What is a Development Application (DA)?

A Development Application (DA) is a formal request for consent to carry out development. This type of Development Approval is the most common way of getting development consent in NSW. Development Applications are suitable for more complicated developments that don’t meet the requirements for Exempt Development or Complying Development.

A Development Application consists of a collection of documents (including application forms, site plans, consultants’ reports and the like) and is submitted to your local Council.

For some forms of development, the development application process can be swift and simple. However, for more complex applications, it can be a lengthy, time consuming and frustrating process. There are a few types of development that can be particularly complex (and generally apply to commercial and industrial, rather than residential, development):

State Significant Development – a range of projects, including mining, industrial, waste, energy, tourism and infrastructure, are considered to be of state significance if they are over a certain size and/or situated in sensitive environmental areas. These projects are assessed by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure instead of your local council.

Integrated Development – some projects require a permit from another state government agency, which will be included in the development approval. For example, subdivision for housing in a bushfire prone area will require authorisation from the Rural Fire Service.

Designated Development – listed in Schedule 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 or in a LEP or SEPP, these projects are generally high-impact or located in environmentally sensitive areas. Consent is usually granted by the local council.

For free preliminary advice on the most appropriate development consent process for you, contact us or click below for more information on development applications:


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