Once your DA is approved, there are some more steps you must take before you can start to build:
a. Obtain a Construction Certificate (CC)
You need a construction certificate before you can start building work.
A construction certificate confirms building plans comply with the National Construction Code (also known as the Building Code of Australia/BCA), are ‘consistent’ with the development consent and comply with relevant conditions of the development consent.
Private accredited certifiers and councils can issue construction certificates.
NSW Fair Trading provides a register of certifiers and information on what to check before appointing a certifier.
The NSW Planning Portal also provides information regarding Construction certificates here.
Before obtaining a construction certificate with either a private accredited certifier or council you will need to pay certain fees to Council outlined in your development consent such as security deposits and Developer Contributions.
Where a condition of consent requires the creation of an easement, covenant or restriction on title, it is recommended that you seek legal support to prepare the documentation for Council to sign. A fee applies for the checking, approval and execution of the restriction on the use of land by Council and must accompany the restriction on the use of land when lodged with Council. Once submitted it usually takes one week for the documentation to be signed and to become available for collection. Where the terms differ from those provided by Council in the Development Consent, the process may take considerably longer as Council will need to have the proposed terms reviewed by its lawyers.
b. Appoint a Principal Certifier
The Principal Certifier must be appointed by the ‘person having the benefit of the development consent’ – this means you as the owner and not your builder. You will need to enter into an agreement with the Principal Certifier which outlines responsibilities that both you and the Principal Certifier are to uphold during the course of construction. The Principal Certifier will outline what inspections are required during the construction process, known as critical stage inspections.
The Principal Certifier can either be Council or a private certifier and does not need to be the same certifier whom issued the construction certificate.
The Principal Certifier’s job is to undertake the required critical stage inspections, respond to Customer Requests received from Council/other public authorities or members of the public and to ensure the development is being constructed in accordance with the planning approval. Should the works be completed in accordance with the planning approval, all required critical stage inspections undertaken and the development is safe and fit to occupy then the Principal Certifier may issue you an Occupation Certificate.
c. Requirements before building work commences
Section 6.6 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPA Act 1979) outlines the requirements to be completed before building work commences including requirement to notify council at least two days before work commences. Refer to S. 6.6 of the EPA Act 1979 for a full list of requirements.