How DAs are assessed

Assessment Phase

Applications are allocated to an Assessment Officer in chronological order and as an Assessment Officer becomes available. This may not occur as soon as the notification period is over. The Assessment Officer will telephone you when your application has been allocated to them.

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 Panel who provide advice to Council on 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 will also provide advice on other residential buildings, mixed use developments, commercial and retail buildings and institutional buildings that are considered significant by Council and require assessment under Clause 6.9 (Design Excellence) of the Waverley Local Environmental Plan 2012. This is an advisory panel only. Additional fees apply to those application which require review by the Design Excellence Panel.

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

Determination Phase

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

Delegated authority

The Assessment Officer who has been allocated the application may have the authority (delegation) to make a decision about the application. Delegation is restricted to applications where no objections have been received and/or where applications do not deviate (other than in a minor degree) from statutory provisions and Council codes and policies. Approximately 50% of development applications are determined this way.

Council’s Development and Building Unit (DBU)

Development applications are referred to this staff committee where objections are received and/or applications deviate from statutory provisions and Council codes and policies.

The DBU has delegated authority to make a decision about these applications unless a Councillor has recommended or the General Manager has requested they be referred to the Waverley Local Planning Panel (WLPP). The DBU also refers applications to WLPP where there are significant public interest or policy issues.

Waverley Local Planning Panel

This is a panel of expert planning professionals, industry specialists and community representatives who have delegation to determine significant DAs in the Waverley area. This includes DAs where Council is the landowner, and other types of development which are more than $3 million in value, or where there are a certain number of unresolved objections, depending on the type of development. The charter which outlines the delegations of the Panel are available upon request.

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 Planning Panel

The Sydney Eastern City Planning Panel is an independent panel who provides merit-based decision making on regional development.

Waverley Council must refer Development Applications that meet the following criteria to the Sydney Planning Panel for determination:

  • development with a capital investment value (CIV) over $30 million
  • development with a CIV over $5 million which is
    • council related
    • lodged by or on behalf of the Crown (State of NSW)
    • private infrastructure and community facilities or
    • eco-tourist facilities
  • extractive industries, waste facilities and marinas that are designated development
  • certain coastal subdivisions
  • development with a CIV between $10 million and $20 million which are referred to the regional panel by the applicant after 120 days
  • crown development applications (with a CIV under $5 million) referred to the regional panel by the applicant or local council after 70 days from lodgement as undetermined, including where recommended conditions are in dispute

The Panel Co-ordinates the determination of the application. For more information, please visit the Sydney Planning Panel webpage.

Right of appeal

You can appeal against Council’s decision in the Land and Environment Court within six (6) months of the date of the Determination Notice.

Seek a review of the decision

Alternatively, you can lodge an application to Council to seek a Review of Council's Determination (ie. if the application was refused) under Section 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. This application MUST be made within 8 weeks of the determination date of the development consent to ensure that it can be assessed 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 made 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 your Assessment Officer.

New DA requirements

From 1 October 2014, all building applications submitted to Council must include a CD / USB that contains all forms, plans and documents in soft copy.

Download the information sheet to find out more.

Need planning advice?

Contact Council's Duty Planner

  • Phone 9083 8484
  • Visit in person at our Customer Service Centre, 55 Spring Street, Bondi Junction