Determination of Development Applications

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Determination of Development Applications

Council makes decisions on development applications and issues a formal determination known as a Notice of Determination. The Notice of the Determination is issued in accordance with Section 4.16 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. In determining applications, the possible options Council has are:

  • granting consent to the application, either unconditionally or subject to conditions;
  • refusing consent to the application; and
  • deferred commencement consent, where consent may be granted subject to a condition that the consent is not to operate until the applicant satisfies the consent authority, as to the matter specified in the condition.

The majority of development applications are determined by Council staff under delegated authority. Council officers have delegation from the General Manager and the elected council (councillors) to determine certain applications on behalf of Council.

Some development applications are determined by elected council at a Council meeting in accordance with Council's adopted Development Applications - Consideration by Council Policy.

Development applications for regionally significant development are determined by the Northern Regional Planning Panel. The applications determined by the Panel are those that are listed as Regional Development in Schedule 7 of State Environmental Planning policy (State and Regional Development) 2011.

If your application has been approved by Council you will receive a development consent, which will be either unconditional or subject to conditions. Conditions are imposed by Council in accordance with Section 4.17 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Conditions are imposed by Council to ensure that development is acceptable and minimises and mitigates impacts to the environment and community.

A development consent is a legal document and the development approved under the development consent must be constructed and operated in accordance with the requirements of the conditions.

It is important that you carefully read the development consent and understand its requirements. Some conditions require you to take certain steps and provide certain information at key stages of the process such as prior to the issue of a construction certificate.

Other Approvals required

Where you are undertaking building and/or subdivision work you may also be required to obtain a Construction Certificate and Subdivision Works Certificate prior to commencing any works on site. Find out more about construction and subdivision works certificates here. 

Prior to commencing works on site or commencing the operation of the development you may also be required to obtain other approvals such as approvals under Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993. You can find out more about these approvals here. 

If you wish to make changes to your approved development after Council has given consent you may apply to modify your development consent provided that the proposed development, as modified, is still substantially the same as the approved development. Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 stipulates the requirements for modification of consents.

If the proposed modification does not meet the requirements of Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and you wish to progress the modified development you may lodge a new Development Application.


If you are dissatisfied with Council's decision you may, as the applicant, request that Council review its determination. Requests to review determinations are required to be made and considered in accordance with Division 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

If you are still dissatisfied with Council's determination of a development, you can lodge an appeal to the Land and Environment Court under Division 8.3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.