Skip to main content
Development Applications

Decisions on development applications are no longer referred to the elected Councillors for decision making. 

See below for information on the application and approval process, and how to submit a development application.

Development Application process

A Development Application (DA) is a formal request for permission to carry out 'development'.

'Development' includes:

  • The erection and/or alteration of a building or structure;
  • Any work in, over, or under land;
  • The use of land or a building; and
  • The subdivision of land.

All such work requires a Development Application unless it is listed as 'exempt development' or 'complying development'. Development Applications can be simple proposals that can be determined relatively quickly or can be more complex proposals that fall under 'Integrated' or 'Designated' development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Submitting a DA

All development applications must be lodged online through the NSW Planning Portal.

  • Prepare your application
    • Review the relevant codes and policies;
    • Requst Pre-lodgement meetings with Council if necessary (a meeting will be arranged via conference call);
    • Complete the development application form. You will need to digitally fill out the development application form and obtain all the land owners' consent; and
    • Go through the DA application lodgement guide and checklist.
  • Lodge your application on the NSW Planning Portal.

Lodge your application, once accepted, a payment advice with relevant fees will be uploaded by Council to the NSW Planning Portal.

Development Application next steps

After your application has been determined you will receive a 'Notice of Determination of Development Application'. The notice will tell you whether Council has approved or refused your application.

If your application is approved, the notice will detail any conditions of consent. It will also tell you when the consent becomes effective, and when it will lapse.

If your application is refused, the notice will give the reasons for refusal. The notice will also explain your right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

If your development application is approved, then you must ensure that the development is carried out in accordance with any relevant conditions. You cannot alter or vary the development (or the way in which it operates) unless the terms of the consent are modified. To do this, you must make an application to modify the consent under Section 96 of the Act. An additional fee applies.

If your Development Consent allows to you "intensify" your site e.g. build extra dwellings such as a dual occupancy, you will find a condition on the consent requiring that you obtain a Section 73 Certificate from Sydney Water. You can find out more information about obtaining a Section 73 Compliance Certificate from the "Developing" section of Sydney Water's website.

If your proposal involves building work, you will need to obtain a Construction Certificate for the detailed building plans or engineering drawings. In most cases, you can not commence construction without a construction certificate.

Your proposal may also require an approval or licence from another government agency. It is your responsibility to obtain any additional approval that may be required before you commence the development.

Assessment of a Development Application

Once you submit your DA on the NSW Planning Portal, Council will check the application and if complete will accept the DA and send a payment advice. The DA will be registered on our system and you will be allocated a DA number. You can use the Portal Application Number (PAN) to follow your application on the NSW Planning Portal or the DA number to follow on Council's DA Tracker.

  1. Initial review
    The DA will be allocated to an assessment team who will conduct an initial review of your DA proposal.
  2. Expert referrals
     If necessary, your application will be sent for expert referrals to applicable bodies, internal and external to Council.
  3. Advertising and notification period
    Most applications have an advertising period and notification period where local residents are able to make a submission in relation to your development.

Outcome of initial Assessment

If Council needs additional information to finalise the assessment of your DA, we will defer the application until such time as the additional information is received. You will receive correspondence via the NSW Planning Portal us as to the additional information sought.

If Council identifies major deficiencies with your DA, you may be given the option of withdrawing the DA prior to the finalisation of the assessment, which could otherwise lead to the application being refused.

  1. Final Assessment
    Once all the information sought is received, or you advise Council that you will not be submitting any new information, Council undertakes a final assessment of your DA.

DA Determination 

Once an assessment has been finalised, applications can be determined either under delegated authority or by reporting the matter to the Canterbury-Bankstown Local Planning Panel (CBLPP).

You are then notified via email and the NSW Planning Portal of the determination of your DA (whether your DA has been approved or refused). If your DA has been approved, Council will usually impose certain conditions that need to be adhered to in respect of the DA approval. If your DA has been refused, Council will state the reasons for refusing the DA.

Complying and Exempt Development

If you are thinking about building or developing in Canterbury-Bankstown, it is important to recognise that not all building work requires the consent of Council. 

In some cases common minor works such as carports, air conditioners, swimming pools, cutting down trees, fences, etc. do not require Council approval if they satisfy certain predetermined standards or criteria. 

The legislation can be found below, and you can follow the links for more information.

Exempt development is development that has minimal environmental impact on neighbouring amenity where, subject to satisfying pre-determined standards, there is no need for any planning or construction approval.

Complying development is development that complies with development standards for a particular type of development. Planning and construction approval can be obtained with the lodgement of a complying development certificate application with Council or a Private Certifier.

Council has a team of registered certifiers who can work with you and your building professionals to obtain a CDC. Council's registered certifiers are experts in relevant planning legislation, offering cost-effective, efficient and highly accurate assessments.

If, because of the nature of your work or development it falls outside the pre-determined standards of exempt or complying development then you will be required to lodge a development application with Council.


Generally, most permissible development requires consent from Council including:

  • The use of land;
  • The subdivision of land;
  • The erection of a building;
  • The carrying out of a work (such as drainage or engineering work); and
  • The demolition of a building.

As Council is the appropriate regulatory authority, all unauthorised development reported is investigated by Council's Environmental Health and Compliance Officers. If a serious breach has occurred causing adverse environmental impacts and posing a potential threat to public health and safety, Council will commence enforcement action. Failing to obtain consent to carry out development is unauthorised and can result in on-the-spot fines (from $3,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a corporation), in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

For more information about how to seek approval for your proposed development, contact Council's Duty Planner on 9707 9000.

If you would like Council to investigate a potentially unauthorised development or for further information, contact Council's Environmental Health and Compliance Unit on 9707 9000