When a DA is required
From 6 March 2017 we no longer require paper copies for some of our development and building-related applications.
Your application will need to meet our digital requirements.
A development application (DA) is required for most development in the local area.
The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 defines development as:
- using land
- subdividing land
- erecting a building
- carrying out work
- pruning or removing trees
- any other matter controlled by an environmental planning instrument.
To get development consent you must lodge a DA with the City of Sydney.
Depending on the scope of your proposed development there are different forms for different categories:
- small scale residential
- small scale commercial
- tree pruning and removal
- small bars
- food and drink premises
- all other developments.
Before you prepare a DA you should make an appointment with a planner at your nearest Neighbourhood Service Centre to find out:
- whether your proposed development is permissible
- whether a DA is actually required
- the required fees payable
- how the City's plans, codes and policies affect your proposed development.
It is your responsibility to ensure the relevant planning controls and policies, also known as planning instruments, that cover types of developments and locations have been identified and satisfied.
Before you prepare a DA for a major development such as a new building or major refurbishment, please contact a duty planner at the City to discuss your proposal (see contacts below).
Cultural activity, live music and performance
Before you prepare a DA that will include cultural or live music and performance activity at an art gallery, performance or rehearsal space, for example, you may wish to contact one of the City's cultural strategy advisors to discuss your proposal in addition to meeting with the City's development assessment staff (see book a planner).
Ianto Ware, Strategy Advisor – Culture
02 9246 email@example.com
Hugh Nichols, Strategy Advisor – Live Music and Performance02 9265 firstname.lastname@example.org
Exempt and complying developments
Some minor development, called exempt development, does not require consent. Another type of development, called complying development, requires a complying development certificate. Please contact a duty planner at the City for further information about these types of developments (see contacts below).
The Department of Planning and Environment provides information about development that can be undertaken without planning approval from the City as 'exempt' or 'complying' development. This includes an interactive building tool which shows the changes you can make to a property without planning or building approval.
Heritage works without consent
To make it easier for owners to maintain and repair their properties, the Sydney Local Environmental Plan 2012 specifies certain development that may be carried out to heritage items or within heritage conservation areas without the need for development consent.
Before undertaking any building or structural work, you will need to get a construction certificate, previously known as a building application, in addition to securing development consent with a DA.
A construction certificate certifies that the detailed construction plans and development specifications are consistent with the development consent and also comply with the Building Code of Australia. You can get the certificate from either the City or an accredited private certifier.
For general planning advice you can make an appointment to speak to a duty planner using our book a planner portal. Duty planner appointments are only available at our One Stop Shop.
Note: For larger developments or more complex development advice, you will need to arrange a pre-DA meeting by calling us on 02 9265 9333.
Last updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2017