Development Application Guide

Development applications or DAs are a formal request for permission to carry out a proposed development including building, subdividing, change of land use, landscaping or other works.

If you are proposing any development or building works in Wingecarribee there are a number of steps you must take.

Step 1 - Check if Council approval is required

Before you undertake any development or building works, you will need to determine what approvals are required.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 defines development as:

  • the use of land, and
  • the subdivision of land, and
  • the erection of a building, and
  • the carrying out of a work, and
  • the demolition of a building or work
  • any other act, matter or thing controlled by an environmental planning instrument.

Certain types of minor development may be carried out as Exempt or Complying Development. All other development will require a Development Application to be submitted to Council. 

Exempt Development

A number of minor types of low impact works or renovations may be exempt development. Council approval is not needed if your project meets specific development standards. The standards you must comply with for most exempt development works are in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

If any of the criteria cannot be fully met, a complying certificate or development approval must be obtained before carrying out the work or development.

Some common examples of exempt development are:

  • Awnings and other shade structures
  • Carports
  • Garden sheds
  • Home business
  • Air conditioning units

Visit the NSW Planning Portal for further information on Exempt Development. 

Complying Development

Complying Development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward development that can be determined through a fast-track assessment by a council or an accredited certifier. Providing your application meets specific development standards, approval (known as a Complying Development Certificate or CDC) can be granted, without the need for a full Development Application.

Complying development may include:

  • Internal alterations to a house
  • Swimming pool
  • Carports, garages and driveways
  • Demolition

Visit the NSW Planning Portal for further information on Complying Development.

To check basic planning information relating to your property visit the NSW Planning Portal Spatial Viewer

Development on Unregistered Land

The lodgment of an application on unregistered land will only be accepted by Council if it satisfies certain criteria. For full details vist our Development on Unregistered Land Applications Requirements page.

If your proposal does not meet the Exempt or Complying Development criteria, then provided the development is permitted with development consent you will need to lodge a development application. Proceed to the next step.

Step 2 - Prior to lodging a Development Application

There are several things you should do prior to lodging your development application:

  • Establish what is permissible on your property, what potential constraints affect your property and what planning controls apply to the proposed development, in particular: 

 -  Local Environmental Plan 

 -  Development Control Plans

These documents contain planning controls and requirements for development in Wingecarribee.

Step 3 - Discussing your Plans with Neighbours and Consulting with Council Staff

We recommend that you talk to your neighbours to assist them to understand your proposal. Consulting neighbours can improve the development application process if neighbours have an understanding of the proposal before the development application is lodged. You may be able to resolve an issue your neighbour has before lodging your development application.

We suggest that before you submit your Development Application that you meet with Council officers and discuss the proposal. This will provide opportunity to seek input from council officers about your proposal before preparing detailed plans, You can do this by booking a Duty Planner appointment.

Formal pre-lodgement meeting

Council planners do not offer a design consultancy service or undertake research to identify planning controls, however, for larger proposals, it would be useful to have a prior discussion with Council's assessment staff.

Initial enquiries should be directed to:  Pre-Lodgement Form (Development Enquiry)

Access Information about your Property

You can find out such as Zoning, Development Control Plans and more the Access Information on my Property page.  

Check out our helpful Application Information Matrix documents

Application Information Matrix - Minor Residential Development.pdf(PDF, 429KB)

Application Information Matrix - Other Development.pdf(PDF, 335KB)


Step 4 - Lodging an Application

All development applications, modification applications and review applications are required to be submitted online via the NSW Planning Portal.

This follows a mandate by the NSW Government for Councils to use the NSW Planning Portal. 

How to lodge your application on the NSW Planning Portal

1. Review the Application Information Matrix Minor Residential Development(PDF, 429KB)  (If applicable).

2. Register or Login: Access the NSW Planning Portal and either login to your account or refer to Register for a Planning Portal account guide to create an account.

3. Enter your development proposal and application details: Enter the application details in the portal using the Submit a Development Application Online guide and upload all required documents as separate files. The required documents are detailed within the DA Checklist and Applicant Declaration.

4. Application Review: Once an application is submitted through the NSW Planning Portal, Council will undertake a review of the application. Council will make a decision to accept the application, request additional information or return the application. Should additional information be required, you will receive an email via the NSW Planning Portal outlining the required information. 


Step 5 - Public Notification and Submissions

Applications are notified in accordance with the Wingecarribee Community Engagement Strategy.

The majority of applications are notified for 14 days. Applications involving Nominated Integrated development and/or Designated development are notified for 28 days. Extended notification periods apply over the Christmas and New Year period.

Applications are notified in the following ways:

  • a letter describing the proposal is sent to affected neighbours.
  • For 28 day Notifications a notice may be erected on the site.

During the notification period the Development Application Tracker contains all relevant details of the proposal, including plans to assist you in making a submission.

If you make a submission please remember:

  • You should review the plans and read the accompanying information so you are clear on the details. Mostly, the applicant will be your neighbour or their architect so you may be able to clarify detail or resolve any concerns by discussing it with them.
  • Development assessment involves a process of mutual adjustment between your legitimate concerns and the reasonable development rights of the applicant. Council has to evaluate both within a statutory planning framework and in many cases no party will be totally satisfied. This is the nature of the process. 
  • Council is interested in what your issues are with the DA. These are best expressed in your own words and need not rely on lengthy references to provisions of planning instruments (LEPs and DCPs) – references which may obscure real issues.
  • Council staff are available to assist you with interpretation of DA documents and general enquiries during the notification period; however, detailed explanation of the applicant’s intent can best be obtained from the applicant direct. 
  • Staff do not reply to questions posed in written submissions but cover issues as part of the DA assessment. 
  • Any submission you make is open to public scrutiny with submission comments being restricted to the proposed development. Council is required to release written comments or submissions under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (GIPAA). This legislation imposes obligations on Council to make submissions publicly available and submissions may be used in Council reports or court proceedings.
  • All submissions received will become public documents and pertinent issues will be included in any report that may be submitted to Local Planning Panel in relation to the application (where applicable). 

 Applications are determined by either Council staff or the Local Planning Panel. Should the application be referred to the Local Planning Panel for determination, and you have made a submission, you will be notified of the meeting date in advance of the meeting. 

How to make a submission

During the notification period you are able to make a submission (either in support or by way of objection) by email to, or in writing. Submissions must also be addressed to the General Manager, Wingecarribee Shire Council.


Submissions will be acknowledged by email or letter by post.


The supply of personal contact information in a submission is voluntary pursuant to the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998. By including your contact information in a submission you are acknowledging that it will be made available for public view at Council offices and through the Council website.

Disclosure requirements

If you have given a gift or made a donation to a Councillor, an employee or an approved contractor of Council within the past two (2) years, by law you must include a disclosure statement with your submission.

Assessment and Decisions

When considering a DA the assessment officer will have regard to:

  • Statutory requirements under the Act;
  • Adopted policies of Council; and
  • Issues raised in written submissions.

Some applications are determined under delegated authority of Council whilst others are determined by the Wingecarribee Local Planning Panel (LPP) or the Southern Regional Planning Panel.

If the application is to be referred to the LPP for determination you will not be notified in writing. Instead, you are required to check the website

When a final determination is made all people who made a submission are informed of the outcome. The Assessment Report and Notice of Determination are made available on the Development Application Tracker.

Note: any written submission made regarding a Development Application will be available for the public to access via the Development Application Tracker.

Step 6 - Determination of Applications

The majority of Development Applications lodged are determined by Council staff. Applications will be referred to the Wingecarribee Local Planning Panel or the Southern Regional Planning Panel for determination where they meet the criteria outlined below.

Wingecarribee Local Planning Panel

Applications will be referred to the Wingecarribee Local Planning Panel for advice prior to determination as per schedule 1 of the Local Planning Panels Direction – Development Applications and Applications to Modify Consents dated 30 June 2020

Further information regarding the Wingecarribee Local Planning Panel, including the agenda and decisions can be found here.

Southern Regional Planning Panel

If the capital investment value of a DA has regional significance it will be referred by Council to the Southern Regional Planning Panel for determination. The NSW Planning Portal provides further information.

Public notification of certain decisions and reasons for the decisions

Schedule 1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides mandatory notification requirements relating to determinations of an application for development consent or modification of a development consent and requires that public notification be provided of:

a. the decision, and

b. the date of the decision, and

c. the reasons for the decision (having regard to any statutory requirements applying to the decision), and

d. how community views were taken into account in making the decision.

This information is provided on the DA Tracker in the form of the Notice of Determination (a & b) and Assessment Report (c & d).

Step 7 - DA approved. What happens next?

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.

Step 8 - Complying with Consent and the Principal Certifier

Once development consent is issued there may be conditions that must be complied with before a Construction Certificate can be issued. A Construction Certificate must be issued by either Council or an Accredited Certifier before any construction commences.

The Principal Certifier is required to undertake the critical stage inspections during the course of construction to ensure compliance with the relevant standards and the planning approval. The Principal Certifier may receive Customer Requests raising concern about progress of works. As the public authority, the Principal Certifier is required to respond and investigate the Customer Request to ensure works progress in accordance with the planning approval and to update the customer of the outcome of investigation. 

Should the Principal Certifier identify a non-compliance with the planning approval then the Principal Certifier is to issue a Written Directions Notice

A Written Directions Notice is comprised of two parts; Part A of a Written Directions Notice will be issued which will outline the non-compliance/s and what work is required to remedy the non-compliance/s. Should the non-compliance/s not be remedied within the timeframe set by the Principal Certifier then the Principal Certifier will issue Part B of the Written Directions Notice which will require Council’s Compliance Team to investigate and take enforcement action to remedy the non-compliance/s.

Refer to the NSW Government Fair Trading for further detail in relation to the role of Accredited Certifiers.



Step 9 - Completion of works

At completion of works you are required to lodge an application for an Occupation Certificate through the NSW Planning Portal. The development should not be occupied or used until an Occupation Certificate has been issued. Visit the NSW Planning Portal for further information about Occupation Certificates.

You may stage your development to seek an Occupation Certificate for part of the development to allow you to occupy and use the parts which have been completed satisfactorily.

The Occupation Certificate is issued to you by the Principal Certifier through the NSW Planning Portal, a copy of which will be received by Council to commence the process to release the Security Deposit should one be held by Council and all works relating to the relevant planning approval have been completed.

How do I find out what is happening?

To check the progress of any Development Application please visit the DA Tracker and search on:

  • All Applications
  • All Undetermined Application
  • On Exhibition
  • Submitted
  • Determined

with any of the following information:

  • DA number (part or full)
  • Address (full or just suburb)
  • Year


What happens next

Fee Quote and Payment: If the application documentation is in order, A fee quote will be calculated by Council and provided to the applicant via the Planning Portal. (Note: If the nominated payee on the NSW Planning Portal differs from the applicant details an email with a copy of the fee quote will also be sent to the Payee email address.) The fee can be paid in person at Council, over the phone with Council's Customer Experience Team or by mail. Applications are not legally lodged until the fees have been paid in full.

Application lodgement: Once payment of the fee is paid, the application will be formally lodged, a tax invoice/receipt will be emailed to the applicant or payee, and the application will be allocated to an Assessment Officer. 

Track your applications progress: The progress of the application can then be tracked on Council’s DA Tracker, where the name and phone number of the assessment officer will be available.  

Support with the NSW Planning Portal and FAQs

Support available

If you have difficulties logging in to the NSW Planning Portal or registering your NSW Planning Portal account, refer to the NSW Government‘s FAQ web page, call Service NSW on 1300 305 695 or email   

Frequently Asked Questions 

How do I relodge my returned application?

For DAs which have been returned to the applicant due to insufficient information, the Planning Portal provides the option to create a copy of your DA allowing you to relodge a new application including the additional documentation with ease.

My property address is not appearing in the Planning Portal?

If you have entered your address in the search box and it is not appearing, select the tick box next to ‘Address did not display?’ and re-type your address then select next and it should appear.

I don‘t have access to a personal computer, where can I lodge my application?

Council‘s library offers free computer services for the community. Find more information on Council‘s library services and opening hours here.



Other links

For further information on the Development Application Process please visit the Department of Planning & Environment website .

Professional bodies and consultans who certify and provide advice

A development application may require professional input depending on its complexity. An applicant can hire a certified consultant to provide this information. When hiring a consultant it is important to ensure they are qualified and certified. Numerous consultants can provide assistance depending on the development application type. Below is a list of professional organisations which may offer assistance when searching for consultants. This list is designed as a guide and is not intended to promote individual consultants.  

Association of Australasian Acoustical Consultants 

Acoustic Consultants can provide acoustic reports to accompany a development application. An acoustic report may be required when a Development Application has the potential to create excessive noise and disrupt local acoustic amenity.

Australian Institute of Architects 

Architects can aid in the design process for a development application and can provide historical assessments.

Australian Institute of Landscape Architects 

Landscape Architects provide assistance in site planning, landscape design and project management.

Consulting Surveyors NSW 

Surveyors may be required to provide information on the property.  They collect, analyse and assess geographical data.

Ecological Consultants Association 

An environmental report may be required if a development application is thought to have a potential negative impact on flora and fauna in the area.

Engineers Australia 

Depending on the type of the application an Engineer may be required. The site above contains a comprehensive register of qualified engineers from numerous fields including structural, civil, electric and environmental.

Fire Protection Association Australia 

Depending on the type and locality of a Development Application a bush fire protection and planning design may be required.

Planning Institute of Australia 

Town Planners can provide assistance with forms, reports and correspondence with council.

NSW Government Fair Trading 

Building certifiers can assist in the preparation of development applications and construction certificate applications, assess and approve complying development certificates, construction certificates, occupation certificates and subdivision certificates.


If you are Not for Profit Club, Community Group or Charitable Organisations wanting to find out if about if an Application Fee Waivers or Fee refund would apply please find out more information on the below page link.