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The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW) makes provision for the procedure and costs involved for development applications. The Act sets out three mutually exclusive regimes for assessment of proposals; major infrastructure and other projects, local development (which requires the consent of the local council), and activities which require a consideration of environmental impact, and the approval of a determining authority such as the minister or a public authority. In addition the EPA exempts certain minor types of local development from the need for development consent and any other type of consent, licence, permission or approval and any form of environmental assessment. In addition, it permits development consent to local development that is “complying development” to be granted, in some cases, by way of the certification, either by an accredited private certifier or a certificate granted by the consent authority. Obtaining proper legal advice from a Building and Construction Lawyer may be greatly beneficial if you are involved in a development application.

Integrated development assessment is linked with the assessment of applications for specified approvals required under other legislation through a referral system. A person or body responsible for determining an application under other legislation relating to the proposed development will be given a copy of the development application by the consent authority and asked to comment on it. The consent authority is required to determine the development application in a manner which is generally consistent with the requirements of the person or body to whom the application is referred. The person or body is subsequently required to determine an application under legislation which they administer in a manner which is consistent with their requirements given to the consent authority in relation to the development application. Proper legal advice in from a Building and Construction Lawyer may be of great assistance in explaining all the aspects of a development application.

A development application may be made by the owner of the land to which the development application relates, or by any other person, with the consent in writing of the owner of that land. The consent authority must provide any person intending to make a development application with the consent authority's scale of fees for development applications generally, and if the consent authority has determined the fee to accompany that particular application, advice of the amount determined, and if the consent authority requires such an application to be in a particular form, blank copies of that form. Sound legal advice from a skilled a Building and Construction Lawyer may be advantageous in this regard.

The process of making an application is complex and can be described as follows. The application must contain the required information, and be accompanied by the documents, if the consent authority so requires, must be in the form approved by that authority, and must be accompanied by the fee (which has a maximum prescribed by the law) and must be delivered by hand, sent by post or transmitted electronically to the principal office of the consent authority. Immediately after it receives a development application, the consent authority must register the application with a distinctive number, and must endorse the application with its registered number and the date of its receipt, and must give written notice to the applicant of its receipt of the application, of the registered number of the application and of the date on which the application was received. The consent authority may reject, request additional documents or approve the application.

If you require assistance with a development application matter you may wish to contact our office by telephone on (02) 9233 4048 or send an email to and make an appointment to see one of our solicitors in our Sydney CBD head office. By appointment, we can also make a time for you to see one of our lawyers in one of our branch offices. Please peruse our "Locations" tab, for a complete list of our branch office locations.

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This webpage (and any material or wording appearing on this webpage) is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute any Legal Advice. It does not take into account your objectives, your instructions or all of the relevant facts and/or circumstances. Navado accepts no responsibility to any person who relies on the information provided on this website. We further refer you to our Disclaimer.

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