Guide to Development and the NSW Planning Portal

Starting a building project or development can be overwhelming. If you would like to gain an understanding of the development application process, or find out more about your property and the planning rules, here are some places to start:

Guide to the Development Application Process

A useful resource that explains the development application (DA) process is “Your Guide to the Development Application Process” issued by the (former) NSW Department of Planning and Environment in 2018.

The Guide is particularly helpful for:

  • People building a new home or planning a renovation.
  • Small-scale developers.
  • People preparing submissions on developments proposed in their area.
  • Real estate sales people (giving pre-purchase advice).
  • Project specialists (such as granny flat developers).
  • Those wishing to learn more about the DA and assessment process.
The NSW Planning Portal

The NSW Planning Portal is a tool managed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. By selecting “Find a Property” on the home page and completing a property search you will be provided with a variety of information including:

  • Access to planning controls (i.e. zoning, height controls, heritage, and mine subsidence) and legislation that applies to properties across the State, including the Hawkesbury area.
  • Information on building or renovating.
  • Access to planning tools e.g. BASIX.

Using the portal to identify a property and accessing the relevant planning controls will assist you when preparing an application for Council.

Seek Professional Advice and Services

The DA process can be complicated, and in most circumstances it is recommended that you seek the services of suitably qualified and experienced professionals and technical experts to assist you.

Before engaging a suitable professional to work on your project:

  • Do some research to make sure they can provide the service you need.
  • Check they are properly registered/accredited and insured.
  • Obtain several quotes
  • Ask for details of similar projects they have worked on.

Council is unable to recommend particular experts, consultants or firms. However, there are useful online registers administered by various Institutions and Boards. For more information on finding a qualified professional, see Qualified, Accredited, Certified Consultants.

Research Property History – DA Tracker and GIPA

Council’s online Development Application (DA) tracker is useful as a starting point to research the recent development application history of a property.

You can also apply to obtain copies of documents held by Council under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 or GIPA Act. For more information on the GIPA Act and how to obtain information, please see Your Right to Information.

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