How to prepare your development application
Getting your preparation right means you’re likely to have a smooth approval process.
Project Status: When you need to do this
You may need development consent to make changes to your home or business site in the City of Sydney’s area.
Development may include:
- using land
- subdividing land
- erecting a building
- any other matter controlled by an environmental planning instrument.
Certain work may not require a development application:
- Some minor development, called exempt development, doesn’t require our consent. Exempt development may include external painting, minor internal works, some fencing and air-conditioning units.
- Certain types of development may be approved through another process. These fall under complying development and may include minor internal alterations to non-heritage items, outbuildings and internal office fitouts.
- Consent is generally required for development to be carried out on heritage items or within heritage conservation areas.
What you need to do
Confirm the consent authority
The state government and the City of Sydney approve development in our area.
Review planning controls
Your development will need to align with the site’s characteristics and the planning controls that apply to it.
- Interactive planning viewerFind your site on our interactive map.
- Local environmental plansPlanning instruments that apply to the local area.
- Development control plansDCPs provide detailed planning and design guidelines to support the planning controls in the local environmental plans.
Built environmentLand use planningOur plans and policies provide an urban planning framework for development and conservation in the local area.
Ask for advice from the City of Sydney
Our help with the development application process includes general planning advice, pre-lodgement advice for large or more complex developments, and guidance around our digital and physical model requirements.
Check our application requirements
Review what supporting documents must accompany your application, how to prepare digital files, scale models and the need for gifts and donation disclosure.
To prepare your application, you may also need to enlist a specialist such as an architect, engineer or land surveyor.
Development applicationsCheck the document requirements for your development applicationLearn which plans and supporting documents you need to provide with your development application.
Design codes & technical specificationsHow to lodge electronic files for development and building applicationsDigital requirements for electronic copies of plans and documents to accompany your application.Published 2 December 2021
Design codes & technical specificationsRequirements for scale models of a proposed developmentAny development that involves changes to the building envelope of the city centre requires physical and 3D (electronic) modelling to be included with the development application.Published 30 January 2019
Development applicationsDisclose a political donation or giftOfferings to City of Sydney councillors, their party, employees or contractors must be declared when making or commenting on a planning application.
PoliciesRevenue policy: Fees and chargesFees for all chargeable services, requests, applications, approvals, licences, hire bookings and memberships.Published 1 July 2022
Make your application
Applications are made through the NSW Planning Portal.
Before you start
The NSW Planning Portal has a helpful guide to the development application process.