Digital requirements

Digital requirements

Electronic files

Digital copies of plans and supporting documentation must be supplied on a USB memory stick for all:

Supplying copies of your application in an electronic format is part of our commitment to continuous improvement and making information accessible, which enables:

  • planners and surveyors to extract relevant information for assessment reports
  • plans and documentation of DAs to be electronically displayed during the exhibition period
  • easier copying of information during the exhibition period of DAs to meet our statutory requirements
  • as all the electronic information provided will be publicly available (excluding part A of the DA application form and non-exhibition DA plans), personal information such as credit card details and any other personal information must not be copied onto the USB.

During the DA notification period these plans and documents are made available to the public to view and/or copy from the City's website or at your nearest customer service centre, subject to legislative requirements. Note: Personal information such as credit card details and any other personal information must not be copied onto the USB.

We cannot accept applications by email. You must submit your application, in person or by post, with the electronic files supplied on USB stick.


To discuss lodging an application please contact the City:

02 9265 9333

File types

To preserve the integrity of application documentation across multiple platforms, digital files must be supplied in portable document format (PDF).

Documents should be created and exported to PDF or PDF/A using CAD, Vector Bitmap or word processing software such as Word. This process is also more likely to preserve the visual quality of your submission.

Additional or updated information supplied after submitting your application must also be supplied electronically.

File sizes

Each plan must be supplied in PDF or PDF/A files that are no larger than 20MB in size and optimised for publishing to the web. PDF or PDF/A files larger than 20MB should be broken up into logical parts and supplied as separate files.

Note: Subfolders and zip files should not be used. 

All accompanying documentation must be supplied in PDF, formatted to A4 and also optimised for publishing to the web.

File naming

Files need to be supplied with a descriptive file name in accordance with our digital requirements, using the naming conventions listed in the table below.


Plans must be to scale and the scale should be clearly displayed on every page. The scale needs to state the original plan size, for example:

  • 1:100 and separately state the original sheet size (for example, A3), or
  • 1:100@A3.

Plans must also be rotated to landscape and provided as a PDF file. Plans should not be scanned and must be directly created or converted into a PDF or PDF/A file.

Colour plans are to have a resolution between 300 and 900dpi.  

Black and white plans may be accepted on the basis that they are created in grayscale at a resolution of at least 300dpi.  

Plans should be grouped together in their relevant plan type, saved as a PDF file and should be titled using the City's required naming conventions below.

For example:

  • 'Elevations – 123 Smith Street Surry Hills.pdf'
  • 'Floor plans – 123 Smith Street Surry Hills.pdf'
  • ‘Sections – 123 Smith Street Surry Hills.pdf’
  • 'Site plan – 123 Smith Street Surry Hills.pdf'

Accuracy requirements

Your electronic documents must be exact reproductions of the original source documents. The declaration within the application form must be signed.


If you have any further questions about preparing and lodging digital copies of applications please contact the City:

02 9265 9333

File name conventions for development applications

Document description
Property address
Part A – Application Form 
[insert property address]
Part B – Application Form
[insert property address]
Arborist Report
[insert property address]
Acid Sulphate Soil Investigation Report
[insert property address]
Acoustic Report
[insert property address]
BASIX Certificate
[insert property address]
Cost of Development Report
[insert property address]
Design Verification Statement (SEPP 65)
[insert property address]
[insert property address]
Floor Plans
[insert property address]
Heritage Impact Statement
[insert property address]
Landscape Plan
[insert property address]
Owners Consent
[insert property address]
[insert property address]
Plan of Management
[insert property address]
[insert property address]
Shadow Diagrams
[insert property address]
Site Plan
[insert property address]
Statement of Environmental Effects
[insert property address]

File name conventions for building certification applications

Document description Property address
Application form [insert property address]
Contract for certification work [insert property address]
Dilapidation report [insert property address]
Elevations (existing or proposed) [insert property address]
Floor plans (existing or proposed) [insert property address]
Graphics/artwork [insert property address]
Manufacturer's/supplier's details [insert property address]
Photographs [insert property address]
Plan view [insert property address]
Public liability insurance [insert property address]
Report (specify type, for example, geotechnical, survey, arborist or BCA) [insert property address]
SafeWork NSW certificate of plant item registration [insert property address]
Sections [insert property address]
Site plan (existing or proposed) [insert property address]
Specification [insert property address]
Stormwater drainage plan [insert property address]
Structural design certificate [insert property address]
Structural drawings (plan, sections, details or specifications) [insert property address]

Creating PDFs

While not every computer user will have the same software as you to view your text or graphic files, the software to read PDFs is free and widely installed. PDF is often used as a print-friendly format on the web. PDFs are also:

  • a compressed file
  • viewed the same on any computer
  • able to include any text, tables or graphics in a single file.

Converting your files

There are numerous PDF conversion software products available. Most user needs can be met by using Adobe Acrobat, which is a separate product to Acrobat Reader. Acrobat provides 3 ways to create PDF files:

  • PDF Writer – the quickest and easiest method to create PDF files.
  • Acrobat Distiller – uses a more intensive process to optimise compression and functionality.
  • Acrobat Capture – converts scanned paper documents into PDF pages.

The exact method of creating a PDF file depends on the version of Acrobat you have installed.

Online services

Many companies on the web offer PDF conversion services such as:

Adobe PDF OnlinePDF OnlinePS to PDF Converter

While some are free, others charge a fee.

City of Sydney Disclaimer

The listing of a product, service or organisation in any part of this website in no way implies any form or endorsement by the City of Sydney of that product, service or organisation. We recommend you research and test these and other options prior to using a service, making any purchasing decision or installing software.

Last updated: Monday, 4 February 2019