Do I need a Development Application?

Most types of development require a development application.

The types of development which will normally need a development application include:

  • New buildings
  • Alterations and additions to existing buildings, including swimming pools
  • Most types of change of use of existing buildings or premises
  • Demolition of buildings, including heritage items or buildings in the heritage conservations area
  • Alterations or additions to heritage items or buildings in the heritage conservation area
  • Subdivision of land
  • Strata title subdivision of buildings
  • Advertising signs
  • Earthworks, filling and clearing

Alternatively, some lesser impacting developments such as sheds, rainwater tanks and driveways, may only require the less onerous Complying Development process, or even be exempt from requiring development approval.

The NSW State Government has also recently introduced the “NSW Housing Code” and a new State Environmental Planning Policy which provides new controls to determine whether developments are either Complying or Exempt.

If you are proposing to undertake complying development, please refer to Council’s Complying Development Checklist for further information.

Development types that require an application

Local Development, under Part 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EPAA), requires the lodgement of a DA to Council.

Not all developments are assessed by Council. Certain types of development may require input or assessment by other State Government authorities. Make sure you check the categories below to see if this applies to your development.

Certain types of building works, such as Council and government infrastructure (roads, parks, sewer and water systems) fall outside of the Part 4 of the EPAA, and require approval under Part 5 of the EPAA. Part 5 approvals generally do not apply to private local developments.

Most building works will require a secondary form of approval (following the approval of the DA) which is known as a Construction Certificate (CC). A CC is required before commencing any building or construction work, and assures that the detailed plans and specifications comply with the Building Code of Australia and associated standards and codes, and also aims to ensure that there is consistency with the approved DA. Further information on Construction Certificates can be found in the Construction Process section of this web site.

It is possible to lodge a Development Application and Construction Certificate with Council at the same time. Combined applications can bring great efficiencies, particularly for smaller development proposals (such as single residential dwellings and residential alterations and additions), as it allows for the concurrent assessment of both development and building issues by specialised Council officers. Both the DA and CC, in many cases, can be issued at the same time, allowing for the prompt commencement of construction works.

For more complicated forms of Development, the CC may be withheld until specific matters as required under the development consent have been satisfactorily addressed.

Integrated Development is development that needs both Development Consent from Council and an approval from another Government Authority under other legislation. An application for certain nominated approvals is able to be integrated as part of the Development Application process allowing them to be assessed concurrently by Council and the Government Authority.

Examples of the more common types of Integrated Development that occur within the Wagga Wagga LGA are:

  • The requirement for a Bushfire Safety Authority under the Rural Fires Act 1997 from the NSW Rural Fire Service for certain types of development located within bushfire prone land.

  • The requirement for a Part 3A permit under the Water Management Act 2000 from the NSW Office of Water for certain works within, or within close proximity to, defined waterways.

A full list of Integrated Development can be found in the table under Section 91 of the EPAA 1979.  Alternatively, the nominated approvals are identified in Attachment B (Integrated Development) which is required to be completed and submitted with your Development Application.

Where possible, Council is able to assist you to identify relevant approvals and agencies. However, if there is an uncertainty as to whether another approval is required, please consult directly with the relevant agency. It is your responsibility to ascertain which approvals are required before lodging your Development Application.

If further approval is required, you may apply as an 'integrated development'. The application will be referred to the relevant agency to obtain their 'general terms of approval'. These requirements will then be incorporated in the conditions of any development consent issued by the Council under the heading of General Terms of Approval (GTA).

An additional prescribed fee per approval body referral applies to integrated development (schedule of fees can be obtained from Customer Service or on Council's webpage). Cheques for the correct amount are to be made payable to the applicable approval body.

Note: On 14 September 2011 the Wagga Wagga City Council Planning panel and the Wagga Wagga Interim Joint Planning Panel were abolished. The Wagga Wagga Local Government Area now comes under the jurisdiction of the Southern Region Joint Planning Panel.

The NSW Government's planning reforms, aimed at delivering a more efficient and transparent planning system, include the establishment of Joint Regional Planning Panels. The Wagga Wagga LGA falls within the jurisdiction of the Southern Region Joint Planning Panel (SRJPP).

The SRJPP has been established to provide greater expertise and independence on regional planning issues. The SRJPP will make merit-based decisions on regionally significant development and provide advice to the Minister, as needed.

The SRJPP consists of members appointed by the NSW Government and by councils.

Whilst a Development Application will still be made to Council for the following types of development, the application will ultimately be determined by the SRJPP.  The types of development subject to SRJPP determination are:

  • development with a Capital Investment Value (CIV) over $20 million
  • development with a CIV over $5 million which is
    • council related
    • lodged by or on behalf of the Crown (State of NSW)
    • private infrastructure and community facilities or
    • eco-tourist facilities
  • extractive industries, waste facilities and marinas that are designated development
  • development with a CIV between $10 million and $20 million which are referred to the regional panel by the applicant after 120 days
  • crown development applications (with a CIV under $5 million) referred to the regional panel by the applicant or local council after 70 days from lodgement as undetermined, including where recommended conditions are in dispute.

The regional panel meets in public to consider any development application that has been referred to it.  The purpose of the meeting is for the regional panel to hear those who wish to express their view on the development application before the panel makes a decision.  Following hearing of public submissions, the panel may proceed to determine the application or decide another course of action, where appropriate.

The SRJPP meeting dates are listed on the Joint Regional Planning Panels website.

All documentation for development applications referred to the panel for consideration will be displayed on the Regional Planning Panel website. These documents can be accessed by clicking the link and scrolling down the page to 'Southern Regional Joint Planning Panel'.

Other detailed information about the functions and operations of the Regional Panels is available on the Joint Regional Planning Panels website.

The State significant assessment system establishes two separate assessment pathways known as State Significant Development (SSD) and State Significant Infrastructure (SSI). Projects that fall into these categories are assessed by the Department of Planning and Infrastructure.

For further information on State Significant Development click here.

These types of development require particular scrutiny because of the nature of the development, or their potential impact. These developments are listed under Schedule 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 and include industries such as concrete batching plants and the like that have a high potential to pollute.Designated Development is generally a type of Local Development that has potentially significant environmental impacts.Applicants must firstly obtain the Director General's requirements from the Department of Planning for the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The EIS is submitted with the Development Application to Council for assessment.The application will be determined by either Council or the Southern Region Joint Regional Planning Panel.

In preparing any development application prior to lodgement, an 'Assessment of Significance' under Section 5A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is required to be undertaken by a suitably qualified ecologist to investigate whether the proposed development has a significant impact on threatened species, populations, or endangered ecological communities, or their habitats. The 'Assessment of Significance' is to be submitted with the development application.

Applications that pose a significant impact on threatened species of fauna or flora, endangered ecological communities, or their habitats (as determined by the 'Assessment of Significance') will require the preparation of a Species Impact Statement (SIS). The SIS must also be submitted with the development application, and the approval/concurrence of the Director General of the Department of Environment and Heritage must be obtained before Council can consent to the development application.

The Council has the discretion to determine that an SIS is required, based on the findings of the 'Assessment of Significance'.

The requirements of the Director General of the Department of Planning must be obtained before the preparation of any SIS.

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act and Regulation (including associated legislation such as SEPPs and LEPs) may require that Council seek and obtain the concurrence of certain government authorities such as a Minister, a Commissioner, or a Director General before approval may be given to the subject Development Application.

At the time of lodging the development application, the required concurrences must be identified as part of the application and a referral administration fee paid to the relevant Government Department.

Some examples include the concurrence of the Director General of the Office of Environment and Heritage for Threatened Species Development, or the concurrence of the Director General of the Department of Planning for variations to certain development standards contained in LEPs.

Issues of concurrence should be discussed with Council planning staff prior to lodging affected development applications, and will require an additional set of supporting documents to be provided at lodgement for each concurrence referral.

Failure to identify all required concurrences at the time of lodgement, will result in delays of the processing of the DA.

An additional prescribed fee per concurrence applies to this type of development (schedule of fees can be obtained from Customer Service or by clicking here). Cheques for this amount are to be made payable to the applicable concurrence authority.

Similar to most Local Developments, you need to determine first whether a development application for a subdivision is required. Subdivisions are generally assessed as part of the DA for development. Most "subdivisions" do require development consent under Clause 2.6 of the Wagga Wagga LEP 2010, although the clause does identify certain exemptions. If a development application is required, you will need to address the minimum allotment standards of Clause 4.1 of the Wagga Wagga LEP 2010, as well as the more detailed subdivision controls of Section 7 of the Wagga Wagga DCP 2010.

Types of Subdivisions

A torrens title subdivision involves the creation of new allotments from an existing allotment. To obtain approval for a torrens title subdivision, a development application is required to be lodged with Council.

A strata subdivision is most commonly used within multi unit residential and commercial buildings. This title gives individual ownership to small portions of a larger property and an undivided share to common property (e.g. communal foyers, hallways, gardens and driveways). It also allows for the vertical subdivision of sections of a building into separate titles such as the separation of a ground floor retail or commercial area from the above residential floors. Owners will become members of the body corporate, which controls maintenance of common areas and other matters.

A strata subdivision may be Exempt Development. If not Exempt Development, a development application will be required.

A boundary adjustment is defined as the re-alignment of a lot boundary. A boundary adjustment may be exempt from having to obtain development consent, as mentioned above through Clause 2.6 of the Wagga Wagga LEP 2010. Refer to the Exempt Development section on this web site for further information.

A site consolidation is the amalgamation of two or more lots into one lot. A consolidation of allotments may be exempt from having to obtain development consent, as mentioned above through Clause 2.6 of the Wagga Wagga LEP 2010. Refer to the Exempt Development section on this website for further information.

The development application is generally just the first stage of the assessment of subdivision proposals with further assessment and approvals required at a later stage. Please see the Subdivision Certificate section of the website for further information.