Understanding the Development Application (DA) process

Development applications (DA) may appear daunting to those building a home for the first time; however, they are a crucial factor in the knock down rebuild process. 

Building a new home impacts the community, public land, and the surrounding environment, which is why it requires development consent. One approval process is via a development application, which is a case-by-case determination by local council, which reviews building height, size and relationship with existing buildings and infrastructure. A DA also considers the structural safety of the new building, the environmental impact, as well as public and private interests. This means a DA can often be merit based and judged by its value to the area. 

The DA process is typically broken into six stages: 

1. Pre-lodgement  

The DA lodgement process can often be time consuming, so Allura Homes works hard to prepare a detailed submission that can help the process be as efficient as possible. This may include conducting a site analysis to see how your future home relates to the streetscape and other developments on adjoining lands. 

At this stage it is important to compile all necessary forms, reports and documents that are required as part of your DA. This may include: 

  • a statement of environmental effects (SEE)  
  • site survey and analysis 
  • a BASIX certificate 
  • landscape plans 
  • drainage plans 
  • specific technical reports required by state agencies 

2. Application lodgement  

You can lodge your DA once all necessary documents are in order, which includes specialist reports, your local Council’s DA form and checklist, and any matters required for a DA as listed in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (EP&A). There is also a DA lodgement fee. 

 3. Assessment 

Council will assess your DA to determine whether your home can be constructed. This is an impartial process that works on the following considerations under the EP&A Regulation Act: 

  • all plans and policies that apply (e.g. SEPPS, LEPS, DCPS)  
  • impacts of your proposal on the natural and built environment and the social and economic impacts in the locality 
  • the suitability of your site for your proposal (e.g. physical characteristics, availability of access and services) 
  • any submissions (from neighbours or other groups) 
  • any comments or agreements/approvals from any NSW Government agency 
  • the broader public interest. 

 4. Determination 

There are three possible outcomes for a DA:  

  • development consent 
  • DA refusal 
  • deferred commencement consent: an uncommon situation where consent will be awarded once one or more matters related to the DA are resolved. 

The final two stages follow an approved DA and development consent: 

  • obtaining the construction certificate before starting work, and 
  • obtaining the occupation certificate, which authorises the occupation and use of a new building or building section. 

How long should I expect the development application process to take?

Development application approval can take four to eight months, depending on the council. It is also important to note that the ‘clock’, which measures the time council must assess your application within, will stop if the information provided in your DA is inadequate or incorrect. 

Does this sound like a daunting process? Don’t worry, Allura Homes will be there for you

While the development application process can be a lengthy one, the result of a new home built with your lifestyle in mind is well worth the journey. Allura Homes will provide the necessary expertise and advice based on your needs to help navigate the process in an efficient and stress-minimising way. Once your DA has been lodged you can have fun spending time with our interior design team, getting the internal details just the way you want.  

Download our Knock Down Rebuild guide

Looking for a new home can be stressful and confusing. You may not realise that knocking down a home and rebuilding can be a viable alternative. This free guide is designed to demystify the process, and answer many of the questions you may have.

Enquire now
Email us