Most development applications (DAs) are assessed by Council staff.
However some DAs, including those that are considered to be regionally significant or attract a lot of community interest, are sent to independent groups to make a decision. These groups include:
Elected Councillors do not make decisions about DAs.
How DAs are assessed
When Council staff or an independent group is assessing a DA, they will:
- Compare what is proposed to the relevant Planning and Development Policies
- Take into account any objections and comments made during the notification period
- Look at the environmental impacts of the development, and whether or not it is in the public interest
- Consider recommendations made by the Design Review Panel (if applicable)
- Get advice from other experts, if needed. For example, a DA for a building on flood-prone land might be referred to one of Council’s floodplain engineers for advice. In some cases, an application could also be sent to State Government departments for their comments or approval.
The people assessing an application will also often inspect the site of the proposed development.
You can also download our Process for Assessing a Development Application guide PDF, 233.63 KB for more information.
Sometimes Council may ask you to make small changes to your DA while it is being assessed. This is called an amendment.
You can also ask to make an amendment if you want to make minor changes after you’ve submitted a DA, but before a determination has been made. Call us for advice on (02) 4227 7111 if you’d like to do this.
The decision to approve or refuse a DA is called a determination.
We send a formal Notice of Determination to the applicant once a decision is made.
Recent decisions can be found on our Determinations page.
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