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The Development Application Process explained

27 Apr, 2022
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Building a new home is incredibly exciting. However, the Development Application process, if triggered, can be confusing and sometimes frustrating. A development application, commonly referred to as a Development Approval (DA), needs to be lodged with your local council prior to commencing most types of developments.  Queensland and New South Wales process differ, the general principles remain the same with rules applying to all parties involved.

Fortunately, we have extensive experience to lead you through the process regardless of which side of the border you are on.  We will help you from the initial review and investigation stage, drafting and documentation, and lodgment and approval.

We can surely take the stress out of it!

Assisting you with the DA Process

Before lodging a DA, we first look at what is permissible use on the land by reviewing the land zoning. You don’t want to have the wrong intent with your proposed build if the land isn’t zoned accordingly.  All zoning information can be found in your respective Local Government land zoning maps. From there, the council has specific codes and requirements that every build must adhere to. We can review with council whether your proposed project requires DA. It’s generally needed for:

  • New residential constructions
  • Set back requirements
  • Extensions
  • Demolitions
  • Subdivisions
  • Bushfire or flood prone areas
  • Character Area or Heritage zonings

There are a few exemptions and complying developments that do not require DA approval in NSW an QLD. The local council website lists out development application exemptions that apply provided certain guidelines are met. For example, NSW doesn’t require a DA when building a balcony or deck for a residential property (note there are some rules still that must be adhered to). Always check first with your local council regardless.

Before drafting up your plans, we carefully investigate:

  • your site
  • any land contamination
  • heritage/conservation areas
  • flood prone areas
  • any further approval needed by other governing bodies
  • Local government policies and plans
  • Vegetation management

Once we know the ins and outs of your block, we can commence drafting your plans in accordance with all of the above. From there we obtain the necessary architectural plans, reports and certificates and your proposal is then ready for lodgement!

What are the costs?

The cost of your DA will depend on a number of factors including size and type of development. Every council has a fee that needs to be paid upon lodgment. Having worked in the industry for many years, we can identify and solve potential issues promptly to ensure your DA has the best chance of a painless approval.

How long is the process?

Once lodged, council can take anywhere from 21 to 90+ days to decide. They may request further information, refer to other government agencies, approve the application as is, or refuse the application altogether. We are yet to have a refusal, as it shouldn’t happen if you adhering to the above requirements and documentation.

Let’s get building!

Once we have development approval we are on our way! In NSW, a Construction Certificate will be issued by your local council or private certifier and from there we can kick start the build!

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