Starting construction after development approval

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Overview of commencing construction

Once your development has been approved, you have five years from the commencement date in the Development Consent to start the approved works. The lapse date is also shown on the consent.

If you modify your Development Consent, the commencement and lapse dates do not change from those on the original consent.

You need to complete the following steps before construction work can begin: 

  1. Choose a Principal Certifier (PC), which can be Council or an accredited Private Certifier. You can get a list of Private Certifiers from the Department of Planning and Environment.
  2. Obtain a Construction Certificate from your chosen Principal Certifier. Works approved in a Construction Certificate must still be commenced before the lapse date on the Development Consent.
  3. Notify Council in writing two working days prior to commencement of work, irrespective of who is your Principal Certifier. 
  4. If you have conditions attached to your development approval, you may need to demonstrate that your construction will adhere to the development consent conditions, by completing a Satisfy a development consent condition form and submitting it to Council.

During construction, you must:

  • get the development inspected by your Principal Certifier at each nominated stage of the construction (detailed in your Development Consent)
  • each inspection must be satisfactory before you proceed with the next stage
  • you may need to demonstrate you have satisfied a condition of your development consent
  • a final inspection and Occupation Certificate is required before you occupy a building
  • if Council is nominated as the PC, a separate application must be lodged for an Occupation Certificate.

Failure to have stages or components inspected may result in legal proceedings and Council refusing to issue a Building Certificate or allow the occupation or use of the completed building. On the spot penalties apply for non-compliance with the development consent, including failure to obtain progress or final inspections.

Standard construction hours are:

  • Monday to Friday - 7am to 5pm
  • Saturday - 8am to 1pm
  • Sunday and Public Holidays - no work is permitted

Applicants can apply to Council for work outside of these hours, however approval is only granted in extreme circumstances, like shop fit-outs overnight or where demolition or erection of structures such as cranes or hoardings may be a risk to public safety during daylight hours.

More information

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

Contact Council

Choosing Council as your Principal Certifier

To nominate Council as your Principal Certifier, you will need to complete the following form and submit it via the NSW Planning Portal.

Apply to appoint Council as your Principal Certifier

Obtaining a Construction Certificate from Council

You will then need to get a Construction Certificate.

To request one from Council, you must complete a Construction Certificate application and declaration forms and lodge them via the NSW Planning Portal

Construction Certificate application and declaration forms

View certificate fees

Submitting a Notice of Commencement of Building Works

Before you begin works, you must also submit a Notice of Commencement of Building Works form with Council, even if Council is your Principal Certifier.

You need to provide at least two working days notice.

Give Notice of Commencement of Building Works

Request Council Principal Certifier inspection

To request a Council Principal Certifier inspection, call our Customer Service Centre and provide the following details:

  • the date the inspection is required (note, at least two working days notice is required)
  • your name and telephone number 
  • the Development Application number or Compliance Certificate number
  • the address of the project (house number, street, suburb)
  • the type of construction (indicate if it's a new dwelling, additions, tennis court, swimming pool etc)
  • the type of inspection required (indicate stage or component of building). 

View Council's Principal Certifier fees and charges

Contact Council

Our Customer Service Centre operates from 9am to 5pm. Our Council Rangers are on duty and contactable seven days a week from 5.30am to midnight.

Address: Customer Service Centre, 200 Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW 2060

Telephone: (02) 9936 8100

Apply for an Occupation Certificate

To request an Occupation Certificate from Council, complete the form below and lodge it via the NSW Planning Portal:

Request an Occupation Certificate form

View occupation certificate fees

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