of Environmental Effects and landowner's consent. Owner's consent is also required if part or whole of a privately-owned property encroaches onto Council land (when our Encroachment Management Policy applies).
  4. If your development may impact the marine environment, public roads, or heritage, you may need integrated development consent from different government bodies. If you need integrated development consent, you must tick the appropriate boxes on the DA form.
  5. If your DA is for a commercial or mixed-use development with a non-residential gross floor area less than 5000myou need to complete a Commitment Table form and submit it with your DA.
  6. You must also declare any political donations or gifts you have made within the last two years to any local councillor or Council employee by completing a Political Donations and Gifts Disclosure form and submitting it with your DA.
  7. If you have a shadow diagram as part of your plans, you can get this certified by a professional using a Certification of Shadow Diagrams form
  8. Check you are not building near a sewer line, which would require consultation with Sydney Water.
  9. We also suggest you discuss the proposal with your immediate neighbours. If the works involve a shared party wall, party wall consent may be required.
  10. Prepare all your documents to lodge in the NSW Planning Portal.

More information

You can call, email or visit our Customer Service Centre for further assistance.

Contact Council

Lodging your DA on the NSW Planning Portal

Before submitting your development application, you should double check our Development Application Checklist and Declaration form to ensure you have all the required documents.  

You will then need to follow the steps below to submit your Development Application (DA) through the NSW Planning Portal:

  1. Register for a NSW Planning Portal account
  2. Ensure that you know the lot and Deposited Plan (DP) number of your property by searching the relevant database. Failure to provide the correct lot and DP information may result in your application being delayed or returned to you for completion.
  3. Log in to the NSW Planning Portal and complete your Development Application online.
  4. Upload a completed Council DA Checklist and Declaration form and any other required documents and plans. All documents must be in PDF format.
  5. Once you receive an acknowledgement and your PAN number, you can use this to check the status of your application on the NSW Planning Portal and on Council's online Application Tracker.

If you have trouble using the online NSW Planning Portal, please contact ServiceNSW.

More information

You can call, email or visit our Customer Service Centre for further assistance.

Contact Council

Next steps after DA lodgement

After lodgement in the NSW Planning Portal, your DA will be forwarded to Council for review:

  1. Your DA will be checked for accuracy and completeness in line with the DA Checklist.
  2. You will be contacted by Council staff if additional information is required to assess your DA. You will need to submit an Additional Information form through the NSW Planning Portal and pay the associated archiving fee. 
  3. If your application is considered appropriate for processing, you will be invoiced for the appropriate DA fees.
  4. Once you've paid the full DA fees and received a receipt by email, your DA is considered formally lodged.

Processing times vary with the type of DA, its lodgement date and the issues that it presents. Extended turnaround times will apply in the case of additional information and/or amended plans being required. Further delays can be anticipated if applications require renotification or referral to an external panel. 

Development Application fees and levies

Fees are calculated based on the estimated contract value of the proposed works. To assist with project budgeting, refer to:

Development Application Fee Calculator

Development Applications - general fees

Public exhibition of a DA

All DAs are listed on our Application Tracker.

Once a DA is completed and lodged, it will be advertised in accordance with Council's Community Engagement Protocol, which may include:

  • notifying adjoining neighbours or persons likely to be affected
  • additional advertising on Council's website
  • referral to the local Precinct Committee for comment
  • advertising locally by a sign placed on the street frontage of the property.

The application will be advertised for a 14-day period, during which time Council will accept submissions from the public. Some works, such as internal works, will not require any advertising or for neighbours to be notified.

A Council Planning Officer assigned to the DA will decide:

  • whether the proposal adheres to Council's planning controls
  • if the plans should be amended
  • whether to recommend Council's approval of the application.

Submissions on the development are considered during this stage.

Some larger applications, such as residential flat buildings (apartments) or applications that attract more than 10 submissions, will take more time to process. 

Applications will be referred for external assessment when there is a potential for a perceived or real conflict of interest arising from an individual's (or company's) association with North Sydney Council. Examples include:

  • an individual is a Councillor or a staff member
  • a company is a business partner or contractor to Council
  • the property is owned by Council
  • there is potential for the perception of bias
  • the Council stands to benefit in material or non-material terms through the approval of the proposal.

More information

You can call, email or visit our Customer Service Centre for further assistance.

Contact Council

Development Application decisions

If a DA generally complies with Council's development standards and has not raised any community objections, it may be approved by staff without the need to go to a Council meeting or a North Sydney Local Planning Panel meeting (NSLPP).

Once a DA has been determined, the applicant will be advised in writing of the decision, which will be one of the following:

  • approval
  • approval with certain conditions OR
  • refusal.

Approval with conditions 

Conditions attached to an approval may include:

  • payment of certain charges for work on Council land, such as footpaths
  • payment of charges to protect trees
  • payment of contributions toward community facilities (such as libraries, parks etc) that future residents may need.
  • for builders, an additional payment of the State Government Long Service Levy.

Deadline to complete approved works

You have five years from the start date stated in the Development Consent to start the approved works. The lapse date is also shown on the Consent.

More information

You can call, email or visit our Customer Service Centre for further assistance.

Contact Council

Request a review of determination 

Any applicant can request, via the NSW Planning Portal, that Council conduct a 'Review of Determination' within six months of the planning application decision. 

This does not apply to designated or integrated developments. The application for a review must include an explanation of why Council should review its decision.


Modifying approved DAs

Any proposed modifications must be in keeping with the original consent or approval granted. 

Apply to modify an approved Development form

The application to modify an approved development must be submitted on the NSW Planning Portal

If you modify your Development Consent, the start and lapse dates (five years after approval) do not change from those shown on the original consent.

Go back to web version