The following information provides a detailed outline of the development application process. For a brief summary on putting together your application, see how to lodge a development application.
How do I determine what is allowed on my site?
What kind of approval do I need?
What is a DA and why do I need one?
What do I need to consider when planning a development?
What if my DA doesn’t comply with a guideline?
Can I talk to someone about my plans?
Disclosure of Political Donations
What are the steps in lodging a DA?
What happens after I lodge my DA?
Who gets told about my DA and why?
How do I comment on someone else’s DA?
How do I know if a DA is going to a Council Meeting?
How long does my development consent last for?
How do I modify a development consent?
How do I appeal Council’s decision?
What plans do I need to lodge with an application?
Statement of Environmental Effects
To determine what is allowed on your site, you need to determine which zoning category your property is classified under according to the Auburn Local Environmental Plan 2010.
The plan specifies the types of development within each zone that are either:
Zoning can be determined by:
Please note that our Council officers are unable to advise of site zoning over the phone. However, they are able to discuss what you can and cannot do on your land once you know your zoning.
The next step is to determine if your development is permissible and find out what approvals are necessary.
There are four categories of development. You will need to apply for approval under the appropriate category:
1. Exempt Development
This is a minor development that does not require approval but must adhere to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008).
For more information, see Exempt and complying development.
2. Local Development
A local development requires consent under a planning instrument that applies to the Auburn City Council municipal area. This is commonly known as a Development Application (DA).
3. Complying Development
This is a type of development which can be certified as complying with predetermined standards. An application for a Complying Development Certificate can to be lodged with Auburn City Council or an Accredited Certifier.
4. State Significant Development
A state significant development is identified by the State Government as being either of State or Regional significance. Approval is required from The Minister of Infrastructure and Planning. Contact the Department of Planning for further information.
A development application (DA) is an application made to Auburn City Council seeking consent to:
The DA is required so Auburn City Council can assess how much impact the proposed changes will have on the environment, local neighbourhood and other properties. Issues such as pollution, shadowing, traffic and privacy are taken into account.
DAs are lodged by the property owner or by the architect, town planner, engineer, builder or other person acting on the owner’s behalf. The applicant should be the most appropriate person you wish Council to deal with should we have any enquiries in relation to your DA.
When considering a DA, Council will assess whether the requested development fits with the regulations and guidelines applicable to the development.
Council can refuse, grant consent, grant consent with conditions or grant a ‘Deferred Commencement’ consent (meaning more information needs to be supplied before a final consent will be given).
If your DA is approved, Council is agreeing that the plans you have made are satisfactory. A Construction Certificate is still needed to begin building.
The requirements for lodging and processing a development application are set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
However when lodging an application with Auburn City Council you should refer to the most appropriate submission checklist to your development.
When planning a development, you should first read the relevant planning instrument, or document, for your site.
This will be either the Sydney Regional Environmental Plan 24 (for the Homebush Bay/Wentworth Point area) or the Auburn Local Environmental Plan 2010 (for the rest of Auburn).
These documents describe the allocation of land for specific purposes. They set out controls, or rules, for things like building height and floor space ratio. These controls must be complied with.
Please note that State Government planning instruments may also apply, including State Regional Environmental Plans (SREP) and State Environment Planning Policies (SEPP).
For more detail on specific matters like car parking and setbacks, you should refer to Auburn City Council’s Development Control Plans (DCPs). Auburn City Council has the discretion to vary the controls under special circumstances because the DCPs cannot anticipate every possible situation. This means there may be cases where strict adherence to a control is unreasonable or unjustified.
Other Council codes and guidelines may also be relevant depending on the type of activity being undertaken. If your DA doesn’t comply with a guideline, there may be steps you can take to get approval.
If your development application does not comply with the development standards detailed in the Auburn Local Environment Plan 2010 then you will need to show Council that there are special circumstances which warrant variation of the control.
Auburn City Council's authority to do this is laid out in within Clause 4.6 of the LEP and you will need to lodge a written request which seeks to justify the contravention of the development standard by demonstrating.
If your DA does not comply with the controls detailed in the Development Control Plan, Auburn City Council has the power to vary the controls if special circumstances or merits of the proposal warrant it. Please note this is not the same as varying a development standard set out in the Local Enviromental Plan. Justification for non-compliance to a development control contained within a DCP will need to be included in the Statement of Environmental Effects.
Varying from the standards contained in the ALEP 2010 or any DCP is not taken lightly. It is the responsibility of the applicant to:
Notwithstanding any other provision of the plan, Council may refuse to grant consent to a development that may have negative impact to adjoining properties, such as site isolation, loss of view, loss of privacy or reduction in sunlight to the living areas of the adjoining property unless the applicant can demonstrate to Council's satisfaction that:
Council must process any application, even if a control is not complied with. So before lodging any DA, discuss your plans with Council officers for further information and advice.
It’s a good idea to talk to officers at Auburn City Council before you lodge your DA.
Council officers can help guide you through what is permitted on a site and what sort of things the site’s controls and rules are trying to achieve.
You can see a Council Development Assessment officer without an appointment at Auburn City Council main reception area at 1 Susan Street, Auburn during the reception opening hours of 8:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday to Friday.
If you bring in your sketches or plans we can help you identify any changes that may need to be made to the development before approval would be granted. By making these changes before lodging, you are able to save yourself time and money.
Council particularly recommends that a pre-lodgement application be made for large developments, for developments in sensitive sites (such as contaminated areas) or developments that may produce issues for others.
Types of development in which a formal pre-lodgement application is recommended include Childcare Centres, Multiple Dwellings (Townhouse), Residential Flat Buildings, Mixed Use (Commercial and residential component), Significant Industrial or any other irregular type of development.
A pre-lodgement application must first be made and the relevant fee paid. Minimum submission requirements include 4 copies of a statement of the intended proposal and indicative plans of the proposal (sufficient for Council assessment officers to understand the proposal).
The more information which can be provided for the pre-lodgement application, the more advice Council officers can provide. Download the application form and checklist.
After application is made, a meeting will be arranged at Council offices. These meetings will be attended by at least two Council officers.
After the meeting, formal written advice will be provided and will include information regarding the proposal’s compliance with Council controls, a summary of the major issues with the proposal and advice regarding specific information which will be required to be lodged with a development application.
The pre-lodgement meeting is not an approval but will assist you in deciding whether to proceed to a formal development application.
If you have made a political donation or gift of $1000 or more within the two years preceding the application, it must be disclosed with your Development Application.
For more information, please see Register of Planning Matters.
For more information on lodging a DA, see How to lodge a development application.
The following steps will apply to most development applications. However, please note that these steps do not necessarily occur one after the other and usually overlap.
Council may decide to hold a Inspection of the site before determining. If this happens, applicants are entitled to attend the meeting. A representative of the applicant and a representative of the correspondents are able to address the Inspection Committee. Council will determine the application either by adopting the Officer’s recommendations or deferring the application for further discussion between the applicant and the Officer. Whether or not re-notification is needed can be decided either by the Officer or by Council. A Notice of Determination is sent to the applicant.
Please note: If an application hasn’t been determined within 40 days of lodging, the applicant has the right of appeal to the Land and Environment Court.
Depending on the type of development proposed, generally adjoining owners and occupiers are informed of intended future development. They are allowed to comment on a proposal and either support or object to it.
Other interested people or organisations, such as local Associations, may also be informed and invited to make a comment. Elected Council representatives are also provided weekly lists of the development applications received at Council.
Residents are alerted to DA's through the following:
Notification letters contain the name of the applicant, the address of the property concerned, a brief description of the proposed development and instructions on making submissions to Auburn City Council regarding the DA.
When a development application is submitted to Council, the owners of properties likely to be affected by the development are notified by Council. They are invited to come and inspect the detailed plans and documents at Council’s Customer Services Centre or at the Village Libraries. The letter contains details needed in order to comment on the development, including the name and contact details of the responsible Council Officer and the application number.
After inspecting the application you can make a submission setting out any concerns you may have, or indicating why you believe the application should be approved or refused by Council. Please note that you do not have to make a submission - it’s entirely optional.
How to make a submission
Submissions must be made in writing and addressed to: The General Manager, Auburn City Council, P.O. Box 118, Auburn NSW 1835.
Quote the application number and address of the proposed development, and provide a telephone number so Auburn City Council can contact you about your submission if necessary. You can use photos or sketches to make your concerns clearer.
If you make a submission and have made a reportable political donation or gift to a Councillor or Council Officer within 2 years before making the submission you must attach a completed disclosure statement.
Common reasons for submissions include; views, overshadowing, privacy, streetscape, size of the proposed structure, landscaping, car parking, noise, drainage and heritage. Note that this is not an exhaustive list and not every matter is relevant to every application.
Council will acknowledge it has received your submission and will also discuss your submission in the DA report. If you have specific questions or concerns you want to discuss, please contact the Council Officer responsible for the DA. Council staff will inspect the site, consider received submissions and assess the development proposal in relation to Council’s policies and other statutory requirements.
If you would like to know what is happening with an application or whether it has been referred to a Council Meeting for a decision, please contact the responsible Officer.
Please remember that all submissions received, including the names and addresses of the persons making submissions, can be accessed by any person. The supply of personal information is entirely voluntary. However if matters raised in an anonymous submission need to be substantiated these submissions may be given less or no weight when considering the application.
Under the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998, you may access or amend your personal information.
Auburn City Council will contact individual correspondents to advise them when an application is determined or will go to a Council Meeting.
Council meets on the once a month at 7pm. A copy of the DA reports to go to a Council Meeting can be accessed from the Customer Service Centre the Friday before the meeting. Alternatively you can view the Agendas and Minutes on the Council website and at the Libraries.
If you want to address Council about an application that has been referred to a meeting, you must inform the General Manager in writing (fax, email or letter) before midday the Friday before the meeting.
Once your development application has been approved, works must be commenced within five years from the date shown as the commencement date, unless otherwise stated. The lapse date will also be printed on the consent. Even if you choose to modify your Development Consent, the commencement and lapse dates do not change.
The same period of five years applies to works approved in a Complying Development Certificate.
If you wish to modify a development consent issued by Auburn City Council, you may make an application under Section 96 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The amendments are:
The development as modified must be substantially the same development and you must provide evidence of this. It is recommended that you contact the Development Officer who dealt with the Development Application to discuss the modification prior to lodgement.
Only the applicant can appeal against a Council decision on a DA. Appeals can be made when:
For a more detailed description of the appeals process, please read the DA Appeals section in the Land and Environment Court Guide.
Appeals should be lodged with the Land and Environment Court. You can visit their website to download the correct forms to lodge an appeal. You will also need to provide them with originals and copies of your development application form, plans and copies of Auburn City Council's Notice of Determination if required. There will be a filing fee.
Once your paperwork is processed you must send a copy of the sealed documents provided to you by Auburn City Council. The applicant is generally known as the appellant while Council is known as the respondent. Once the appeal is lodged, Council’s decision is set aside and the Court becomes the approval body unless you and Council reach an agreement and settle.
Introduced by the NSW Government, BASIX ensures homes are built to be more energy and water efficient. BASIX is online program that assesses a house or unit design and compares it against energy and water reduction targets.
The design must meet these targets before a BASIX Certificate can be printed. Development application plans must depict all required BASIX commitments as per the certificate. Every development application for a new home (including granny flats) must be submitted to Council with a BASIX Certificate.
For more information visit the BASIX website.
See the checklists page for the type of plans and their details that are required to be provided when submitting a development application.
A site analysis is a sketch diagram of the site and the adjoining sites and typically prepared from recent survey information and other sources (such as a visual inspection of the site, sewer diagrams and other historical information).
The site analysis is used by the assessment officer to make an informed assessment of issues such as privacy, overlooking and overshadowing, context of the adjoining allotments etc.
Guidelines for Preparing a Statement of Environmental Effects
A Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) is a report which explains the likely impacts of your development proposal and how you will minimise these impacts. An SEE must be lodged with every development application (DA).
What does it include
The statement includes written information about your proposal that cannot be readily shown on your plans and drawings.
Your Statement of Environmental Effects should address all issues that are applicable to your proposal.
In particular a statement of environmental effects must indicate the following matters:
The following is a general guide to the issues relevant to different types of development proposals. Not all considerations listed below will be relevant to your proposal. However providing a detailed SEE can assist Council in processing your application faster. Therefore, it is in your best interests to address as many of these heading as applicable to your development.
A. Site and Context Suitability
Show that the site is suitable for the proposed development. Relevant considerations include:
B. Present and previous uses
Provide the following details:
C. Development Standards Show how your proposal complies with the relevant statutory development standards which are contained in the Auburn Local Environmental Plan 2000.
If a proposal does not comply with a relevant development standard, Council may consider a variation to the standard. An objection to a development standard can only be made in writing. In addition there are a number of controls contained in the Auburn City Council's Development Control Plans (DCPs). Not all the DCPs will be relevant to your proposal, however if you are unsure you can contact Auburn City Council's duty planner to discuss on (02) 9735 1222. Controls mentioned in the DCP are minimum requirements that Council considers are likely to meet the intent/objectives and performance criteria of the particular design elements.
If an application does not comply with a control, it is the responsibility of the applicant to clearly demonstrate:
You should submit with your Statement a table listing all of the relevant development controls and how your proposal complies (or doesn’t comply if that is the case) with the controls.
Failure to identify and address non-compliances can result in delays to the processing of the application while Council requests further information from the applicant.
Show how your proposal satisfies our relevant site planning and design guidelines. Relevant considerations include:
Our design guidelines are contained within the relevant Development Control Plan. Make sure you find out which design guidelines apply to your development or site.
E. Operation and Management
Describe how the premises will operate:
Council may require a detailed Plan of Management for proposals which may adversely impact on residential amenity. A Plan of Management may therefore be required for proposals such as entertainment facilities, boarding houses and childcare centres. A Plan of Management must show how your activity will be managed to minimise adverse amenity impacts.
F. Access and Traffic
If your proposal is likely to generate traffic you must submit a traffic impact assessment report prepared by a qualified transport consultant. If your proposal is not a traffic generator you will still need to show that there is adequate provision for access, including:
G. General Accessibility
Show how the proposed development provides easy access and usable areas for everyone in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act. Consider the needs of people with walking difficulties or sensory impairments, wheelchair users and people with young children. You should consider:
H. Privacy, views and sunlight
Show how the proposed development will address privacy, views and sunlight access.
I. Air and noise
Show how the proposal will not cause, or be affected by, air or noise emissions:
Show how the proposal will deal with all aspects of drainage on the site:
K. Erosion & Sediment Control
Show how you propose to prevent erosion and control sediment on the site, including:
A Heritage Impact Assessment is required for any work to a heritage item, archaeological site or a building within a Heritage Conservation Area that requires consent under the Auburn Local Environmental Plan 2010.
Where a Heritage Statement is required it must be prepared by a suitably qualified professional heritage advisor. The report must address:
The NSW Heritage Manual and the Burra Charter can be obtained from the NSW Heritage Office.
M. Environmental Sustainability
Show how the proposal will meet the minimum sustainability guidelines mentioned under the relevant Development Control Plan.
Relevant considerations include:
Show how the proposal promotes waste minimisation : ‘avoid, re-use, recycle’
Your Waste Management Plan should demonstrate that you have included the above objectives in your proposal.
O. Site Management
Show how the construction site will be managed to ensure public safety and to minimise public inconvenience:
These guidelines have been prepared to assist applicants in the preparation of a Statement of Environmental Effects.
A properly prepared Statement addressing the relevant items in these guidelines will enable Council Officers to assess your application and avoid delays in the processing of your application.
The LEP and DCP referred to in these guidelines are available from Council’s website or at the Customer Services Counter.