Determination of DA

The DA process

We have a legal obligation to assess and make a decision on DAs. A DA can be approved subject to conditions or refused. In making our determination, we use a peer review process. This ensures that all recommendations made by our assessment officers are reviewed by a senior officer and, where required, by the relevant planning panel. This ensures transparency and consistency in the recommendations and decisions made by our staff.

Most DAs may be determined by our assessment staff, unless they are referred to an Inner West Local Planning Panel meeting or the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel for determination. When an application is to be considered at a meeting of a planning panel, the applicant and any objectors are notified and may speak about the application at the meeting. The Panel may:

  • approve the application
  • refuse the application
  • defer the application and request the applicant to submit amend plans or additional information

Who will determine the application?

All local development is determined in one of three ways:

Development application determination body Types of applications considered by each body
Determinations Pyramid Top
Development applications:
  • General development over $30 million
  • Council or Crown development over $5 million
  • Private infrastructure and community facilities over $5 million
Determinations Pyramid Middle
Development applications:
  • Vanue of works exceeds $10 million in value
  • Where Council, Councillors or staff are the applicant or owner
  • Applications seeking to depart by more than 10% from a development standard
  • Receive 10 or more objections from different households
  • 'Sensitive' applications, including residential flat buildings, licenced premises, sex services premises, demolition of a heritage item, new licenced premise (i.e. club, hotel)
  • Accompanied by a Voluntary Planning Agreement (VPA)
  • Section 82A review applications
Determinations Pyramid Bottom
All other development applications

Once the preliminary assessment of the Development Application has been carried out, the Assessment Officer should be able to clarify the relevant determination body.

Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel

Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel is a Sydney District Planning Panel that is made up of:

  • A chair and two members appointed by the state:
  • Council-appointed member

Visit the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel website for more information and current members.

Inner West Local Planning Panel (IWLPP)

The IWLPP is a group of independent professionals who meet (usually once a month) to determine applications which cannot be determined under staff delegation. The Panel consists of a chairperson (usually with qualifications in law or in government and public administration), assisted by two panel members who have relevant professional experience and a representative of the local community (who is not a Councillor or Mayor).

Only those applications meeting the criteria will go to the panel.

Visit Council's Inner West Local Planning Panel web page for more information.

Staff delegation

Through the authority of the General Manger, Council's staff exercise delegations to approve or refuse the majority of applications. This delegation can only be exercised by senior experienced staff as part of a peer review process, and can only be exercised in accordance with the written instrument of delegation issued by the General Manager.

The Mayor and Councillors do not have a role in the determination of development applications.

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Page last updated: 11 Mar 2019