The development assessment (DA) process


What happens to my development application after it has been accepted by the City?

After your application has been accepted by us for lodgement a preliminary assessment of the proposed development will be undertaken by our development assessment staff. We will contact you to discuss the outcomes of this. At this stage, we can only provide preliminary and general feedback about the application and the assessment process.

Following a preliminary assessment applications are allocated to an assessment officer who will undertake a detailed assessment of the development, in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.  

As part of the detailed assessment, the application will be referred internally to other relevant City officers to seek technical advice and externally to government agencies, where required. If the application is required to be publicly exhibited this will be undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000 and Council's Community Participation and Engagement Plan(PDF, 3MB).

Summary of assessment process

There are many inputs into the development assessment process.

The assessment process is summarised in the following diagram:


What must we consider?

The matters that we must consider as part of the assessment of a development application is limited to those specified in Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Matters that are outside of the scope of 4.15 cannot be considered as part of the assessment of a development application. 

How can I track my application?

Our DA Tracker allows you to track recently submitted development applications and modification applications.

It tracks key milestones in the application process and some associated application documents, but is not intended to be a detailed history.

The Tracker has application documents submitted on and after the 4th January 2013 and for modification applications submitted on and after the 1st of January 2018.

To track or search an application, please visit our DA Tracker

To confirm information in detail contact us

How to support the efficient processing of applications

To ensure that your application can be processed in a timely manner it is important that your application is properly prepared and addresses the required matters. For further information see 'preparing your application' on the Lodge a development application page.

Assessment officers typically deal with many applications at a time. Our assessment resources are best directed towards assessing applications. Frequent emails and calls to our officers slows down this process.

Our officers will provide you with feedback about your application at necessary points in the process. 

Our obligations in terms of communication are to the applicant. To assist with the efficient processing of applications all enquiries relating to applications must come from the applicant only. 

Requests for additional information

To enable the proper assessment of the application we may request that the applicant provide additional information.

To ensure that applications can be processed in a timely manner it is important that you address all of the matters raised in our request for information.

If the requested information is not provided to us within the timeframe specified, you will be asked if you intend to address the matters raised. A further timeframe for providing the required information may be agreed upon. If the required information is not provided within the specified timeframe we will proceed to determine the application based on the information provided. 

How to provide additional information to Council

All additional information prepared for an application must be provided to us by the applicant. Additional information must be submitted through the NSW Planning Portal. 

To comply with legislative requirements all information associated with development applications must be captured in the NSW Planning Portal and our corporate record system. Please do not email information directly to City of Coffs Harbour or our officers. 

Additional information provided through the Planning Portal will be passed onto the relevant officer(s) for action.