Development advisory services

We offer a number of advisory services if you are thinking of carrying out any development including:

  • demolition of a building
  • additions or renovations to your home or commercial premises
  • change of use of a building
  • a large development such as townhouses or apartment/commercial construction.

General planning enquiries

As a first step, you can call one of our planning advisory officers at your closest customer service centre.

The planning advisory officer can help by explaining:

  • the basic planning controls and policies that affect your property
  • whether your proposal is likely to require formal approval or can be done without consent
  • the controls applying to your property (for example, whether your property is heritage-listed) and the process for applying for approval to carry out the work.

We’re making some changes to make development applications easier and simpler. This includes:

  • Giving applicants 21 days (rather than 14 days) to make amendments or provide additional information to their DA
  • Improving feedback times by making internal referrals more efficient
  • Dedicating one planner through the entire process (where applicable) so applicants are dealing with the one person until completion
  • Refining the duty planner service (See below) to hasten workflow and therefore timeframes
  • Implementing changes to streamline the lodgment of applications.


Duty planner service

Changes to the duty planner service will help staff work efficiently whilst still providing a planner where and when there is currently the greatest demand.

From 12 August 2019, a duty planner will be available as follows:

General planning enquiries


02 9392 5000 – Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

Lodging a development application

For information on lodging click here



Pre-development application

Pre-DA applications are highly recommended

Although not compulsory, submitting a pre-DA application before a formal application can identify and resolve issues.  This is likely to improve chances that your formal application will be processed for efficiently. 

Document requirements

There are no minimum documentation requirements. However, the more information you give us, the more informed and helpful our response will be. Ideally, you should provide some sketch drawings and photos.

Receiving feedback

The planning advisory officers will:

  • advise you about specific controls applying to your property (for example, whether you can add a second storey)
  • work with you to identify any issues with your proposal so that they may be resolved and subsequently a development application may be better supported
  • provide written correspondence in response to the proposal outlining the advice including any recommendations.

How will doing a pre-DA help with my DA?

In addition to resolving issues early in the design phase it is important to note that Council will only accept amendments to a development application that will not disrupt the process of the application. If the changes required are substantial, then you may be requested to withdraw your application or it may be refused. It is therefore recommended that you seek pre-development application advice prior to seeking formal approval. 

Resolving issues face-to-face

Some pre-DA applications also include meetings which are by appointment only and are usually held at Council's Leichhardt Service Centre (7-15 Wetherill Street, Leichhardt) during business hours. Once you lodge your Pre-DA application, Council will advise of the date and time the meeting.

Pre-DA meetings are beneficial to enable open discussion about issues and potential solutions.

Meetings will normally take approximately 45 minutes.

After the pre-DA

Further information and follow-up meetings may be recommended for proposals which require further consideration of complex issues or substantial redesign.

Alternatively if issues can be easily resolved, it may be recommended that you make the relevant amendments (if required) to your design and proceed to lodging a formal Development Application.

Applying for pre-DA advice

You can use our online self-service website to request pre-development application advice.

Go to online self-service

The cost of the service is based on the nature and complexity of the proposal, and whether multiple officers from Council, such as heritage and engineering officers, are likely to be involved.

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Page last updated: 29 Sep 2020