How DAs are assessed

Assessment Phase

Applications are allocated to an Assessment Officer generally within 3 – 4 working days after lodgement.  The Assessment Officer undertakes a detailed assessment of the application in accordance with Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. This involves considering all relevant environmental planning instruments, development control plans, council policies, the likely impacts of the development, the suitability of the site for the proposed development and any submissions received during the public notification period. They may need to undertake a view of your property as well as from nearby properties to determine the impact of your proposal on these properties.

Additional expert advice from internal Council departments may also be required where matters such as stormwater, tree removal, parking and traffic, noise, heritage etc. need to be considered.

Depending on the type of application, the proposal may also be reviewed by the  Design Excellence Advisory Panel who provide advice to Council on a variety of development types including residential flat buildings, shop top housing and mixed use developments with a residential accommodation component as defined under SEPP 65 (Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development). The Panel may also provide advice on other buildings that are considered significant by Council to ensure that Design Excellence is achieved. This is an advisory panel only. Additional fees apply to those applications which require review by this Panel. Please refer to the Design Excellence Advisory Panel page.

Applications that comply with the Development Standards in the Waverley Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2012 and the development controls in the Waverley Development Control Plan (DCP) are likely to be processed quicker than an application that involves non-compliance with development standards or controls.

Once the Assessment Officer has assessed the application, they prepare a report which includes a recommendation (ie. approval, deferral or refusal) for final determination.

Determination Phase

There are a number of ways your Development Application (or modification or review application) may be determined:

Delegated authority

All applications that are not required to be referred for determination to either the Waverley Local Planning Panel or the Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel are determined by Council’s professional planning staff. Approximately 85% of applications are determined this way.

Waverley Local Planning Panel (WLPP)

This is a panel of expert planning professionals, industry specialists and community representatives who determine certain types of applications under state legislation.

The types of applications that must be determined by the WLPP are outlined in the is includes (but not limited to)  DAs for new Residential Flat Buildings, the demolition of a heritage item, development which has a significant number of unique objections, a departure to a statutory development standard greater than 10%, applications proposing a planning agreement or an identified conflict of interest (ie. Council is the land owner).

The Panel meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month between 11:00am and 12 noon (depending on the number of matters to be determined). Prior to the meeting, the Panel members undertake an inspection of the sites to be considered on the agenda.

The agenda for the Waverley Local Planning Panel contains the assessment report and a recommendation about the development application for the Panellists consideration. Meeting agendas, including reports, can be viewed online from the Wednesday afternoon prior to the meeting.

For more information, please visit the Waverley Local Planning Panel webpage.

Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel

The Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel is an independent panel who provides merit-based decision making on regional development. State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 determines whether an application needs to be determined by the Sydney Planning Panel.

Whilst Council staff assess the application, it is determined by the Sydney Planning Panel. For more information, please visit the Sydney Planning Panel webpage.

Right of appeal

An applicant may appeal against the determination of an application in the Land and Environment Court within the period prescribed under the E P & A Act (currently 12 months from the date of determination).
For information on the Appeals process please see https://lec.nsw.gov.au or Council's FAQs

Seek a review of the decision

An applicant may lodge an application to seek a Review of Determination under Section 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The legislation requires that any review of a determination of a development application must be completed (ie determined) within 12 months from the date of the determination. To ensure adequate time for the assessment process, it is strongly advised that any review application is made within 6 months of the date of the original determination to ensure that it can be assessed and determined within the statutory timeframe.

If you are seeking a review of the refusal of a Section 4.55 application, then your application for a review MUST be lodged within 28 days of the determination date of that decision.

Modify conditions of approval

If you are dissatisfied with a condition of the consent, you may apply to Council under Section 4.55 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to have the condition removed or varied. You need to give reasons or supply such additional information that supports your application. You can discuss this with Council’s Duty Planner or the original Assessment Officer.

Electronic Lodgement Guidelines

Waverley Council requires electronic lodgement of all plans and supporting documentation for all Planning and Building applications in digital form (as PDF documents contained on a CD, USB or similar device). The documents must be submitted in a particular format which is outlined in Council's Electronic Lodgement Guidelines.


Need more information?

Council has a Duty Planner available for general enquiries relating to the planning process, policies and lodgement requirements.The Duty Officer is not able to provide detailed planning advice or high level planning information. You can email your enquiry to duty.planner@waverley.nsw.gov.au or

  • Phone: 9083 8000
  • In person at our Customer Service Centre, 55 Spring Street, Bondi Junction (Monday to Friday 8:30am - 1pm and 2pm - 4pm)