Development Applications

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EPAA) makes a provision for the procedure and costs involved for development applications in New South Wales. The Act sets out three mutually exclusive regimes for assessment of proposals; major infrastructure and other projects, local development (which requires the consent of the local council), and activities which require a consideration of environmental impact and the approval of a determining authority, such as the minister of a public authority. In addition to this, the EPAA exempts certain minor types of local development from the need for development consent and any other type of consent, licence, permission or approval and any form of environmental assessment. It permits consent to local development that is “complying development” to be granted, in some cases, by way of the certification, either by an accredited private certifier or by a certificate granted by the consent authority. Obtaining proper legal advice from CM Lawyers’ team of building and construction lawyers may be of great assistance to you by explaining all the aspects of a development application.

Integrated development assessment is linked with the assessment of applications for specified approvals required under other legislation through a referral system. A person or body responsible for determining an application under other legislation relating to the proposed development will be given a copy of the development application by the consent authority and asked to comment on it. Then the consent authority is required to determine the development application in a manner that is generally consistent with the requirements of the person or body to whom the application is referred. The person or body is subsequently required to determine an application under legislation that they administer in a manner that is consistent with their requirements given to the consent authority in relation to the development application.

The owner of the land may make a development application to which the development application relates, or by any other person, with the consent in writing of the owner of that land. The consent authority must provide any person intending to make a development application with the consent authority’s scale of fees for development applications generally. If the consent authority has determined the fee to accompany that particular application, they must provide advice of the amount determined, and if the consent authority requires such an application to be in a particular form, blank copies of that form.

The process of making an application is complex and can be described as follows:

  • The application must contain the required information, and be accompanied by the documents, if the consent authority so requires, must be in the form approved by that authority, and must be accompanied by the fee (which has a maximum prescribed by the law) and must be delivered by hand, sent by post or transmitted electronically to the principal office of the consent authority.
  • Immediately after it receives a development application, the consent authority must register the application with a distinctive number, and must endorse the application with its registered number and the date of its receipt, and must give written notice to the applicant of its receipt of the application, of the registered number of the application and of the date on which the application was received.
  • The consent authority may reject, request additional documents or approve the application.

Contact us today to see how we can provide assistance with an upcoming development application. Our team at CM Lawyers can advise you with the development application process from the moment you start drawing up plans up until the project’s completion.