Development steps
Steps involved when lodging a Development Application (DA) with Shoalhaven City Council.

Step 1

Establish what development is permissible on your property. Understand what potential constraints affect your property and what controls apply to your proposed development.

Step 2

Talk to Council. Council's duty officer can provide valuable information and feedback on what you would like to do. Informal meetings, either at Council’s level 3 counter or over the telephone, can provide a general indication as to whether your proposal meets the objectives of relevant planning controls and can identify issues that need to be addressed in your DA. 

For larger proposals, it would be useful to have prior discussions with an assessing officer. An assessing officer will determine if a pre-lodgement discussion with senior staff, known as Development Advisory Unit (DAU) meeting is necessary to be held.

Step 3

Talk to your neighbours. Although you are not required to consult your neighbours when considering a proposal on your site, Council encourages you to discuss your development proposal with your neighbours. This can often overcome any concerns your neighbours may have with your plans. If your neighbours have an understanding of your proposal and any concerns are taken into account, it may reduce the number of objections that Council may receive when the DA is formally notified.

You may also wish to talk to your local community groups (Community Consultative Bodies) about your concept plans to assist them to understand your proposal. You can then consider their concerns and seek to compromise to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Step 4

Consider all design issues taking into account the site, its context, the specific development controls that apply to the proposal, together with any hazards that affect the land and prepare concept plans.

Step 5

Look at the DA Form and the DA Guide. These documents are designed to assist you in providing a fully complete and accurate application so that delays in the processing of your application are avoided as much as possible. By referring to these documents you will be able to understand the information and detail required for your DA.

Step 6

Engage a suitable professional. When preparing a DA, you will generally need, at a minimum, to employ the services of a designer or draftsperson. For more complicated proposals, you may need the services of an architect and may also need the services of a qualified consultant town planner to prepare your Statement of Environmental Effects. Your town planner will also be able to advise if you need to consider engaging other professionals such as a heritage professional, traffic planner, engineer or registered surveyor.

Council cannot recommend professionals to you, however, if you need advice as to a suitable consultant planner, you may contact the NSW Secretariat of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) on (02)9280 2121. Otherwise contact the Australian Institute of Architects on (02)9356 3122 who can provide details of Architects suitable for your proposed development.

Step 7

Ensure that your application is adequate and correct. It is Council’s experience that the primary reason for delays in processing applications is that the necessary information is not provided or it is inadequate. Council has DA Checklists (see Forms page) for different types of development and these detail the minimum, and additional, requirements for a DA submission. The checklist also indicates the number of copies of documentation required. If your proposal involves development that is covered under two or more checklists, please ensure you submit all information required ie; new dwelling and pool (you do not have to supply additional copies of existing documents). The checklist must be completed and submitted with your DA.

Step 8

Lodging your application. Your application can be sent via mail to Council, or you can come in person. On lodgement you will need to provide the development application form, checklist, and all documentation required on that checklist. You will also need to pay the appropriate fees. Council’s Level 3 Customer Service staff will go through the requirements of your checklist and ensure that you have all information necessary to lodge your application. If you are missing any information it is likely that Customer Service staff will not accept your application and will ask you to return to Council with the required information. If you have all required information, Customer Service staff will allocate you a development application number and provide you with a receipt.

Development Assessment Process Flowchart   (PDF 40kb)