Preparing a Development Application (DA)

A Development Application (or DA) is a formal request (legal document) for permission for development. As a minimum, an application consists of:

  • Plans and drawings of the proposed development;
  • A Statement of Environmental Effects and other documentation; and
  • A completed application form.

1. Ask about Council controls & policies

Ask us first!

The first step in preparing a DA is to find out about Council development controls, policies and guidelines. Before you can start designing your proposal, you need to know about:

• Gilgandra Local Environment Plan 2011 (provide link);

• Gilgandra Shire Development Control Plan 2011 (provide link);

• Any other state environmental planning instruments;

• Design principles and guidelines;

• Previous Council decisions; and

• Likely conditions of consent, including development contributions that may be payable;

• Other fees and charges that may be applicable to your proposal.

Pre-Lodgment Meeting

We suggest you contact Council’s Planning & Environment Department for information and advice as early as possible in the preparation of your DA. Our staff can answer most enquiries over the phone, or you can call in personally. Council offers a Pre-Lodgment Meeting, held at Council’s Offices, where the Applicant can go through the proposed development with Council’s Assessment Officers, who can provide detailed advice regarding:

• Relevant design guidelines and objectives;

• Site constraints;

• Assessment criteria about certain proposals;

• Assessment criteria about the environment, contaminated land, heritage, flooding and bushfire hazards;

• Servicing and infrastructure requirements;

• Approvals needed under the Local Government Act;

• Building regulations and Construction Certificates; and

• Other matters that you will need to consider when designing your proposal.

The pre-lodgment advice is free of charge, and can be arranged by calling Council's Planning & Environment Department on 02 6817 8800.

2. Plans & Drawings

You will need to prepare plans and drawings to support your DA. The actual plans required for your proposal will depend on the type of development proposed. The following is a general guide as to what plans your application will need, however we recommend that you check with Council’s Planning & Environment Department for any requirements that specifically relate to your proposal or the site.

Your builder should be able to assist with all the plans that you need. Builders generally understand the Development Application process and should be able to assist with supplying the diagrams and plans that you need.

 As a general rule all plans should be drawn at an appropriate scale and include the date, author’s name, north point (toward solar north) and scale (show ratio and bar scale).

A Site Analysis Plan (all applications)

A Site Analysis Plan is an aerial view of your proposal and assists the developer and

  • Council consider the existing landscape and development on the site and to gauge the impacts of the proposed new development on the site and its surrounds. The Site Analysis Plan is usually presented as a site plan drawn at 1:100 or 1:200 that depicts existing constraints and opportunities on the land and any building improvements on the site and adjoining properties. It is used to help determine how the proposed new development will fit into the locality with minimal impact on the site or on neighboring or near-by development. 

    As a minimum, the following should be included on a Site Analysis Plan:

    • Location, boundary dimensions, site area and north point;

    • Location and type of existing vegetation;

    • Flood prone areas, waterways or drainage lines;

    • Location and use of buildings;

    • The location and use of buildings on adjoining sites;

    • Existing access arrangements;

    • Services (phone, power, sewer, water etc); and

    • Contaminated areas and land degradation areas;

    • Contours of the site and adjacent allotments.

  • Site Plan (all applications)

    The site plan will clearly show where the proposed use/building will be located in relation to the property boundaries. Development on small urban sized blocks is generally drawn at standard scales such as 1:100 or 1:200, with scales of 1:500 or greater being used on larger blocks. The site plan should include the following:

    • Location of proposed new buildings, alterations or works (show setback distances from boundaries and adjoining buildings);

    • Location of any on-site waste treatment system;

    • Existing buildings (show outline only) and vegetation;

    • Proposed landscaped areas;

    • Walls and fences;

    • Vehicle entrance and exit driveways; and

    • Car parking and loading areas (if applicable).

    • Existing levels of the land in relation to buildings and roads.

    (Example maybe?) 

  • Floor plan (all applications)

    A floor plan is a bird’s-eye view of the building with the roof removed. The floor plan must be drawn to scale, preferably 1:100, and must include:

    • The height of floor level in relation to existing and future ground levels;

    • The layout, partitioning, room dimensions and intended uses for each part of the building;

    • Window and door locations, and sizes;

    • Floor levels and steps in floor levels (Australian Height Datum values for development in flood prone areas);

    • The location of plumbing fixtures;

    • Wall structure type and thickness;

    • All Basix measures (if required), as detailed in the Basix Certificate; and

    • For dwellings located in nominated Bushfire Prone Areas, the Construction of the dwelling shall comply with AS3959 - 2009 - Amendment Numbers 1, 2 and 3

    "Construction of Buildings in Bushfire Prone areas". These bushfire mitigation requirements are to be listed on the plans

  • Elevations (all applications)

The elevations (or side view) of buildings will clearly show the appearance of buildings.

Elevation drawings are generally drawn at standard scales such as 1:100 or 1:200 and

show elevations of all four sides of the building. The elevation drawings should include the following:

• Existing buildings (show outline only);

• Building facade, windows, doors, roof profile;

• External finishes (eg wall, roof, window, door and fence materials, paint colours, etc);

• Finished ground levels, floor levels, ceiling levels, roof line levels (show driveway grade);

• Chimneys, flues, exhaust vents and ducts (show height in relation to adjoining roof levels);

• Downpipes and gutters;

• Retaining walls and fences (indicate height); and

• Extent of excavation or filling of the site.

(Include example)


How many copies?

• A minimum of two (2) copies of all plans will be required when you submit your application.

3. Statement of Environmental Effects

What is a Statement of Environmental Effects?

A Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) is a report outlining the likely impacts of the proposal and the proposed measures that will mitigate these impacts. The statement includes written information about the proposal that cannot be readily shown on your plans and drawings.


The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 requires that a SEE should address all the issues that are applicable to your proposal and must indicate:

• The environmental impacts of the development;

• How the environmental impacts of the development have been identified;

• The steps to be taken to protect the environment or to lessen the expected harm to the environment; and

• Any matters required to be indicated by any guidelines issued by the Director-General for the purposes of this clause;


We recommend that you try to structure your SEE to address the following:

• Description of land and definition of land use proposal (as defined in Gilgandra Local Environmental Plan 2011);

• Description of present and previous use of the land;

• Description of present use of adjoining land;

• Description of visual setting (eg character of area, streetscape, urban/rural setting);

• Description of the age and condition of buildings on the site;

• Statement as to whether the site is contaminated or not and details of any previous contamination investigations carried out on the site;

• Description of the proposal including a description and use of existing and proposed buildings and any associated works


A Statement of Environmental Effects form can be downloaded here and should be completed and lodged with your Development Application.

4. Basix Certificate

What is a Basix Certificate?

The Building Sustainability Index (BASIX) is a web-based planning tool designed to assess the potential performance of residential buildings against a range of sustainability indices.


A BASIX Certificate identifies the sustainability features required to be incorporated in the building design. These features may include sustainable design elements such as recycled water, rainwater tanks, AAA-rated showerheads and taps, native landscaping, heat pump or solar water heaters, gas space heaters, roof eaves/awnings and wall/ceiling insulation.


The applicant is required to submit the BASIX Certificate with the Development Application or Complying Development Certificate application. The plans and specifications must also identify the BASIX commitments that are consistent with the relevant BASIX Certificate. (BASIX form?)


When is a Basix Certificate Required?

A BASIX Certificate is required for all new dwellings (not transportable dwellings) and dwelling alterations of $50,000 or over. More information on BASIX can be found by visiting the website.


All Basix Measures (if required, and as detailed in the Basix Certificate) are to be shown on the plans.

5. Construction Certificate Application

Is a Construction Certificate Required?

If your proposal involves construction works (and cannot be carried out as “complying development”), then you will need to lodge a Construction Certificate Application. You are not able to commence any form of construction until you have received Development Consent and a Construction Certificate. A Construction Certificate can be approved and issued by Gilgandra Shire Council or a Private Certifier.

What is a Construction Certificate?

A Construction Certificate is an approval that certifies that your proposed development, if completed in accordance with your plans and specifications, will comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) including relevant associated structural standards and codes.

Appointing A Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)?

A Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) is the authorised Certifier who issues the Construction Certificate. You may wish to appoint Gilgandra Shire Council or a Private Certifier as the PCA to issue your Construction Certificate.

Should you wish to appoint Gilgandra Shire Council as the Principal Certifying Authority

Should you wish to appoint Gilgandra Shire Council as the Principal Certifying Authority

(PCA) to issue your Construction Certificate, please tick the “Gilgandra Shire Council” box in Section 7 of your Development Application Form. A Construction Certificate Application may be lodged at the same time as your Development Application or at any time after the lodgment of your Development Application.

On the other hand, if you choose to engage a Private Certifier to issue the Construction Certificate, please indicate the Name and Accreditation number of the certifier in Section 7 of your Development Application Form.

A Construction Certificate cannot however be issued unless the Development Application has been determined, and the Construction Certificate is consistent with the Development Consent. You must appoint a PCA, either Council or a Private Certifier, and notify Council in writing before you start any construction work.

When do I Lodge my Construction Certificate Application (If I choose Council as the PCA)?

Lodging the Construction Certificate Application and Development Application at the same time will improve the processing time of the Construction Certificate, as the Construction Certificate can be assessed at the same time as your Development Application. 

A Construction Certificate Application must include:

• Detailed building plans and detailed specifications;

• Detailed engineering plans where applicable;

• Any other relevant documents, including a BASIX certificate if required;

Details of the licensed builder (for all residential building work over $5,000) and a copy of the Home Owners Warranty Insurance (only required for residential work over

$20,000)? Note: If contract value is under $20,000 HOW insurance is not required. Rural machinery/farm sheds do not require insurance, and;

• Full payment of the appropriate application fees;

6. Complete the Application Form

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 provides details on how a development application must be made. To ensure your application is properly lodged with Council, it is important that the application form is completed correctly. The following advice is provided to assist you to complete more difficult sections of the DA Form:

  • Describe the Proposed Development

    You must describe the proposed development in detail. Tell us exactly what you propose and define the land use (eg. dwelling, shed, garage, carport). Council’s Planning & Environment Department can assist in properly describing the proposed development.


  • The Estimated Total Cost of the Proposed Development

    The Estimated Total Cost of the Proposed Development needs to be detailed in Section 4 of your Development Application Form. Please note that the cost must be a true market cost for the work, including all materials and labour costs and including all work necessary to complete the development. Please Note: If the estimated total cost appears to be too low, Council may determine the cost of the work against current industry construction costs.


  • Other Council Approvals

    There may be other Council approvals required to permit your development proposal in addition to development consent. By ticking any boxes that are relevant in the DA form, you will avoid the need to make a separate application later. An additional fee may also apply.


  • Owner's Consent

    You must obtain the consent of the landowner/s. If there is more than one landowner, every owner must sign. If the owner is a company or owners' association, the application must be signed by an authorised person of the company, preferably under common seal. If land is owned by a company or is within a strata building, the seal of the company or body corporate should be attached to the application. If the application form is not signed by the landowner(s), we cannot determine your application.

  • Your Signature

As the applicant for the DA you are required to sign the DA Form. Please note that all

correspondence and enquiries will be made to the applicant of the DA.


Please note that a Council officer will be required to inspect your property following the lodgment of the Development Application, and will contact you prior to the site inspection.

7. Properly Lodge the Application

How to lodge your application

Please send your application form, plans, the statement of environmental effects, the Basix Certificate and fees to us by mail PO Box 23 GILGANDRA NSW 2827. You can also lodge your application in person at Council's Customer Service Centre (Gilgandra Access Centre) between the hours of 8.30am and 4.30pm.

Please Note - Payment of the fees is required at the time of lodgment. Lodgment of the development application will be delayed until all fees are paid.


Please ensure that all the necessary information, as identified in this guide, and the associated DA checklist, is submitted.

If your application is incomplete, it will not be accepted and will be returned to you.



Fees are calculated on a scale based on the estimated cost of development. The fees can be calculated for you should you attend a Pre-Lodgment Meeting, or alternatively, you can call Council's Planning & Environment Department on 02 6817 8800 to obtain a written fee quotation.


Long Service Levy

If your proposal involves building work with a value exceeding $24,999, you need to pay the Building Industry Long Service Levy. This levy will be included in your written fee quotation.


Payment Options

• Cheque - Make cheques payable to 'Gilgandra Shire Council'

• Cash and EFTPOS - Only for applications lodged in person.

• Credit - Bankcard, Mastercard, Visa can be taken over the phone (once application

has been received).


After you Lodge Your Application

  • Acknowledgement

    Upon receipt of your DA, Council will write to you acknowledging your application has been received and provide you with the application details, including the registered DA number.


  • More Information

    As a result of a preliminary assessment of your application, we may need more information about your development proposal. If we do, we will request this by telephone or email as soon as possible after receiving the application.


  • Public Notification

    Some development applications are neighbour notified and some are advertised to enable interested persons to submit comments to the Council. The minimum submission period is 21 days, however, some Development Applications may be advertised for longer periods.


  • Assessment Process

    After the completion of the notification period, Council will assess your application. This process will take account of all advertising statutory requirements,

    Council's adopted codes and policies and any submissions that may have been received.


    Development Applications that comply with all relevant standards are generally determined by a delegated assessment officer. Applications that do not comply with development standards or have received significant objections or are of a contentious nature or involve Council interests, are referred to Council’s Elected Members for determination. Council Meetings take place once per month.


  • Notice of Determination

    After your application has been determined you will receive a 'Notice of Determination of

    Development Application'. The notice will tell you whether Council has approved or refused your application. If your application is approved, the notice will give details of any conditions of consent and the reasons for those conditions. It will also tell you when the consent becomes effective and when it will lapse. The approval notice will also explain your right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court. If your application is refused, the notice will give the reasons for refusal. The Notice will also explain your right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court.


  • Conditions of Consent

    If your DA is approved, you must ensure that the development is carried out in accordance with any relevant conditions. You cannot alter or vary the development (or the way in which it operates) unless the terms of the consent are modified. To do this, you must make an application to modify the consent. An additional fee applies.


  • Section 94 Contributions

    Your notice of determination may include a 'Section 94 or Section 94A Contribution'. This is a condition requiring a payment towards the capital cost of providing community facilities such as public open space, car parking etc. You can view or obtain a copy of the relevant Contributions Plan on Council’s here (provide link).


  • What to do if you Disagree with your Notice of Determination

If you are dissatisfied with the determination of your DA, please contact us immediately so we can clarify issues and discuss your options. Options available to you include:

• Review of Determination of your DA

You must complete an application form and pay an additional fee if you seek a review of your proposal.


• Application to Modify a Development Consent

This may be appropriate if you disagree with particular conditions of consent or decide to amend certain aspects of the proposal. You must complete an application form and attach a written justification for the proposed modification and plans indicating proposed modifications or changes. You must also pay an application fee.


• Appeal to the Land and Environment Court

If you are dissatisfied with your notice of determination you can appeal to the Land and

Environment Court within 12 months of the day on which you received your notice of


After you Lodge Your Application

You generally need to lodge a Development Application if you propose to do any of the following:

• Erect a new building or structure, (including outbuildings, swimming pools, etc.);

• Add to or alter an existing building (enclose a verandah, extensions, build a deck, etc.);

• Demolish a building;

• Demolish, damage or alter a building or place that is a heritage item or that is within a heritage conservation area;

• Change the use of an existing building or land (e.g. start a new business there);

• Subdivide land or strata subdivide a building;

• Carry out significant earthworks, excavation or filling.

Please note that it is always better to check with Council whether your proposal fits under these categories before going ahead with your development. Please call Council’s Planning & Environment Department on 02 6817 8800 to arrange to speak to one of our staff members.

Exempt Development is minor development that does not need approval from Council.

Complying Development is development that qualifies for Council approval via a process that is more streamlined than the Development Application process.

Complying development is specific to certain types of development that are suitable for a fast-track approval pathway.

For a comprehensive overview of exempt and complying development please refer to the State Environmental Planning Policy, Exempt & Complying Development Codes 2008.