Development steps - Shoalhaven City Council

Development steps

Steps involved when lodging a Development Application (DA) with Shoalhaven City Council.

Preparing your lodgement

Step 1

Establish what development is permissible on your property

Understand what potential constraints affect your property and what controls apply to your proposed development.

Step 2

Talk to Council

Council's duty officer can provide valuable information and feedback on what you would like to do. Informal meetings, either at the counter between 9am and 11am (TBC) or over the telephone, can provide a general indication as to whether your proposal meets the objectives of relevant planning controls and can identify issues that need to be addressed in your DA.

For larger proposals, it would be useful to have prior discussions with an assessing officer. An assessing officer will determine if a pre-lodgement discussion with senior staff, known as Prelodgement Meeting is necessary to be held. Refer to the HUB for more information.

Step 3

Talk to your neighbours

Council encourages you to discuss your development proposal with your neighbours. This can often overcome any concerns your neighbours may have with your plans. If your neighbours have an understanding of your proposal and any concerns are taken into account, it may reduce the number of objections that Council may receive when the DA is formally notified.

You may also wish to talk to your local community groups (Community Consultative Bodies) You can then consider their concerns and seek to compromise to achieve a satisfactory outcome.

Step 4

Consider all design issues

Consider the site, its context, the specific development controls that apply to the proposal, together with any hazards that affect the land and prepare concept plans

Step 5

Refer to the Group HUB and relevant forms

The relevant forms along with the information contained within the group HUB will assist you in providing a fully complete and accurate application so that delays in the processing of your application are reduced.

Step 6

Engage a suitable professional

When preparing an application, you will generally need, at a minimum, to employ the services of a designer or draftsperson. For more complicated proposals, you may need the services of an architect and may also need the services of a qualified consultant town planner to prepare your Statement of Environmental Effects. Your town planner will also be able to advise if you need to consider engaging other professionals such as a heritage professional, traffic planner, engineer or registered surveyor.

Council cannot recommend professionals to you, however, if you need advice as to a suitable consultant planner, you may contact the NSW Secretariat of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) on (02)9280 2121. Otherwise contact the Australian Institute of Architects on (02)9356 3122 who can provide details of Architects suitable for your proposed development.

Step 7

Ensure that your application is adequate and correct

It is Council’s experience that the primary reason for delays in processing applications is that the necessary information is not provided, or it is inadequate.

Council has DA Checklists (see Forms page) for different types of development and these detail the minimum, and additional, requirements for a DA submission. If your proposal involves development that is covered under two or more checklists, please ensure you submit all information required ie; new dwelling and pool. The checklist must be completed and submitted with your DA.

Step 8

Lodging your application

You can lodge the completed application by

Email: or

In person: Council offices at Bridge Rd, Nowra or Deering St, Ulladulla. 

Following lodgement

Vetting of DA

Once your application has been accepted, it will be vetted i.e. reviewed, by a senior assessment staff member. If the information provided does not satisfy the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, the application will be returned to the applicant with a letter outlining the information that is required or that will need to be amended before resubmission.

If the application is ready for assessment, it will be allocated to an assessing officer, referrals will be made seeking advice and comment from internal departments and external bodies, a letter acknowledging receipt of the application will be sent to the applicant and neighbour notification letters will be prepared (if applicable).

Notification & exhibition

All property owners and Council’s Community Consultative Bodies (CCBs), who in the opinion of Council, may be affected by a development proposal are notified in writing, in accordance with Council’s Community Consultation Policy (PDF 554 kb).

Note: applications for development that is considered to be minor in nature and unlikely adversely affect other property owners are not required to be notified under the policy.

Copies of plans of advertised DAs will be available for viewing at Council and on Council’s on-line DA Tracking system.

During the notification period, the community may raise issues in relation to a proposal by submitting them in writing or electronically, addressed to the General Manager. Contents of submissions should be restricted to environmental and planning matters relating to a DA and should NOT contain specific private, defamatory and risk to security information. If the submission is an objection to a DA, the submission must state the reasons for objection.

Assessment of the DA

The NSW Planning system sets out how a DA must be assessed. These criteria fall under a series of headings generally known as 'matters for consideration'. If you are interested in finding out more, these matters are contained in Section 4.15 (new window) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Council must either approve or refuse a DA

DAs at the Shoalhaven are determined under delegated authority granted to the officers of the Council. Where a DA cannot be reasonably dealt with because of a need of a major variation to policy or where there are insufficient relevant policy guidelines to assist staff in making a determination of the application, the policy aspects are submitted to the Development Committee for recommendation to Council.

The Council's agenda containing the reports on DAs generally becomes available on the Friday afternoon before the Development Committee meeting on Council's website at Council's libraries, Council's Customer Service Centre.

After consent is granted - what is the next step?

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 provides that a person who has a Development Consent, which involves any building work, must obtain a Construction Certificate and must appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). For further information on construction certificates and PCAs, please refer to the Group HUB.

Review and appeals

If Council has refused your development application and you are dissatisfied with decision, you can apply to Council in writing for a Section 8.2, 8.3, 8.4, 8.5Review of the determination. Alternatively, you can formally appeal to the Land and Environment Court regarding decisions or conditions imposed.

Modification of a consent – Section 4.55

Before or during the building process, it may become necessary, or you may simply choose to alter your proposal from what was approved by Council. If this does occur, you MUST contact Council to find out if you need to make an application to amend your original development consent.

Unless the changes are extremely minor, have little or no external implications to the approved building form, and Council has formally advised you in writing, you will need to submit an applicationunder Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act to modify your original consent.

Section 4.55 applications are considered in a similar manner as the original Development Application, including the notification process. A Section 4.55 application to modify the development consent will also require an application to modify the Construction Certificate.

It is important to realise that if the changes you want to make are so significant that Council forms the view that the development as modified is no longer substantially the same development consented to then it will be necessary that you lodge a new development application.

Important information

Please be advised that the information on these pages is intended as a guide only and is a summary of the key steps relating to the Development Application process. Any person using the advice provided above should be aware that it may not necessarily relate to every situation or circumstance.

Accordingly, seeking further advice from Council’s Duty Planner or from an independent planning consultant or similarly qualified person is recommended. Furthermore, please be advised that this advice is subject to change without notice.

Further information

For further information download the Planning, Environment & Development Group HUB (PDF 0.2MB).

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