Get advice from the City of Sydney for your development

We can provide guidance for your proposed works.

Project Status: When you need to do this

What you need to do

It’s your responsibility to be aware of relevant planning controls and policies that apply to your development before you make your application.

We offer 3 types of advice to help you through the application process.

General planning advice

For general advice about planning controls and minor developments, such as signs, residential alterations and additions, and outdoor dining, you can make an appointment to speak to a duty planner.

At the appointment you can find out:

Duty planner appointments for general planning advice are only available by phone.

The call will be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes with no consecutive bookings allowed.

Pre-lodgement advice

For planning advice on large or more complex developments, you’ll need to request pre-lodgement advice using our ePlanning service. We no longer accept email requests. This service can be used if your proposal is for:

  • a new building 
  • large-scale alterations and additions to any building 
  • development involving remediation of contaminated land.

You can also request pre-lodgement advice for a change of use to:

  • backpackers accommodation, boarding house, residential flat building, shop-top housing or serviced apartments
  • community or health care facility
  • early education and care facility or education establishment
  • function centre or entertainment facility
  • hotel or motel
  • industry or warehouse distribution centre
  • a mixed-use development
  • pub or small bar.

If you have any questions, contact us.

A planner will provide advice in writing in response to the online request and, in some cases, they may arrange a meeting to discuss your proposal. This process can identify potential issues and offer preliminary design advice before the formal development application is lodged. This helps to develop mutually acceptable solutions to issues and advance the assessment process.

This service is provided free and the level of service depends on the nature of the proposal and the advice sought. 

Model advice

Some development applications may require you to create a model. For advice about our digital and physical model requirements, you can speak to a City of Sydney modeller.

If you have any questions about model advice appointments, including what to bring with you, please email our model unit at [email protected].