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 twenty-one 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 & Lodgments
Changes to the Duty Planning 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:
If you are going to lodge a Development Application, it is requested that you to do so at a time when a Duty Planner is available.
This will ensure a specialist staff member is on hand to deal with your application. You will still be able to submit your application at the relevant service centre when a Duty Planner is not available, but it may take additional time for your application to be lodged.
Further planned changes
Council is currently exploring options to provide an online booking for the Duty Planner at the Leichardt Service Centre and on-line DA lodgement.
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.
If you would like advice on a specific proposal or in response to plans, please complete and lodge the Pre DA application form (PDF 189.7KB) with information about your project.
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.
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.
Pre-DA application form
To request pre-development application advice, please use the form below:
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.