Making a Submission
You may have received notification of a development being proposed next door to you, or perhaps a notice in the local newspaper made you aware of a development proposal a few suburbs away. Regardless of your proximity to the proposal, any person can make a submission either in support, or objection of a development proposal.
Who Gets Notified?
Council will notify only certain types of development proposals. Councils Development Control Plan specifies which developments are required to be notified and how they are to be notified. There are a broad range of applications that are not required to be notified, as well as proposals that are categorised as either Exempt or Complying Development.
The type of public notification will vary based upon the type of application being proposed and may include any one or a combination of the following:
- giving a notice to the owners / occupiers of all adjoining land;
- publishing a notice in a local newspaper;
- placing a notice (sign) on the land.
How to Write a Submission
A good submission is brief and to the point, backed up by reason and fact, and specific, not generalised. For more information see Notification of Development Proposals Your Guide.
How to Make a Submission
When making a submission to Council, you are required to provide certain information, as specified below. Your submission must:
- be in writing
- be addressed to the General Manager
- be signed by each person who made the submission, unless it is made electronically
- state the name and residential or business address of each person who made the submission
- clearly state what aspects of the proposed development are supported or opposed
- be received by Council during the formal public notification period.
You are also required to disclose any political donations and gifts you (the person making the submission) or any associate yourself (or the person making the submission) has made within the period commencing 2 years before the submission is made and ending when the application is determined. The following must be disclosed with your submission
- all reportable political donations made to any local councillor of that council,
- all gifts made to any local councillor or employee of that council.
The Political Donations & Gifts Disclosure Statement form contains further explanation that will assist in completing the declaration. This form is to be completed and attach to your submission.
Send your submission to Council by:
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Post to: Hawkesbury City Council, P.O. Box 146, Windsor NSW 2756 or to: DX 8601 Windsor.
- In Person at our Customer Service Centre at 366 George Street Windsor, between 9.00am and 4.00pm, Monday to Friday.
Who Can View my Submission?
The details of any submission you make, including your name and any other personal details, will be made available to the applicant and the general public in its entirety. It will also be placed on Council’s website under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009.
What About My Personal Information?
The inclusion of personal information with your submission is voluntary. However, if not provided Council will not be able to contact you about the application. The information will be stored in Council's electronic records system and paper files. For your protection, Council recommends that you do not include defamatory comments in your submission.
It is important to note that in accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) (GIPA) Act 2009, all submissions made in relation to a planning application, whether emailed or posted to Council, will be made available on Council’s online DA Tracking System.
What Happens After I Make My Submission?
Council (or the relevant consent authority) is required to consider all matters that have been raised within the submissions made in respect to a planning or development application before making its decision. In addition to reviewing submissions received Council takes into account the following matters:
- requirements of relevant planning instruments, standards and codes
- suitability of the site for the development proposal
- anticipated impacts of the proposed development
- the public interest
You may be contacted by Council’s assessment staff to clarify any matters that you have raised in your submission or to be notified that the application is being referred to a local or regional planning panel for determination.
Following the completion of an assessment, the application may either be approved (with or without conditions) or refused. Should an application be refused, the applicant is able to appeal Council's decision in the Land and Environment Court.
Will My Submission Stop the Development From Happening?
Submissions are balanced with Council’s statutory obligations, the rights of the applicant and the public interest. Council must consider any submissions made before it decides whether to approve or refuse a proposal.
In assessing a planning application Council is required to have regard to the following legislation and planning controls (amongst others):
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
- Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012
- Hawkesbury Development Control Plan 2002
These planning controls provide certain entitlements to landowners. For instance, allowing the construction of industrial buildings on land that is zoned for industrial purposes provided that the design is able to meet the criteria contained within the relevant planning controls.
In making a submission it is recommended that you consider:
- Property owners (or anyone that has obtained the consent of the property owner) have a right to lodge a planning application to develop land.
- The lodging of a submission does not imply that Council will refuse the application or conversely if a submission of support is received it does not follow that Council will necessarily approve an application.
- Objectors to planning applications do not have the right to prevent the approval of a planning application. Though, there is an entitlement to request that legitimate concerns be considered during the assessment of the application.
- The lodging of a submission does not mean that Council will necessarily support the reasons put forward for or against a proposed development.
How Will I Know the Outcome of the Development Proposal?
You may track the progress of an application and other submissions received on Council’s website via the DA Tracking System or alternatively, phone Council's Customer Service Counter on (02) 4560 4444.
Following Council’s determination of an application, any person who has made a submission will be notified in writing of the decision regarding this application. In case of a petition only the head petitioner will be advised.
Withdrawing a Submission
If you decide to withdraw your submission in respect to a planning application or do not wish to pursue your submission, you can withdraw it by writing to Council. You can also withdraw a submission conditionally, for example, provided certain changes are made to the planning application.
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