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Lodge your development application online

It's now easier than ever to lodge and track your Development Application (DA) or modification to consent online through the NSW Planning Portal.

The NSW Government requires Port Stephens Council to convert to the online system by 31 December 2020, meaning all DAs must be submitted online after this date.

This system currently supports the lodgement of Construction Certificates, Occupation Certificates, Subdivision Certificates or Complying Development Certificates. However, residents and building certifiers can still use the existing email process to lodge these types of applications.

For subdivision certificate applications, one signed/stamped original copy of the Administration Sheet, Linen plan and 88B instrument (if applicable) is required, as well as an electronic copy.

How to lodge your DA online

PDF format

All forms, plans, photos and documents must be submitted as PDF files. Security settings — including passwords and editing restrictions — must not be applied to these files.


  • should be to scale, rotated to landscape and provided in PDF format
  • must be converted electronically rather than printed and scanned
  • should be A3 size or less and at a maximum scale of 1:100 or 1:200 (unless previously agreed to by our Council staff) with the scale and size clearly displayed on all plan sheets
  • black and white plans are to be at a resolution of 300dpi, while coloured plans may be in a lower resolution
  • each plan requires a separate PDF file following a naming convention of: 'Site plan – 1 Main Street, Raymond Terrace'
  • until Hunter Water Corporation provides electronically stamped plans, those plans can be provided in any format as long as the Hunter Water stamp can be clearly linked to the plans it relates to
  • floor plans must be provided in their own separate file and not combined with any other plan.

Public access to DA information

Our Council will publish details of development applications on our DA Tracker website, including documentation relating to applications that are required to be advertised and/or notified in accordance with the relevant planning legislation. Documentation provided with an application may also be accessed in accordance with the requirements of the Government Information Public Access (GIPA) Act 2009.

Development applications

You may lodge your electronic development application using one of the following methods:

NSW Planning PortalLodge your DA online via NSW Planning Portal
Email dalodgement@portstephens.nsw.gov.au

You may lodge your electronic certificates (assessed by a private certifier) using one of the below methods:

NSW Planning PortalLodge your DA online via NSW Planning Portal
Email dalodgement@portstephens.nsw.gov.au
CD or USB device

In person

Port Stephens Council Administration Building
116 Adelaide Street, RAYMOND TERRACE NSW 2324


Port Stephens Council
PO Box 42, Raymond Terrace NSW 2324

Email lodgement process 

Council's email inbox has a size limit of 25MB. If you need to send multiple emails to stay under this limit, please use 'email 1 of 2' as part of the subject line. For example: DA/CC lodgement: Single Storey Dwelling at 345 Kent Street - Raymond Terrace 2324 (email 1 of 2).

Please provide any fee quote that we might have issued regarding your proposal and let us know how you would like pay the application fees (by phone, credit card, cheque or other) in the body of the email. Never include your credit card details in the email.

We will acknowledge receipt of your email within 24 hours and will let you know whether the application can be registered or if further information is required. We will also provide a fee quote in case you have not referenced one.

Once the application has been reviewed by Council staff and is ready to be registered, we will call you to proceed with the payment. Applications will only be lodged and registered in our system when the payment is processed.

Check out our development application process for more detail on what documents to provide for lodgement.

Frequently asked questions

The NSW Government requires all NSW councils to use the NSW Planning Portal for all applications.

Port Stephens Council has to adopt this system by 31 December 2020. We are rolling out the system early to ensure we address any issues before all applications must be made online.

The change to online planning and building applications enables all of us to:

  • improve convenience and customer service
  • reduce printing, posting and storage costs
  • reduce the use of paper, helping us to be more environmentally friendly
  • streamline the development assessment process
  • enhance public transparency
  • improve communication between our Council and the applicant.

Yes. However, we will phase out hardcopy lodgement after 31 December 2020.

We will apply a $55 scanning fee for the extra work that our staff have to undertake to scan the documents. In this case, applicants will only have to provide 1 copy of each document or plan.

Yes. However, after 31 December 2020 we will no longer be able to accept applications via email.

Yes. Routine and proactive release of information will be made available in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Some documents may be published on our Council's DA Tracker website during exhibition periods.

Adobe PDF is the most commonly available format that preserves the integrity and quality of documentation across any software, hardware or operating system. Please ensure that no security settings including passwords are applied to PDF documents.

Need help?

While Council staff cannot prepare your documentation or provide legal advice, we can offer tips on where to find relevant information and what documentation is required. We aim to work with you towards a successful outcome as quickly and cost effectively as possible.

Development application process

The DA process can seem complicated. Let us step you through the process.

Development application FAQs

Got a question? We've probably heard it before. Take a look at our frequently asked questions.

Development application enquiries

Need DA advice? Find out how to get the help you need.