Information for neighbours
Notifying neighbours of Development Applications (DAs)
Council’s Community Engagement Strategy sets out requirements for notifying neighbouring properties of Development Applications (DAs). These requirements include:
- What types of applications and proposals require notification
- Who will be notified and for how long
These requirements have been designed to enable owners/occupants to be notified where they may be affected by a development proposal.
Notification letters are sent to those properties identified in the framework via Australia Post. The letters include:
- Details of the address of the subject property
- Description of the proposed development
- Details on how to view the plans of the proposal
- The number of days the application is being notified for
- The name of the Council officer who is assessing the application
A copy of the notification letter is also erected on a sign at the front of the property for the duration of the notification period.
Viewing plans and lodging a submission
Details on how to track an application, including instructions on how to view plans and lodge a submission, can be found on Council’s Track applications page.
The DA process
The detailed steps involved in the DA process can be found on the Development application process page.
Development Application (DA) process
Why have I been notified of the application?
Council has received a Development Application (DA) for a property within the vicinity of your home or business which may affect you. Any concerns you have about the proposal should be relayed to Council in writing so they can be taken into consideration in the assessment.
How long do I have to make a submission?
Submissions should be lodged within the period indicated in the notification letter. This is generally 14 days but can in some cases be longer. If you wish to lodge a submission outside of the notification period, then you must email email@example.com. In the email subject heading please outline the DA number and property address of the DA your submission relates to, to ensure it is registered to the correct application.
Please note that if you lodge a submission after the close of this period, Council may have already determined the application.
What kind of submission can I make?
Submissions must be made in writing and should relate directly to the work proposed in the DA and your concerns regarding this, such as the possible impact on surrounding properties or the locality. Council staff can assist you in viewing plans and related documentation and can answer questions on specific technical issues. However, staff are not in a position to comment on the merits of the proposal at notification stage.
Do I need to disclose a political donation or gift if I make a written submission?
Section 147 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 imposes a disclosure requirement on all persons who make a submission (whether objecting to or supporting the application). A disclosure is required if the person making the submission has made any reportable political donation or gift in the previous two years prior to making the submission and up to the time that the application is determined. It is an offence under the Act to fail to make a disclosure of a reportable political donation or gift. Further information can be found at the Political Donations section of Council’s website.
What happens to my submission?
Once your submission has been received, Council will send you correspondence acknowledging receipt of your submission. Council does not provide a specific response to the matters raised in submissions as these are addressed in the report prepared on the application.
If minor amendments are made to an application before it is determined, you may not be renotified and given another opportunity to provide further comments. Even if the DA is renotified you do not need to lodge another submission as your earlier submission will still be considered.
To what extent will Council consider my submission?
The matters which Council must consider are determined by laws such as the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Local Government Act 1993. The matters listed for consideration are related to environmental impacts. Matters such as moral objection, commercial competition, or the specific personal circumstances of an applicant or objector cannot be given weight in Council’s assessment.
In addition, Local Environmental Plans, Development Control Plans, and Council Policies are matters that must also be considered. These controls set the framework, which forms the basis of applicants' expectations to carry out work on their property. They address issues such as overshadowing, privacy, heritage, and streetscape.
Your comments will be considered in conjunction with Council’s legal responsibilities, the interests of the community, and the reasonable expectations and rights of the applicant. Council will balance these competing interests when making a decision.
Who determines the applications?
Generally, applications are determined by Council officers under delegated authority. Assessment reports prepared by staff are checked and endorsed by senior officers before being finalised.
Where Council officers do not have delegation, these matters are referred to the relevant Planning Panel. Further information on who will determine the application can be found here.
What happens if Council refuses an application or imposes a condition which the applicant thinks is unreasonable or onerous?
An applicant may request Council to review the decision or appeal to the Land and Environment Court of NSW against any decision or any conditions imposed by Council.
Will my representations remain confidential?
No. Submissions may be viewed and copied by any person under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
Some personal details, including phone numbers and signatures, are redacted. However, other details, including property addresses and the contents of a submission, are not redacted.
The address of the person making a submission can only be kept confidential if that person satisfies Council's General Manager through a statutory declaration, that the safety of that person or their family would otherwise be at risk.
Are Councillors involved in the DA process?
No, Councillors are not involved with the assessment or determination of DAs.
Historically, certain types of DAs were reported to Council meetings for determination by Councillors. In late 2017, the State Government moved to change this by making Local Planning Panels mandatory in all Council’s within the Greater Sydney region and Wollongong. The Local Planning Panel is to carry out the functions of Council (in terms of its role as the consent authority under the Act).
The Local Planning Panel for Inner West Council is referred to as the Inner West Planning Panel (IWLPP).
However, Councillors are involved and continue to represent the community on planning matters in their critical role in establishing what the planning controls and objectives are for the area. These are often in direct response to issues raised by our community.