Step 2 – Where do I seek advice?

Council’s offers development advice via either the Duty Officer or through a formal pre-lodgement advice meeting. It is recommended that you discuss how to prepare your application with Council development assessment officers.  Advice should be sought early in the development process so you can amend your plans or budget accordingly to address Council’s requirements.

A pre-lodgement advice meeting can help you understand the relevant site constraints and establish broad concepts for your proposal.  If you wish to have a pre-lodgement advice meeting your request should be accompanied by (as a minimum) concept plans including a site plan, elevations and floor plans, a written explanation of the development together with a completed request form and payment of applicable fees.

The DA process can complicated.  If you are not familiar with the planning controls it is recommended that you seek the services of a professional. For relatively minor applications (eg. houses, sheds) you may need to seek the assistance of a draftsperson or designer to prepare plans and other documents required for your proposal.  If your application is for a larger or more complex proposal (eg. townhouses, industrial building) you may require an architect and qualified town planning consultant to prepare the plans and statement of environmental effects.

Before engaging an expert to work on your project:

* do some research to make sure they provide the service you need
* check they are properly registered and insured
* obtain several quotes
* ask for details of projects they have worked on

If you need to lodge a DA you will also need to address the planning controls (eg. zoning) that apply to the land.  Council has developed plans and policies that that guide future development within the Hawkesbury area.  The main planning controls that apply are:

Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Hawkesbury Development Control Plan (DCP)

Your DA will need to include a written Statement of Environmental Effects (SOEE) that shows how your development complies (or doesn’t comply with) with the planning controls.  For example:

* What is the zoning of my land and is my development permitted under that zone?
* What is the minimum setback from the front boundary?
* How tall can a building be on this land?
* Is the building heritage listed?

It is recommended that you review these planning controls to ensure that your design and accompanying Statement of Environmental Effects addresses relevant standards.  The planning controls are on Council’s Planning Policies webpage.

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