How to Prepare a Development Application to Councils

3 min read

Preparing a development application for your local council may seem overwhelming. However, breaking down the process into clear steps can make handling easier. This guide will help you prepare your DA and improve your chances of approval.

First, understand the basics of the DA process. Submit detailed plans and documentation. Address relevant considerations councils examine. Zoning regulations, building codes, environmental impacts, heritage concerns, community feedback, and more are included.

Choose the Right Planning Consultants

Your first step should be engaging the right planning consultants. The team you choose needs extensive experience specifically with your local council. For example, firms specializing in Northern Beaches Town Planner will understand the unique approaches and priorities across Mosman, Manly, and Pittwater councils. This local expertise ensures your DA packages tick all the boxes needed for prompt approval.

Understand the Site and Surrounds

The next step is deep understanding of your development site and surroundings. This includes factors like:

  • Zoning details and limitations
  • Heritage listings or conservation concerns
  • Community sensitivity to types of developments
  • Environmental factors like vegetation, wildlife, waterways etc.

With this knowledge, you can shape your proposal to align with priorities and sensitivities. Getting input from neighbors early also smooths the process.

Prepare the Key DA Components

With the background work done, it's time to prepare the key components councils need to assess your DA. This includes:

Detailed Architectural Plans

Site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections, landscape plans, shadow diagrams and more give councils a complete visual understanding of what you intend to build. Accuracy and detail are vital for prompt consideration.

Statement of Environmental Effects

The SEE report outlines your proposal and demonstrates how it meets relevant policies, codes, and priorities. Experts who Prepare Statement of Environmental Effects Reports know exactly how to structure persuasive, compliant reports.

How to Prepare a Development Application to Councils

Specialist Reports

Unique sites may need additional reports covering traffic, acoustics, flooding, contamination, heritage impact, etc. Your consultants guide you on which reports your site needs.

Preparing for Compliance and Environmental Considerations

Local requirements must absolutely be respected. Take care and prepare Prepare Complying Development Certificate Reports (CDCs). What's more, environmental issues are part of the landscape in today's planning process. Prepare Environmental Impacts Statements (EIS) to show how your project can prevent environmental hazards. They also prove that you are doing sustainable, responsible development to the council.

Submit Your DA and Respond to Feedback

With a polished, compliant DA prepared, submission to the council is straightforward. However, councils often request more information during assessment. Experts in project management of Development Applications ensure someone always has an eye on your application and can respond promptly to these requests. This keeps your DA moving smoothly rather than stalling.

Dealing with Rezonings and Change of Use

Your project may need planning rezonings or change of use proposals. These are the most difficult issues in a development application because they have to pass through all these extra levels of approval. Attack these changes with detailed information to relate to your point. The more you prepare yourself, the smoother it will go.



Preparing rock-solid development applications takes expertise, but the right planning team simplifies the process. For tailored guidance from DA submission to approval, consult the experts at Metro Planning.

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Wyatt Ryan 2
Joined: 1 year ago
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