How is a Development Application assessed

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1. Application Lodged

The applicant lodges their development application, plans and supporting information with the consent authority. The consent authority will usually be Queanbeyan City Council or the Minister for Planning in a minority of cases. A set fee is paid, depending on the type of development, its estimated cost and whether it must be advertised. Council will receipt the application, date it, and issue a DA number.

2. Public Consultation

There are certain cases where public consultation will be part of the process. Where identified in a planning instrument, a development control plan or the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation, council will:

  • notify neighbours of the proposal and invite them to comment
  • advertise the proposal for comment
  • refer the proposal to other government agencies if the application is for integrated
  • development or it requires their concurrence, or if the agency has some other regulatory interest.

3. Assessment

The application will be assessed, taking into account:

  • the requirements of any local, regional or state planning instrument, or other planning regulation that relates to the site or the proposed development. These may contain issues to be considered or standards that must be met
  • the impact the proposed development is likely to have on the natural environment, the built environment and the local community
  • whether the site is suitable for the proposed development
  • any submissions made by neighbours, the wider community and government agencies after the development application was advertised
  • the public interest.

4. The Decision

The council will either approve or refuse the development application. If the application is approved, the council will usually set out conditions that the applicant must fulfil. The applicant can challenge the decision if he/she is dissatisfied with it.

5. Approval to begin work

If the development involves construction work (for example a building, road or stormwater drainage system for a subdivision), the applicant must apply to the council or an accredited certifier for a construction certificate. The construction certificate certifies that the work the applicant intends to do will comply with required standards.

The applicant needs to provide detailed designs and documentation with their application. These must be consistent with the plans lodged with the development application, and it must be clear that any building work will comply with the Building Code of Australia.

6. Principal Certifying Authority Appointed

7. Approval to Occupy

Before moving into a new building or registering a subdivision with Land and Property Information NSW, the applicant must obtain from the PCA:

  • an occupation certificate if he/she is going to occupy or use a new building or change the use of an existing building and/or
  • a subdivision certificate to have the plan of subdivision registered.

8. Compliance check

The authority that has approved the development will monitor the finished development to make sure that local planning policies, and decisions made under those plans, are achieving their desired outcomes. If the development does not comply with the development consent, the applicant can be:

  • fined (called a penalty notice)
  • ordered to make changes to the development
  • taken to the Land and Environment Court. The court may order the applicant to carry out necessary works (such as altering the development or making repairs), or may forbid the applicant to use the premises in certain ways