How development application decisions are made

City of Coffs Harbour 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 we have 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.

Who makes the decisions?

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

Some development applications are determined by elected councillors 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.

What happens after a decision has been made?

If your application has been approved you will receive a development consent, which will be either unconditional or subject to conditions.

Conditions are imposed in accordance with Section 4.17 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Conditions are imposed 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.

Can you make changes to your approved development?

If you wish to make changes to your approved development after we have given consent, you may apply to modify your development consent. Your modification must be 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 doesn't meet the requirements of Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and you wish to progress, you'll need to lodge a new development application.

Can you request that a decision be reviewed?

If you are unhappy with our 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 our 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.