Development Application (DAs) need to be lodged with the Council for many different types of building work and other development. If you need developmentn consent for your proposal, you are not allowed to start work until you get that consent.
What is a Development Application?
Where your proposal cannot be treated as exempt or complying development, you normally need to lodge a development application with Strathfield Municipal Council. Development that needs consent cannot legally be started unless the council grants development consent first.
A Development Application (DA) is a formal request for permission to carry out proposed development. Development is legally defined as:
the erection, including alteration in whole or part, of a building;
- work in, on, over, or under land;
- the use of land or of a building;
- the subdivision of land; or
- the strata subdivision of a building.
Generally, a DA consists of an application form and plans and drawings of the proposed development. On average, Council processes development applications in 40 days, in line with the legislative timeframe.
Preparing Your DA
If you are considering building a new house or other type of development or carrying out extensions, you will need to familarise yourself with various Council controls which contain a number of requirements and guidelines to ensure the proposal is suitable.
Council has prepared a Consolidated Development Control Plan (CDCP) and site specific DCPs relating to residential dwellings and ancillary structures, dual occupancy development, medium density development, mixed use developments in the Parramatta Corridor Area, commercial development and industrial development. You should obtain a copy of the CDCP or site specific DCPs prior to carrying out any development works.
Council approval is required for most developments. A development application form must be completed and accompanied with the relevant information and plans to ensure all the requirements are met. Development applications can be lodged online using Council's eDA online development application system.
Refer to Guidelines for Completing Applications (Class 1a - 10 buildings) for dwelling houses and ancillary structures such as carports, pools, fences, barbeques and awnings or Guidelines for Completing Applications (Class 1b - 9 buildings) for residential flat buildings, industrial uses and commercial premises when preparing your DA.
Not all works require a formal application and approval. Council has determined a large number of types of construction and building works which have minor environmental impact depending on their size and location and therefore can be carried out without approval. Such works are known as ‘Exempt Development’ and include minor internal and external dwelling alterations, some air conditioning systems, garden sheds, fencing, paving and awnings. It is required that you check with Council first to determine if the work you intend to carry out requires an application or not.
Council has also classified some other slightly larger types of activities which are known as ‘Complying Development’. Approval is required to be issued for complying development works however it can be issued by either Council or a Private Certifier.
Where any works to development is carried out without Council approval or not in accordance with exempt or complying development requirements, on the spot fines can be issued and/or you can be prosecuted through the courts. If is therefore strongly advised that you contact Council before commencing any works.
Preparing a Statement of Environmental Effects
A Statement of Environmental Effects is a report that recognises and explains the likely impacts of the proposal and how you will minimise these impacts. The statement includes written information about your proposal that cannot be readily shown on your plans and drawings. All development applications require a Statement of Environmental Effects. Only a very brief statement is required for proposals likely to have negligible impact, e.g. internal alterations, and certain minor residential building work (except heritage items or a heritage conservation area). You must however explain why there will be negligible impact.
If you have any doubt about what information is to be included in your Statement please check with us before submitting your application.
Completing the Application Form
As the application form is a legal document you should ensure that there are no false or misleading information within the application before you sign the form.
- Owner's consent / signature: You must obtain the consent of the landowner. If there is more than one landowner, every owner must sign. If the owner is a Company or Owners’ Corporation, the application must be signed by an authorised person under common seal, If the application form is not signed by the landowner/s and by you as the applicant, we cannot accept it. If your property is a strata unit, and you are proposing any development beyond your unit entitlement, you will need to get the approval of the Owners’ Corporation.
If you have recently purchased the property, it is possible that Council will not yet have received formal notice of the sale, and therefore the previous owner will still be listed as the owner in our records. In this case, it is important for you to provide either a copy of the transfer of sale, a letter from your solicitor or other evidence demonstrating that the transfer has taken place.
- General Declaration: You should declare all affiliations or associations with Councillor/s or Council staff which may lead a reasonable person to believe that a Councillor or staff member may not be able to deal with your application in an impartial manner. This includes all affiliations or association with a Councillor/s or member/s of staff where you have:
- a friendship, personal or family relationship;
- a shared membership in a club, political party or organisation;
- business dealings with a Councillor/s or member/s of staff outside their official Council role; or
- provided a gift, benefit, loan, payment or hospitality.
- Political Donations or Gifts: If you have made a political donation or a gift within two years before the date of this application, you must comply with Section 147 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979. This requires the disclosure of political donations and gifts made by the applicants or persons with a financial interest in this application. The information about political donations that must be disclosed is the same as that required by the Election Funding Authority. You must disclose: the name of the person to whom the gift was made; the date, name, address of the person making the gift; and the amount or value of that gift. The Act requires that this information is posted and publicly available on Council’s website.
Estimated cost (the ‘contract’ cost)
The estimated value of work must include the cost of materials and all labour costs and is based on the cost incurred if a contractor carried out the works. This is not the cost of an owner-builder undertaking the work. If demolition or land modification i.e. excavation or fill is required, these costs must be included in the estimated value.
Please note that Council will check the estimated cost provided on your development application when lodged. Incorrectly paid fees will result in delays to your application. Fees are calculated on a scale based on the estimated cost of development (or the number of lots in the case of subdivision).
Long Service Levy
If your proposal involves building work with a value of more than $25000 you need to pay the Building Industry Long Service Levy. You must pay this prior to the release of the Construction Certificate.
Your proposal must be described in detail. If you can’t describe your proposal in the space provided on the application form, you will need to include a full description in your Statement of Environmental Effects.
Approval from Other agencies
Your proposal may require approval from other government agencies. Where possible, we can help you identify relevant agencies (see the Other Agency Approval section of this Guide).
However, it is your responsibility to ascertain which approvals are required. Agencies from which you may need an approval include:
- NSW Office of Water;
- Department of Primary Industries;
- Department of Planning and Infrastructure;
- NSW Office of Environment and Heritage;
- Roads and Maritime Services (formerly RTA);
We strongly recommend that you consult with the relevant agencies as early as possible.
Cheque: Make your cheque payable to Strathfield Municipal Council.
Cash/credit: Only for applications lodged at our Customer Service Centre. You can pay cash/credit between 8.30am and 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
The DA Assessment Process
Once a Development Application is lodged with Council, the following is a guide to the next steps taken in determining an application:
Acknowledgment: You will receive an acknowledgement letter including the registered development application number to acknowledge that we have received your application.
If we need more information: It is essential that you supply Council with all the information required otherwise your application may be rejected. We may need more information about your application, and if we do we will request this by mail as soon as possible after receiving your application.
Failure to submit the requested information will result in your application being determined with the information at hand, and may result in refusal of the application, or at worst your application will be returned to you for re-submission with all the required information.
Neighbour notification and advertising: Most development applications are publicly notified to enable interested persons to submit comments to us. The submission period is generally 14 days however, can be 30 days. Further information on the notification requirements can be found in Part L of Strathfield’s Consolidated DCP ‘Public notification requirements for development and complying development applications’ available on our website.
Assessment commences: Assessing Officer commences assessment when notification period is finished. The application may be determined under delegated authority, or forwarded to Council for determination. DAs are assessed using Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.
In determining an Application, Council takes into consideration:
- The provisions of relevant planning instruments and policies
- The likely impacts of the development including heritage and urban design impacts
- The suitability of the site
- Any submissions received
- The public interest.
Determination: After your application has been determined, you will receive a Notice of Determination of Development Application. The Notice will tell you whether we have approved or refused your application. Those who made submissions are also informed of the determination.
If your application is approved, the notice will list all conditions of consent. It will tell you when the consent becomes effective and when it lapses. If consent is granted, applicants must obtain a construction certificate before commencing work.
If your application is refused, the notice will give the reasons for refusal. The notice will also explain your right of review and appeal to the Land and Environment Court.