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 my 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 you have lodged a Development Application and the preliminary assessment has been carried out, your Assessment Officer will 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.

Notice of determination

Once your DA has been determined you will receive a notice of determination. The notice will tell you whether your DA has been approved or refused. If approval (consent) is granted, the notice will give details of:

  • Any conditions of consent and the reasons for those conditions (see below)
  • When the consent becomes effective and when it will lapse
  • Whether financial contributions must be paid, and if so, how much they will be
  • If your application is refused, the notice will give reasons for the refusal and explain your options

Conditions of consent

The conditions of consent tell you how you must undertake the development and if there is anything you must do before you commence the development. You cannot alter or vary the development, the way in which it operates or the way in which it will be undertaken unless the terms of the consent are modified.

It is important that you read all the conditions of consent to see if they alter your proposal and what is required before you commence any work or use.

To modify a consent, you must make an application under section 4.55 (formerly Section 96) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Additional fees will apply as this will require an assessment of the proposed modification.


Your notice of determination may require payment of a Section 7.11 or 7.12 contribution (formerly Section 94 contribution). The money collected through these contributions is used by Council to provide new community facilities such as open space and car parking.

The amount of your contribution will be determined in accordance with our Contributions Plan. You can view copies of the plans on the contribution levies page of Council's website.

Construction certificate (CC)

If you are doing building work you will be required to apply for and receive a construction certificate before commencing any building works approved in your development consent. Unlike development consent, a construction certificate can be issued by Council's building certification team or an accredited private certifier. 

Commencing work

Before commencing construction work you must:

  • Appoint a 'principal certifying authority' (PCA) and notify us that you have done so. The PCA will be responsible for any inspections during construction and will issue the final occupation certificate. The PCA can either be Council's building certification team or a private certifier
  • Meet all conditions of consent that must be satisfied before work commences
  • Notify us in writing at least 2 days before you intend to commence work

If any other approvals, permits or licences are required prior to development commencing, it is your responsibility to obtain these.

During and after construction

If you are doing construction works, you will be required to have different stages inspected by the appointed Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). You may also need to apply for an occupation certificate before you occupy the building. It is important you read the conditions of your consent and liaise with your appointed PCA to ensure you meet all the necessary requirements.

Modifying your development consent

You may apply to Council to modify your development consent by lodging a Section 4.55 application (formerly Section 96). The following information is required to be submitted with your application:

  • The modify a development consent application form (PDF 149.6KB) (including signature from all property owners)
  • The scheduled fee(s) – please call Council on 02 9392 5000 for a fee quote
  • Revised plans which clearly indicate the proposed changes through use of colour and annotations
  • A schedule of all changes from the approved development
  • A statement identifying any changes to development standards, i.e. floor space ratio, landscape area, height of building, site coverage and the type of modification and the likely impacts of the changes
  • A revised BASIX certificate may be required if the changes to the proposal are likely to affect the approved BASIX commitments
  • Four (4) copies of all plans and documents are required together with an electronic copy on USB.

The proposed modification must result in a development that is substantially the same as that for which original approval was granted – otherwise a new DA will be required.

Disagreement with your notice of determination

If you are dissatisfied with the determination of your development application you may contact us to clarify issues and discuss your options. Options available to you include:

Lodge an application to review the determination

A review of Council's determination under Section 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5 (formerly Section 82A) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

An application for review must be made as soon as possible. The provisions of the legislation only allow reviews to be determined within 6 months of the determination of the application you are seeking a review of. If you do lodge your application with sufficient time for the assessment and determination within this period, you will be asked to withdraw the application or it will be returned to you.

An application for review cannot be made:

  • 6 months after the date on which you received the determination of the application
  • After an appeal against the determination made to the Land and Environment Court has been dealt with by the court
  • If the proposal is designated or integrated development

In a review of Council's determination, you may make changes to your proposal. The proposal, however, must remain substantially the same as the original consent, otherwise a new DA will be required. Only one review is permitted. You must complete an application form, pay an additional fee for the review, and submit revised plans and/or supporting documentation.

An application to modify a development

An application may be made to modify a development and/or a particular condition of consent under Section 4.55 (formerly Section 96) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. This may be appropriate if you disagree with particular condition/s of consent or decide to amend certain aspects of the proposal.

Appeal to the Land and Environment Court

Any appeal to the Land and Environment Court must be commenced within 6 months of the date on which you received your notice of determination. Further information about the appeal process can be found at the Land and Environment Court website.

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Page last updated: 07 Nov 2018