The DA process

Waverley Council follows a standard process to assess Development Applications. Here is some basic information about the lodgement process and the various steps that your application will go through before it is determined.

Lodging your Development Application

To lodge your completed application, you can either lodge in person at Council’s Customer Service Centre or post your application to Council with a cheque. The application must be submitted with hard copy plans and documentation as well as electronic copies of all plans and supporting documentation in digital form (following Council's Electronic Lodgement Requirements) to be uploaded on Council's electronic management system, enabling customers to track the progress of their application online and to provide public exhibition of material on Council's website where required.

Once your application has been checked for completeness by the customer service staff and fee paid, you will be given an application number which acknowledges that your Development Application has been successfully lodged. Should your application be incomplete, it will not be formally lodged.

From 1 July 2020, Waverley Council can accept Development Applications (including S4.55 Modification and S8.2 Review applications) via the NSW Planning Portal.

You cannot submit an application for Pre-DAs, Heritage Exemption Certificates or Footpath Seating/Dining applications via the NSW Planning Portal. These application must still be submitted directly to Council.

You can submit your application via the NSW Planning Portal from your home or office or there is a computer available at Council’s Customer Service Centre for you to use the online service. If you need assistance using the online service, please view the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s How To Guide or contact Service NSW on 1300 305 695 for additional support.

When you lodge your application via the planning portal you will still need to provide all of the relevant information required by Waverley Council as stipulated in Councils Development Application Guide and Development Application Checklist.

To lodge your application via the NSW Planning Portal, you need to register for a NSW Planning Portal account to start your application. Once you are logged in as a registered user, you need to:

  • Complete the online application
  • Upload all the required application documents (forms, plans and supporting documents) which apply to your proposal as stipulated in the Waverley Council’s DA checklist. Please refer to the Waverley Development Application Guide for detailed explanation of the lodgement requirements.
  • All documents uploaded via the Planning Portal must comply with Waverley Council’s Electronic Lodgement Guidelines (documents which do not meet the submissions guidelines will be returned and not lodged).

Your application won't be formally lodged via the NSW Planning Portal until it has been checked for accuracy and completeness by Council AND the full and correct fees have been paid. Fees are calculated on a scale based on the estimated cost of development (and also the number of lots in the case of applications proposing subdivision).

It is suggested that you contact Council’s Planning Counter (9083 8000) to request a fee quote for your proposal, to ensure that you are aware of the fee that will be requested if your DA is accepted. Once your application has been checked for completeness, we will email you an invoice and you can pay the fees directly via BPay, or over the phone via credit card.

The application is considered lodged once the necessary information has been provided and the  fees have been paid. Council will not begin processing the application until all the relevant fees are paid. Application fees not paid within 48 hours of the invoice being issued will be rejected.

Applications lodged via the NSW Planning Portal which require review by the Waverley Design Excellence Advisory Panel will still require the submission of 4 x A3 size hard copies of the architectural plans including landscaping plans and photo montages.

Once you receive confirmation that your application has been lodged, these plans must be posted or submitted in person to Council’s Customer Service Centre attention to the Design Excellence Advisory Panel Coordinator.

The assessment process

Once your application is lodged with Council, you can follow the progress on Council’s website, via the DA Tracking Tool.

For further detail on how the application will be assessed, refer to the How DAs are assessed page. There are a number of steps that need to be followed before your application can be determined.

The path that your application follows will not be immediately known, as it will depend on the extent that your application complies with the Council's LEP and DCP controls, the number of submissions received and the complexity of the proposal. To keep up to date, please via the DA Tracking Tool.

The majority of applications determined by our Assessment Officers under delegation. More complex applications that require review from the DBU and those that must be referred under legislation to the Waverley Local Planning Panel (WLPP) or the Sydney Planning Panel and can take a longer time to assess.

Community consultation

We notify owners and residents of properties in the vicinity of your proposal so they have an opportunity to provide comment. We also notify local Precinct Committees of all applications received within their area.

Generally, the time allowed for feedback is either 14 or 30 days (depending on the type of DA). Our customer service staff will be able to advise you of the length of the notification period. To view any comments made about your application you must make a request from Council's Customer Service Centre.

Specific details of our policy on advertising and notification are contained in the Waverley Development Control Plan 2012–Part A3, Advertising and Notification.

Submissions

Any person can make a submission whilst an application is on notification and all submissions will be considered by the Assessment Officer as part of the assessment process for the application.

The majority of plans and documents will be available for viewing on Council’s website by entering the address or development application reference number through the Development Application Tracker.

Requirements for a making a submission:

  • It must be in writing.
  • It must indicate who is making the submission, or on whose behalf it is being made, the relevant address, contact phone number and email address.
  • If it is an objection, it should identify the reasons for the objection and any impacts that the objector says will arise from the proposal.
  • If there is a satisfactory solution to an objection, it should outline this.
  • It should only relate to ‘planning matters’ that are capable of being considered under the relevant legislation.
  • It should be succinct – there is no need for a submission to undertake a detailed assessment of the development against the development standards and controls.

The preferred way to lodge a submission to a development application is via email to: dasubmissions@waverley.nsw.gov.au

Please note that your submission, including your personal information, may be viewed and copied by, or provided electronically to, members of the public under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Submissions will not be published on Council’s website. The supply of your personal information is voluntary. However, if you do not provide your contact details, Council may be unable to give proper consideration to your submission, or to contact you or update you about your submission. Please advise Council if you require your personal information to be withheld. You are entitled to access and correct the information you provide. Questions concerning privacy or the use of your personal information should be referred to governance@waverley.nsw.gov.au

Submissions to Councillors: In 2013, Waverley Council implemented an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (the Waverley Development Assessment Panel) to determine certain types of development applications. In 2018, Local Planning Panels (formally known as Independent Hearing and Assessment Panels ie. the Waverley Development Assessment Panel) were made mandatory for all Sydney Councils under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. Councillors are no longer involved in the decision-making process of Development Applications so submissions should not be directed to Councillors.

Who will assess your application?

Applications are allocated to an Assessment Officer in chronological order and as an Assessment Officer becomes available to assess the application. This may occur before, during or after the notification period is over and is dependent on the workload of Assessment Officers and number of applications that Council has to assess at any time. The Assessment Officer will telephone you when your application has been allocated to them.

The assessment process may include a site inspection and we may need to gain access to your property. You can help this process by providing a daytime telephone contact number.

The Assessment Officer will also consider any submissions that are received about your application. They may need to undertake a view of your property from nearby properties to determine the impact of your proposal on these properties. The Assessment Officer will then prepare a report which includes a recommendation (ie. approval, deferral or refusal).

Determination

Once your application has been determined, the applicant will be emailed and sent a link to download an electronic copy of the Notice of Determination and associated stamped plans/ documents. It is important that a valid email address is provided on your application form.

A Development Application can be determined in the following ways:

Delegated authority

The Assessment Officer who has been allocated the application prepares a report and has 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 depart (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 depart from statutory provisions and Council codes and policies.

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

Waverley Local Planning Panel (WLPP)

This is a panel of expert planning professionals, industry specialists and community representatives who have delegation to determine significant DAs in the Waverley area. The Panel meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Meetings are held at the Council Chambers on Level 3, on the corner of Paul Street and Bondi Road. Prior to the meeting, the Panel members will undertake an inspection of the sites to be considered at the meeting.

The agenda for the Waverley Local Planning Panel contains reports about a number of DAs. Each report contains an assessment and recommendation about the development application to help panellists to make a determination on a proposal.

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.

For more information about DA determination, please visit the How DAs are assessed webpage

Sydney Planning Panel (Sydney Eastern City)

Sydney Planning Panels (SPPs) were established on 21 November 2016, to determine 'regionally significant' development applications (DAs), generally development with a capital investment value (CIV) over $30 million, within the Greater Sydney Region, other than City of Sydney.

Councils determine, in accordance with the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 if an application needs to be determined by a Sydney or Regional Planning Panel. For more information, visit the Sydney and Regional Planning Panel website.

Right of appeal

You can appeal against Council’s decision in two ways:

  • You can lodge an appeal in the Land and Environment Court within six (6) months of the date of the Determination Notice.
  • You can seek a Review of Determination by Council under Section 8.2 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. If you are seeking a review of a Development Application, then 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 a Section 4.55 application, then your application for a view must be made within 28 days of the determination of that decision. 

Conditions of approval

Development consents are generally valid for five years unless a condition of your consent specifies that it lasts for a shorter time. All development consents will have a number of conditions attached and it is important that you read and understand all of them. Please refer to the conditions of consent page to find out more information.

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.


If you fail to comply with any requirements, your development may be stopped and/or fines imposed. If you have any queries about any conditions please contact the Assessment Officer whose name appears near the end of the consent notice.

GST and property

For every property transaction you make, you need to think about tax implications. To help you to determine property related GST obligations, refer to the Australian Taxation Office website.

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?

Contact Council's Duty Planner

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