Lodge your DA

From 1 July 2021 the NSW State Government is providing a new platform for lodging planning applications in order to create a simpler, faster and more transparent process.

For development applications and most other planning approvals, you will need to use the NSW Planning Portal to submit and monitor your application.

For guidance on this process, see Council's advice on using the NSW Planning Portal

The NSW Planning Portal also contains a number of resources to guide and assist you, including:

Fees and charges

To find out more about the fees and charges associated with development applications, please see the Council's Schedule of Fees & Charges(PDF, 1MB) - Section 10: Developments.

Monitoring the status of your application

Once you have lodged an application, you can also monitor the status of your application using the Planning Portal.

What does my application status mean?

Below, we list each status that can apply to an application and what it means for you.

Submitted

Your application has been received in Council’s system from the NSW Planning Portal and is being processed administratively before review by Council officers.

At this stage your application is identified by a REFDA number (e.g. REFDA210001). You will be sent a notification acknowledging receipt of your application.

Under Intake Review

Your application is queued for review by a Council Planning Officer, who will determine whether the application has the necessary information to be assessed by Council.

At the Under Intake Review stage, the application may be accepted or rejected. Council may reject a DA within 14 days of lodgement of an application.

If an application is rejected, you will receive a notification from Council stating that the application has been rejected and outlining what additional information you must provide if/when you decide to relodge the application. A rejected DA is complete and cannot be further processed. Lodgement of a new DA will be required via the NSW Planning Portal.

If an application is accepted, the application will be returned to Council’s administrative team to process. This team will request fees for the DA and any related applications you lodged at the same time.

Please be advised this initial review is primarily to confirm that you have provided the key documents required for assessment, which allows us to accept the application. As the application proceeds to later stages of review, more detailed assessment by Council officers may trigger the need to request more information from you. We get several applications every day so it can sometimes take a week or two to perform this initial review by Council officers.

Processing Payment

Your application has been identified as having sufficient information for review. Your application is queued with Council’s administrative team, who will calculate fees. Once this occurs, you will receive a notification with details of what the fees are and your options for how to pay them.

Awaiting Payment

You have been sent a notification of the fees to be paid. Your application will sit idle until the fees have been paid.

If you notice that your application is at this status but you have not received a notification, please get in touch with Council and we can re-issue the necessary information so that you can make your payment.

Typically, payment is recognised automatically by our system. If you know that the fees have been paid but notice that the application is still sitting at this status more than 24 hours later, please contact Council so that we can check that the payment was processed and the application can proceed.

Payment Received

Once your payment has been recognised by our system, Council’s administrative team will receive a notification and we can formally accept the application.

At this point, your application will be updated on the NSW Planning Portal as having been accepted by Council.

Queued for Assessment

Now that your fees have been paid, you will receive a formal Acknowledgement of Lodgement notification from Council and a formal DA identification number (e.g. DA2100001), which you can use as a reference in any future correspondence about this application.

Your application is now in a queue awaiting available officers to undertake the detailed assessment. This stage is where the most waiting on an application occurs.

The time spent in this stage depends on Council’s workload and the number of applications in the queue. Council’s approach is to assess applications in chronological order, from oldest to newest, in order of submission date. It is common for Council to have over 100 development applications under review at any one time, so it can take a while to progress through this queue.

An application can require input from a range of in-house Council specialists (including engineers, building surveyors and heritage architects) or external government agencies (such as Transport for NSW or the NSW Rural Fire Service). Any referrals required for your application will be issued to those parties at this stage so that the time your application spends in the queue is productive. This way, by the time your Assessing Officer is ready to review the application they will, hopefully, have all the necessary advice needed to assess it.

You will receive a notification if a Request for Information (RFI) is issued, or when an officer has been assigned the application for assessment. Different applications progress through different pathways of assessment. Straightforward applications for dwellings, sheds and the like may sit in this queue for some time and then quickly proceed through the following steps once at the front of the queue. However, more complex applications for multi-dwelling housing, subdivisions or commercial development may be assigned to an officer sooner because they can involve protracted negotiations and project redesign.

Council is not able to predict with confidence or make guarantees as to the timeframe required to complete the assessment of an application. However, if your application has been sitting at this status for some time, you can contact Customer Service on 6566 3200 and we can give you an indication of your place in the queue. Typically, you can expect your application to sit at this status for several weeks before progressing to the next stage. Your patience while we work through the queue is greatly appreciated.

External Referral

Your application requires review from an external agency. Examples of external agency referrals include Rural Fire Service, Heritage NSW, Transport for NSW, Biodiversity Conservation Division and others.

Typically, these referral agencies process applications state-wide and their lead times can be long. We do our best to do our side of things while the application is away with the external agency to streamline the assessment. However, generally applications that require external referral take longer than average to be determined due to the extended timeframes for those state agencies and the more complex nature of these types of applications.

Ready for Assessment

Your application has been determined as being ready for final assessment and can be assessed as a fast-track application. The next time you are likely to hear about your application is when you receive the determination.

RFI Requested

A Request for Information (RFI) has been issued by Council. You have been issued with a notification which outlines the additional information required for Council to continue assessing your application. If you have specific questions about the information request, please contact the officer who issued the request via the method detailed in your RFI letter.

You will also receive an automated notification from the NSW Planning Portal. The requested information must be uploaded to your application on the NSW Planning Portal within the requested timeframe. If you are not able to provide the information within the timeframe, please contact the relevant Council officer to request an extension of time.

For the purposes of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the time to assess your application has ceased to run and will not recommence until the information has been provided. It is crucial that you provide any requested information promptly and that, where you expect delays, you communicate this as soon as possible to the requesting officer. Most applications that are refused consent are refused because applicants have not provided the necessary information to allow Council to properly assess the application.

Once you have provided the requested information and that information has been accepted, your application will return to its previous status and await further progression.

Assigned

An Assessing Officer has been assigned your application for determination. This officer will be your point of contact on the application moving forward (unless the application is reassigned).

At this stage the Assessing Officer will review your application in detail and determine whether further information is required or whether the application can proceed to assessment. Any internal or external referrals to specialists and other agencies will be requested (if not already requested) and reviewed by the Assessing Officer. You will receive a notification if an RFI is issued.

The time an application sits at this status will depend on the individual workload of the Assessing Officer and whether any necessary referrals are outstanding. However, typically applications are not assigned until the officer has the capacity to start their assessment. You may receive a notification once your application is assigned. In some cases, if the officer knows that they will be able to progress the application to determination quickly, they may not issue a notification at this stage.

Under Assessment

Every application must be reviewed against a long list of Council policies, legislation and planning instruments. At this stage, your Assessing Officer is:

  • preparing their assessment report (which considers the application against all the relevant assessment criteria)
  • compiling their determination and conditions of consent (where appropriate)
  • preparing the necessary documentation for completion of your application.

If your application can be determined by the Council Assessing Officer under delegation (most applications are determined under delegation), then, once determined, your application will progress to our administration team to finalise the documentation and issue you with the determination.

Some applications cannot be determined under delegation by an Assessing Officer and require review by Councillors at a Council meeting. In this case, the application will proceed to Council Meeting for Determination. You may receive a notificationonce your application is progressed to Under Assessment.

In some cases, if the officer knows that will be able to progress the application to determination quickly, they may not issue a notification at this stage.

Peer Review

Your application has been reviewed by your assigned Assessing Officer and is under peer review by another Assessing Officer.

Once peer review is complete, the assigned Assessing Officer may need to revisit their assessment report and determination, and request further information from you, or otherwise can proceed to issue their determination. You will not receive a notification of this transition.

Council Meeting for Determination

Applications that require Council determination are determined by vote at a Council meeting after consideration of the assessment report prepared by the assigned officer.

Examples of applications that would require Council determination include:

applications that request a variation to the Local Environmental Plan

applications by selected Council staff or Councillors, or

contentious applications that are thought to have a significant impact on the local community.

Where an application requires determination by Council, delays can be expected. This is because it can only be voted on at the monthly Council meeting once the assessment report has been completed by the Assessing Officer.

You will be notified if your application needs to be determined at a Council meeting by Councillors.

Ready for Issue

Your application has been determined by the Assessing Officer (or Council) and is in a short queue for processing by administration staff.

Once it has been processed, you will receive a notification which includes your Notice of Determination and any other relevant documentation, such as approved plans and reports.

Complete - Approved

Your application has been determined as Approved. You should have received your Notice of Determination and any stamped plans that accompany the Development Consent.

You can download your consent and other approval documents from the web-link tracking page for your application.

Remember to check your conditions of consent for any requirements that you need to meet, as there are often important matters that need to be addressed before you can start your project.

Complete - Refused

Your application has been determined as Refused. You should have received your Notice of Determination, which includes the reasons for refusal of your application.

You can download your determination and other related documents from the web-link tracking page for your application.

Complete - Rejected

Your application was rejected by Council officers at the intake review stage of assessment.

A rejection is not a refusal. If an application is rejected, you will receive a notification from Council which states that the application has been rejected, outlines the reasons for rejection, and details what additional information is required to be provided if/when you decide to relodge the application.

A rejected DA is complete and cannot be further processed. Lodgement of a new DA will be required via the NSW Planning Portal. You are not charged application fees for a rejected application.

Complete - Withdrawn

Your application has been withdrawn and is no longer under assessment by Council. Typically, a withdrawal is initiated by an applicant who no longer wishes to proceed with the application.

Council’s Schedule of Fees and Charges allows for refunds of between 25% to 50% of the paid application fees for withdrawn applications. Please contact Council if you have withdrawn your application and you would like to request a refund.

Public Exhibition

Some applications require public exhibition for comment by members of the community. The means of public exhibition can vary between simple online listing on our DA Advertising Register, adjoining owner letters being mailed out, or more comprehensive advertising campaigns soliciting comment from the public.

The means of advertising an application is not linked to the status of the application and, typically, this public exhibition period will coincide with the time an application is in the assessment queue. Only applications that have a prolonged exhibition period, such as designated development proposals or other major projects, will show as having this status in the tracker.

A note on public exhibition: currently all development applications are notified online and available for public review and comment for at least a 14-day period. This exhibition period usually commences after application fees have been paid but, as stated above, the application will not usually show with that status.

 

Download the Development Application Status Guide(PDF, 196KB)

More information

Assessment and approval process

Status of a DA