Development application process
The development application (DA) process can be overwhelming and confusing. That's why we've developed a simple guide to the DA process for your next build or renovation.
Before you begin
|Level of approval||Potential impact||Level of assessment|
|Exempt development||No approval from Council||Minimal environmental / amenity impact||Must comply with pre-set legislative standards|
|Complying development||Approval by issue of complying development certificate by Council or accredited certifier||Predictable environmental / amenity impact||Must comply with pre-set legislative standards and conditions|
|Development consent||Council development consent through the development application process||Could be major environmental / amenity impact||Merit-based assessment|
Step 1 - Pre-lodgement
- an early understanding of what you're trying to achieve
- agreement on what is required or possible on the proposed development site
- early access to professionals who may assess your application, saving you time and money in preparing your application.
Step 2 - DA preparation
- The Supporting Documentation Guide (PDF 872KB) outlines the documentation and information you'll need to prepare your DA.
- Detailed information about lodgement requirements for certain types of developments can be found in the Port Stephens Council Development Control Plan 2014.
Step 3 - Lodgement
You're now ready to lodge your application online via the NSW Planning Portal. Find out more about how to lodge your application.
We have a statutory obligation to determine a DA within a certain time frame. To do this, we need all the relevant information - incomplete applications will not be accepted.
Step 4 - Assessment
We must consider a number of statutory matters when determining your application, in line with Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). The assessment process is:
- Your application will be allocated to a development assessment officer.
- If necessary, they will refer your application to state government authorities and internal specialists for assessment.
- We will advertise your DA and notify nearby neighbours in line with the Community Participation Plan.
- You will receive an acknowledgment letter advising of the assessing officer for your application, who will be your point of contact.
- Standard submissions including pro-forma letters prepared by 1 or more people, or on behalf of a group, will receive acknowledgement to the person or group which sent the submission. These are reported as 1 submission with 'X' number of signatures.
- Petitions will receive acknowledgement to each person who signed the covering letter accompanying the petition. These are reported as 1 petition with 'X' number of signatures.
- The assessing officer will compile all information and comments received during the notification and referral process.
- If information is missing, you will receive a request for additional information via the NSW Planning Portal. We will 'stop the clock' on the assessment time frame while additional information is submitted.
- Once all relevant information is available, the assessing officer will carry out a site inspection.
- They will evaluate your proposal’s compliance with development controls, statutory requirements and any relevant objections.
- A development assessment report will be completed and a recommendation made.
- an elected member of Council requests the staff delegation be withdrawn and the DA be reported to Council for determination or
- the Group Manager of Development Services and/or Manager of Development Assessment and Compliance uses their discretion and judgment to determine that an application should be reported to Council.
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Oct 2021 to 31 Dec 2021
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Apr 2021 to 30 Jun 2021
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Jan 2021 to 31 Mar 2021
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Oct 2020 to 31 Dec 2020
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Jul 2020 to 30 Sep 2020
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Apr 2020 to 30 Jun 2020
- Clause 4.6 Report — 1 Jan 2020 to 31 Mar.2020
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Oct 2019 to 31 Dec 2019
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Jul 2019 to 30 Sep 2019
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Apr 2019 to 30 Jun 2019
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Mar 2019
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Oct 2018 to 31 Dec 2018
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Jul 2018 to 30 Sep 2018
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Apr 2018 to 30 Jun 2018
- Clause 4.6 Report — 01 Jan 2018 to 31 Mar 2018
If consent is granted for your development, a schedule of conditions will be issued with the notice of determination. The conditions must be complied with and should be read in conjunction with the stamped approved plans.
Below is an overview of the next steps in the DA process - there may be other applications, certificates, registrations or notices not listed.
- A construction certificate application may be lodged at the same time as a development application or at a later date.
- A construction certificate can be lodged and issued concurrently with the DA, or once consent for the DA has been granted and any relevant conditions have been met.
- It certifies that the detailed construction plans and development specifications are consistent with the development consent and also comply with the Building Code of Australia. Civil works associated with subdivisions may also require construction certificate approval.
- You can obtain the certificate from either Council or an accredited private certifier.
- We currently hold a market share of over 80% of certification works in our Local Government Area.
- Contact Council’s certification team on 02 4988 0115 to find out about our competitive certification services and fees.
- All relevant fees (including the Long Service Levy if applicable) must be paid prior to issue of a construction certificate.
- s4.55(1) — to correct a minor error, mis-description or mis-calculation made by Council
- s4.55(1A) — for a modification that will have minimal environmental impact
- s4.55(2) — to modify the consent such as design changes or a deletion of a condition of consent
- s4.56AA(1) — to modify a consent handed down by the Land and Environment Court.
- complying development certificates
- designated development
- integrated development
- Crown development.
Ready to lodge your DA?
The process is easier than ever