All About DAs

Find out everything you need to know about Development Applications on this page. Open up the bars below for more information.

Guide to Lodging a Development Application document

Understanding DAs

Development is the collective term for making changes to your land, buildings, or the way they are used. 

A development may be any of the following:

  • Installing a swimming pool

  • Renovations to an existing dwelling or building

  • New dwelling or building

  • Industrial estate.

  • Subdivision

Some proposals require us to issue a:

  • Development approval via the DA process

  • Complying development, we can fast-track through our system

  • Others are classed as “Exempt” and don’t need our approval at all.

What's a DA Anyway?

DA is short for Development Application. It  is a formal request for consent to carry out development on a property .

The approval process takes into account all the various local, state and federal planning laws that are in place to manage the social, economic and environmental impacts of a new development.  Not only do these laws protect the overall look of our landscape, they ensure your plans don’t impact negatively on the environment or your neighbours.

Whatever your proposal entails, you’ll need to know whether approval is needed, and what restrictions apply. 

  • There are different types of development that determine whether a DA is needed.

  • Check out our most commonly asked-about developments to get an indication of whether you’ll need a DA.

  •  If you do need approval, you'll need to lodge an application through the Planning Portal. This can be a full Development Application (DA) or an application for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC).

  • If you are not sure if you need approval or not, fill in our help form and we will get back to you with advice ASAP

Different Types of Developments

How your proposed development is classified will tell you whether a DA is needed.

A high proportion of the proposals we review are relatively easy to process as they’re classified by one of these three categories:

  • Exempt:  Some small scale and low impact developments such as decks, fences, bbqs, pergolas, privacy screens may not need Council consent if your proposal meets specified criteria.

  • Complying:  Your proposal must meet all of the relevant development standards nominated (eg height limits, floor space ratio, distances to boundaries etc) and comply with the Building Code of Australia. If it is in line with these pre-determined development standards then it may be able to be certified without the need for a DA - eg. a swimming pool. This “fast-tracked” process combines planning and construction approval, and requires you to lodge an application for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC).

  • Local:  Where your proposal doesn’t fit either exempt or complying criteria, you’ll need to lodge a DA.  This sometimes includes notifying surrounding neighbours about what you’re planning.

    Other projects may also be classified as Integrated, where another authority such as the Rural Fire Service (RFS) is involved in the approval process, or Designated, where the proposal has the potential for significant environmental impacts. 

    Check out our common application types page to get an indication of whether you’ll need a DA.

    For guidance on whether your proposal is exempt or complying, you can also visit: