Blog - Demystifying Development Approvals (DA's).

Great! You have envisioned an idea for your home and wish to put this plan to action. 
To start, you’ll need to prepare a Development Application (DA).
What is a DA?
A Development Application is a request to have your local council review and approve your plan to construct or renovate.

It is your chance to provide a general “sketched” plan. In this submission, you’ll provide basic concept plans normally drafted by an Architect or Drafter. You may also need a structural engineer to assess structural viability and provide plans. A successful DA means that the council approves your concept and you’re ready to select and engage a builder and Principal Certifying Authority.

Do you need a DA?
Any structural modification to a house or building requires a DA. This includes wall removals, adding more levels and demolishing and reconstructing a whole house. DA’s are required where the surrounding community is affected by your plans. This may even apply to painting the exterior of your house. 

Types of DA’s
There are 3 main types:


1. Full development applications

2. Complying development applications and;

3. Exempt development applications.

A full development application is lodged for a full house development compared to a Complying Development application which is available to minor building additions and alterations, as long as they meet straightforward building standards.

A Construction Certificate (CC), following a successful DA, is required to physically undertake the works. Obtaining a CC from council means that you have complied with all the conditions of consent, provided all required documentation and paid any outstanding council fees. 

It's permissible to obtain a combined Development Application and Construction Certificate in one application. This is particularly useful to projects with a nearby deadline. The applicants should be confident of approval before lodging for both certificates or the application may be rejected and submission may end up costing more time and money than if they were lodged separately.

NSW Planning also provide Guidance on Understanding Complying Developments to view Click Here

A Common misconception

A successful Development Application (DA) contrary to what some may think is only the beginning of your construction journey. The architectural plans that have been produced thus far contain insufficient detail to be used by a builder. Please refer to our infographic at Building Journey from Supplier selection to Construction for an overview of the steps required to get your renovation or building under way and complete. 

Anything to say?

We’d love to hear your experiences and opinion of building projects: simply submit your comments below.