Overview of Development Applications (DAs)

You may be required to submit a Development Application (DA) before you can make changes to a building or site. This might include:

  • building a residential, commercial or industrial building;
  • making an alteration or addition to a residential, commercial or industrial property;
  • subdividing land; or
  • changing the use of a building.

Council cannot issue retrospective development consent to building work started or completed without the necessary approval.

There are two types of development that do not require a DA - Exempt Development and Complying Development. More information on these development categories is available here.

Most Development Applications are submitted via the NSW Planning Portal, although some applications are still made directly with Council. Both avenues are explained below.

NSW Planning Portal Applications

Waverley Council can only accept the following applications via the NSW Planning Portal:

  • Development Applications (including S4.55 Modification and S8.2 Review applications);
  • Construction Certificate applications;
  • Occupation Certificate applications;
  • Subdivision Certificate applications;
  • Complying Development Certificate applications; and
  • Building Information Certificates.

Although these applications are submitted by the NSW Planning Portal, they are still assessed by Council. More information on the Development Applications process is available here.

Other Applications

The following applications must be submitted in digital form directly to Council including:

Follow the links above to understand the application documentation requirements of each type of application.

The LEP and DCP

There are two foundational documents which guide development in the local government area:

Waverley Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2012: The LEP applies to planning and development in the Waverley Local Government Area (LGA) and provides the main legal (or statutory) document.

It controls how land is used (via zones) and sets out provisions for how land can be developed. It also contains provisions to conserve our heritage and protect sensitive land.

The LEP comprises the written Instrument and a range of maps including land zoning, floor space ratio, height of buildings, protection of trees and heritage conservation, as well as a number of other environmental requirements. It was adopted by Council following intensive consultation with the community, and formally approved by the NSW Minister for Planning, under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

Waverley Development Control Plan (DCP) 2022: The DCP provides detailed planning and design guidance for new development, which supplements the provisions of the LEP.

The principal purpose of a DCP is to provide guidance to persons proposing to carry out development to:

  • Give effect to the aims of the LEP that applies to the development.
  • Facilitate development that is permissible under the LEP.
  • Achieve the objectives of the land zones under the LEP.

The provisions of a DCP are not statutory requirements but are a head of consideration for development evaluations under S 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.

The DCP will include a variety of controls ranging from solar access / overshadowing, setbacks, privacy, landscaping, swimming pools, commercial activities, footpath dining and infrastructure services. When these controls are consistently applied, they are given weight in Land and Environment Court proceedings.

DCPs need to be amended periodically to ensure they meet best planning practice, are strategically aligned with the LEP and local policies along with the directions of state plans.

To view the DCP and for further information, click here.

There are many other documents which guide development, and these are summarised in the Preparing a Development Application section.

Getting Assistance

The Development Application Process guide gives a general overview of how the development application process works.

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 make an appointment to speak to a Duty Planner on the phone, video conference or in-person by clicking here. Alternatively, for simple queries, you can email info@waverley.nsw.gov.au attentioned to the Planning Counter, detailing your query, property address and contact details. Requests for plans, fee quotes and issues relating unauthorised works should also be directed to info@waverley.nsw.gov.au.

If you do not have a computer and/or an internet connection to submit your application, Council has free computer stations available at the Customer Service Centre at Bondi Junction for this purpose.

Duty Planner

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.

Make an appointment to speak to a duty planner

Subscribe to Have Your Say updates to be notified of major DAs.

Subscribe now