Obtaining Approval to Build

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Obtaining Approval to Build

Once you have received Development Consent ​for a proposed development it will be necessary for you to obtain a Construction Certificate before you commence any building or subdivision work on site.

From 1 January 2021 the following list of development related applications and post consent certificates (where Council is the appointed Principal Certifier) must be, by law submitted online to Coffs Harbour City Council through the NSW Planning Portal.

  • Development Applications (DA) 
  • Application to modify a DA 
  • Request to review a DA
  • Complying Development Certificate Applications
  • Construction Certificate Applications
  • Application for Occupation Certificates
  • Civil Works / Subdivision Construction Certificates
  • Subdivision Certificates

Please Note: The applications listed above will no longer be accepted in person at Council’s customer service counters from 1 January 2021.

For more information, see Council’s Lodging your Development Application webpage.


A construction certificate is a statement of intent that the proposed building or subdivision works are consistent with the development consent and relevant construction standards, such as the National Construction Code of Australia and Australian Standards.

The application must be accompanied by detailed plans and specifications and include sufficient information to demonstrate that the works, when completed, will comply with the relevant standards. References to specific Australian Standards or relevant National Construction Code of Australia clauses within the specifications or on the plans may be sufficient to demonstrate compliance. A general reference to Australian Standards and the National Construction Code of Australia is not sufficient.

An application for a construction certificate may be lodged with Council at the same time as submitting a development application, however the construction certificate cannot be issued until development consent has been issued and any relevant conditions of consent have been resolved. Construction certificate applications lodged concurrent with the development application may require additional information in the event that the development assessment process requires changes to the development application.

Application for a construction certificate can be lodged either with Council or a private accredited certifier.

​After obtaining development consent and before commencement of building or subdivision works an applicant must appoint a principal certifier (PC).

The Council or a private accredited certifier may be appointed as the Principal Certifier (PC). The PC is responsible for ensuring that the work is undertaken in accordance with the approved development consent, the plans and specifications approved under the construction certificate and relevant building regulations. An accredited certifier, appointed as the PC, has a similar role and responsibility as that of the Council.

Where a private accredited certifier is appointed as the PC you must advise Council, at least two days before work commences, of the PC's name and the date when development works are to commence.

Upon completion of the development works and prior to the occupation or use of the development you must first obtain an Occupation Certificate from the Principal Certifier.