We have detected that you are running an unsupported version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. Please upgrade to version 9 or above for the best experience of this website

Depending on the scope of your development proposal, the type of use and what controls apply, there may be different avenues in the application process.

Some minor development, called exempt development, does not require consent. Another type of development, called complying development requires a complying development certificate. If the standards for these types of development cannot be achieved, then a development application is required.

Development applications will fall into several categories, including local, integrated, designated and state significant development. Furthermore, for certain types of development Council may be required to seek and obtain the concurrence of various government authorities such as Ministers, Commissioners, or Director Generals.

The types of development and requirements are explained in further detail below.

Exempt Development

Exempt development has minimal impact on the local environment and may not need approval from Council if it meets specific standards under State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 Examples of exempt development under this policy include decks, garden sheds, carports, fences, repair of a window or painting your house.

Exempt development may also be considered under State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007 This policy nominates exempt development requirements to facilitate the effective delivery of infrastructure and services. Exempt development under this policy must be carried out by or on behalf of a public authority and meet the relevant development standards. Examples of exempt development under the policy include access ramps for persons with a disability, air conditioning units, awnings, pergolas, external and internal building alterations, car park and signs.

Please contact us if you require assistance determining if your proposal is exempt development.

Complying Development

Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward development proposals such as home renovations or a new home up to two storeys. Other development such as a home business, strata subdivision, change of use of an existing shop, office or warehouse, industrial buildings or demolition of a building may also be classified as complying development.

The standards are identified in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 Providing the proposal meets the standards within this policy, it can be determined by a Council or private certifier without needing a full development application. We encourage you to obtain information relating to Council’s competitive certification services for complying developments.

Complying development applications can be lodged directly to Council. Your development will be subject to conditions of approval to protect surrounding uses during the construction period and life of the development.

Please contact us if you require assistance determining if your proposal is complying development.

Local Development Applications

Local development includes all development requiring consent from Council, specified under the Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013 (LEP2013) This means that any development under the LEP2013 requires consent prior to undertaking works and must be lodged with Council.

Integrated Development

Integrated development is development that requires development consent and at least one approval, permit, licence, authority or consent from another government body under Section 4.46 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 .

Some examples include certain developments that involve works located on land identified as bushfire prone or works within a public road. Council must refer an application which is integrated development to the relevant approval body that will, if appropriate, issue general terms of approval (GTA). Council would not normally determine the application until it has received the concurrence with GTAs.

An integrated development administration fee is required for each agency of $320 or $340 (Roads and Maritime Services), in addition to an administration fee of $140 payable to Council for each referral to an approval body. These fees are in addition to the normal development application fees. Cheques for each agency should be made payable to the relevant approval body and not to Port Stephens Council.

Designated Development

Developments may be designated development if the development is listed in Schedule 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 or another environmental planning instrument. Only a small percentage of applications constitute designated development. This list relates to large scale, potentially hazardous, noxious and offensive uses, such as waste management facilities, extractive industries, mining operations, marinas, aircraft facilities and chemical industries. This type of development requires a greater level of detail and you will need to provide an environmental impact statement (EIS) with a development application for designated development in accordance with the Director General’s requirements issued by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.

The Hunter and Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel is the determining authority for certain designated development types. However, Council plays an important role in the assessment of such applications. An additional development application fee of $920 plus the standard development application fee applies to designated development.

State Significant Development

State significant development is for major development proposals such as mines and manufacturing plants and only forms a very small percentage of developments. This is development declared by the Minister of Planning to be of state significance, and the Minster for Planning is the consent authority. We will keep a record of the application and determination in our records and may display a copy of the application in the administration building during the exhibition period.