Home  >  Development  >  Application process
  • Application process

  • Included on this page

  • What can I build on my land?

    Use the below links and enter your property details to see what development can be undertaken on your land. If your property does not appear in the search, please contact Council on 4732 7991 for further information regarding your site.

    Property Details Page on the NSW Planning Portal

    Electronic Housing Code Exempt and Complying Development site

    Get information on Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans relating to land in Penrith.

    Do I need to make an application?

    Exempt development is of minimal environmental impact and does not require development approval provided it meets certain requirements such as size, location, use and construction standards.  You may like to check if your  development is exempt from requiring an application.  

  • Prelodgement advice

    We want to identify and, if possible, resolve issues "up front" so we can avoid unnecessary delays for you. Council provides pre-lodgement advice at Development Panel meetings.

    Do I need to meet with Council before lodging my DA?

    All significant development proposals (other than dwellings and ancillary buildings, minor commercial or industrial additions/alterations, use/occupancy of buildings, minor rural development or advertising signs) should be reviewed by the Development Panel before the DA is submitted.

    How do I apply for a pre-lodgement meeting?

    When you've prepared a preliminary concept for a proposal on a specific site, contact Council staff to discuss presenting your concept to the Development Panel for review. You will need to complete the pre-lodgement meeting application form (accessible pdf 119KB)

    We need the concept details before you come in for the meeting, including:

    • your name and contact details
    • property address including lot number and DP
    • site plan, floor plan, typical elevation containing dimensions, north point, existing buildings, preliminary site levels, access and parking (4 sets of plans required) and
    • a written description of the proposal.

    Before or on the day of the meeting you will need to pay the relevant fee. See Council's 2016-17 Fees and Charges (1.8MB pdf)

    Please allow us 7 working days notice to schedule your meeting - they are usually held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with 30-60 minutes allocated to each appointment.

    What happens at the Development Panel meeting?

    Senior staff from appropriate sections of Council will attend to discuss your proposal and provide verbal advice. We record minutes of the meeting.

    A written response summarising any issues with the proposal we have identified will be provided to you within 7 working days.

    Where possible, we try to provide you with some certainty about the potential of your proposal, but you can't assume Council approval based on pre-lodgement advice, as a full assessment and determination can only be made after lodgement of the application.

    Going ahead? Get the DA form

    If you decide to proceed with the DA, you should take account of all issues raised by the Development Panel. Click here to access the Development Application form (accessible pdf 286KB).

    Contact us
  • Development application process

    A Development Application (DA) is a formal request for permission to carry out proposed development, including the use of premises. Approval is required before carrying out any development (except where expressly exempted). The most common types of development requiring approval are:

    • construction of a building
    • use of land or building
    • subdivision of land
    • demolition

    Find more detailed information see the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A) 1979.

    Assessment and determination

    This step can include community consultation and public exhibition of plans. All submissions received will be considered. Major applications may go to a Council meeting as part of the assessment process. We may refer your application to another section within Council for expert advice (for example if there are heritage conservation or flood prone land issues.)

    Following the end of any community consultation period, Council will do a site inspection to assess the impact of the proposed development.

    Applications for certain residential development proposals which require development consent must be accompanied by a BASIX Certificate before they can be assessed and development consent granted.

    If the application is approved, you will be issued with a development consent (outlining conditions of consent). Council is the only authority that can issue a development consent.

    Construction Certificate

    This is a certificate that states that building work can commence on an approved development, and that it complies with the terms of the consent and the Building Code of Australia. This certificate can be issued by either Council or an independent Certifier. You must have development consent to obtain a construction certificate. No work can start before you obtain a construction certificate.

    Appoint a Principal Certifying Authority

    You must also appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) and notify Council 2 days prior to work commencing. Read our PCA factsheet (accessible pdf 107KB).

    To appoint Council as your PCA, please use the PCA Nomination form (accessible pdf 144KB).

    You can choose to have a construction certificate assessment by Council or a private certifier. Fast-track this process by using Council's combined application process, allowing you to lodge your development application and construction certificate at the same time with one application form.  If you need assistance completing this application, please contact Council's Development Services Administration team on 4732 7991.

    Home Owners' Warranty Insurance is needed before your construction certificate can be issued. If you are an owner builder, you will need to provide Council with your Owner Builder permit.

    Complete the Notice of Commencement of Works and Appoint a Principle Certifying Authority

    Mandatory Inspections and Certification

    There are certain inspections throughout the course of construction that Council needs to carry out. Council will notify you of these (check your construction certificate).

    To book an inspection, Council needs 24 hours notice. Please contact the Development Services Administration Team on 4732 7991.  Alternatively you can book an inspection online.

    Once Council has completed all mandatory inspections and is satisfied that the work is compliant, you will be issued with an Occupation Certificate.

    Occupation Certificate 

    An occupation certificate, issued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows a person to occupy and use a new building or change the use of an existing building.

    An occupation certificate verifies that the principal certifying authority (Council or a Private Certifier) is satisfied that the building is suitable to occupy or use in terms of the requirements of the Building Code of Australia. That Code sets required standards for the design and construction of various classes of buildings to protect health, safety and amenity. There are two types:

    A final occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a new building (including alternations/extensions) or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change in its use.

    An interim occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a partially completed building, or of a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building. It is rare that an interim certificate is issued, but if one has been, a final occupation certificate is still required when all building work or the change of use is complete. A final occupation certificate revokes any occupation certificates issued earlier.

    An occupation certificate is required for any new building work, or change of use of a building, that has development consent or a complying development certificate.

    Occupation certificates are not required for buildings which are exempt development. They may not be issued for the occupation or use of a new building after 12 months from the date on which the building was first occupied or used.

  • Complying development

    Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward development proposals such as home renovations and additions or a new home up to two storeys. Providing the proposal meets specific criteria then it can be determined by a Council or private certifier without needing a full development application.

    You can make an application under complying development directly through the   Electronic Housing Code portal.

    The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) project is focused on the development of an online system for the electronic lodgement of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code for lots 200m2and above. This system will also allow the user to determine if they are able to proceed with their development without further approvals, as an exempt development. 

    The Electronic Housing Code has been built primarily for local industry professionals, such as project home builders, planners, developers and architects. However it is also able to be used by the local community within the participating local government areas.

  • Joint Regional Planning Panel

    The role of Joint Regional Planning Panels   

    Since July 2009, Joint Regional Planning Panels (Regional Panels) have determined regionally significant Development Applications (DAs).

    Regional Panels consist of 3 State-appointed and 2 Council members. Penrith comes within the Sydney West Joint Planning Panel region.

    Schedule 4A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 identifies classes of regional development to be determined by the Regional Panels, including:

    • development with a capital investment value over $20 million
    • the following development with a capital investment value over $5 million:
      • development where Council is the proponent or has a potential conflict of interest
      • Crown development
      • certain private infrastructure and community facilities
      • eco-tourist facilities
    • certain designated development types 
    • certain coastal land subdivisions 

    State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 identifies the functions of Regional Panels in determining DAs. Council continues to carry out other consent authority functions associated with processing these DAs, including receipt and assessment of the Development Applications and the preparation of an assessment report and recommendations that will be provided to the relevant Regional Panel for their consideration and determination. 

    Council also carries out post-determination functions including determination notices, notification, certification and management and application of developer contributions.

    For more information about the Joint Regional Planning Panel, see the   Joint Regional Planning Panel website. You can search the development register of applications currently being considered by the Sydney West Region Joint Planning Panel.

  • Building in a Bushfire Prone Area

    Parts of Penrith City have been identified as bushfire prone. Development in these areas must include bushfire protection measures for people and property. We also have a responsibility to conserve our natural environment.

    Is my land 'Bushfire Prone'?

    Parts of Penrith City have been identified as bushfire prone. Development in these areas must include bushfire protection measures for people and property. We also have a responsibility to conserve our natural environment. Areas at risk of bushfire have been mapped according to NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) guidelines:see the Bushfire Prone Land Map (pdf 7.11MB), which can also be viewed at Council Offices.

    Areas coloured orange, yellow or red on the map are considered bushfire prone. Orange - Vegetation Category 1 (this is the most hazardous vegetation category) - refers to forest, woodlands, heath and wetlands. Yellow - Vegetation Category 2 (this is of a lesser hazard than category 1) - refers to moist rainforests, shrublands, open woodlands, mallee and grasslands. Red - Vegetation Buffer 100 metres and 30 metres - refers to the buffering distance being 100m from vegetation category 1, and 30m from vegetation category 2 (these areas may be affected by bushfire due to factors such as ember attack and exposure to radiant heat). A Section 149 Planning Certificate (detailing the relevant planning controls for a parcel of land including planning restrictions) also specifies if land has been identified as being bushfire prone.

    What if I want to build on bushfire prone land?

    All developments on bushfire prone land must by law meet the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 and the Australian Standard for the Construction of buildings in bushfire-prone areas AS3959 - 2009. All habitable buildings must comply with Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006. Where a Class 10a building (such as sheds, decks and outbuildings) is attached or constructed in proximity to another residential class of building, the Class 10a should meet the requirements of that Class or be located more than 10m away from the main building.

    Detached structures within an Asset Protection Zone (APZ) are also required to meet specific standards and comply with Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006. If your property is identified as bushfire prone land, your Development Application (DA) must include a bushfire assessment report showing compliance with the requirements of Planning for Bush Fire Protection 2006 and the calculated Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for the proposal.

    The BAL will then determine the minimum construction requirements under AS3959-2009. Some types of developments will also be classed as 'integrated developments' and will be referred to the RFS to obtain a Bush Fire Safety Authority under the Rural Fires Act 1997. If you are proposing to carry out one of the following types of development on bushfire prone land, then your application will be Integrated Development:

    • subdivision of land (for residential or rural residential purposes)
    • special fire protection purposes - such as the following:
      • a school
      • a child care centre
      • a hospital (including a hospital for the mentally ill or mentally disordered)
      • a hotel, motel or other tourist accommodation
      • a building wholly or principally used as a home or other establishment for mentally incapacitated persons
      • seniors housing within the meaning of State Environmental Planning Policy (Housing for Seniors or People with a Disability) 2004
      • a group home within the meaning of State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
      • a retirement village
      • any special fire protection purpose as described in Section 100B (6) of the Rural Fires Act 1997
    How do I determine the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)?

    The bushfire prone land map does not indicate the BAL of your site, it only shows if your land has been identified as being in a bushfire prone area.

    A bushfire assessment report is needed to determine the BAL for your site. For minor proposals the RFS provides a Single Dwelling Application Kit which explains how to determine the BAL and helps applicants to prepare a bushfire assessment report for a single dwelling or alterations and additions to an existing dwelling. It contains sections which can be submitted with your Development Application. If you choose to prepare your own report, you take on the responsibility of providing accurate information to Council and the RFS. Submissions with inaccurate information may result in requests for additional information (from an appropriately qualified bushfire consultant) and/or cause delays in the DA process.

    You should engage a qualified bushfire consultant for any complex development proposal or where a proposal doesn't comply with the minimum requirements specified in Planning for Bushfire Protection 2006. The RFS website contains useful information about building in a bushfire prone area including publications, fact sheets and a web links to suitably qualified consultants (Fire Protection Association Australia).

    To apply for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC), the Codes SEPP has been amended so that complying development may be undertaken on lower risk bushfire prone land (up to and including BAL-29) where the appropriate construction requirements for bushfire prone land and all other relevant development standards have been met.

    For most types of developments, the CDC application must include a BAL risk assessment certificate. You will need to obtain a BAL risk assessment certificate before lodging your CDC. The BAL risk assessment certificate can only be assessed and issued by Council or a suitably qualified consultant recognised by the RFS. You cannot submit the self assessed reports for CDC applications.

    Download a Request for BAL risk assessment application form (accessible pdf 126KB) if you are proposing a CDC application on bushfire prone land. See the RFS website for more information.

    For more information call our Development Services team on 4732 7991 or the Penrith RFS Fire Control Centre on 4734 7777. For integrated development or enquiries regarding specific provisions in Planning for Bushfire Protection 2006, the RFS Development Assessment and Planning team may also assist - call (02) 8741 5555.

  • Useful Links

    Some sites offering information about building, planning and development that you might find helpful are listed below. Council has no control over the content or privacy practices associated with these external sites.

    Australian Building Codes Board - produces and maintains the Building Code of Australia (BCA) on behalf of the Australian, State and Territory Governments. The BCA contains technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and structures.

    Australian Bureau of Statistics - (ABS) provides statistics and reference information on a wide range of economic and social matters.

    Australian Standards- SAI Global is a source for global technical content such as Standards and legislation. All Australian, ISO and IEC Standards, plus a range of publications are available.

    BASIX Building Sustainability Index - Introduced by the NSW Government to ensure new residential developments are built to be more energy and water efficient. Note: Council can not accept an application (for a BASIX affected development) without a current BASIX Certificate and your BASIX commitments shown on your plans.

    Building Code of Australia (BCA) + Standards - A subscription service with online access to the Building Code of Australia and all BCA referenced Australian Standards. (Also see the link for the Australian Building Codes Board).

    Building Professionals Board - Accredited certifiers (or private certifiers) are accredited by the Building Professionals Board (an independent statutory body, reporting to the Minister for Planning). The board also audits and investigates complaints against accredited certifiers.

    Department of Lands - Provides access to NSW land title records such as title searches, plans and dealings. The Department of Lands also administers the Dividing Fences Act 1991 and can provide information about the dividing fences laws and resolving fencing disputes.

    Department of Planning - Information on the NSW planning system, legislation and planning instruments. The Minister for Planning determines applications for major infrastructure or other major projects of State or regional environmental planning significance.

    Dividing Fences - see Dividing Fences Act NSW. Council is not in a position to assist in matters regarding general disputes or cost of fencing. Law Access NSW has information about the dividing fences laws and resolving fencing disputes.

    Heritage Office - The Heritage Office provides guidance on how to look after heritage items. They support community heritage projects through funding and advice and also maintain the NSW Heritage Database, an online list of all statutory heritage items in NSW.

    Legislation (NSW) - The official NSW Government site for the online publication of legislation (Acts, Regulations and Environmental Planning Instruments) including the Local Government Act and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

    Local Government NSW - The Local Government and Shires Associations represent the views of NSW councils to other governments, provide industrial relations and other specialist services to councils and promote Local Government to the community.

    Long Service Corporation - for information about the levy payable for building and construction projects costing $25,000 or more.

    NSW Fair Trading - Information about becoming an Owner Builder, Home Warranty Insurance, Building Contracts and Licence checks on Builders and Tradespeople. Also has information for Tenants, Landlords and Strata living.

    Office of Local Government - Provides policy and legislative foundation to Local Government in NSW so councils are able to deliver quality services to their communities in a sustainable manner. They also provide information on Companion Animals and have contacts details for all NSW Councils.

    Rural Fire Service - Building in Bushfire Prone Areas - Important information on the requirements for building in bushfire prone areas and planning for bush fire protection. The RFS has details on legislation, the Australian Standards and tools for assessment.

    Smoke Alarms - In NSW it is mandatory to have smoke alarms in all homes and other shared accommodation buildings where people sleep. See the NSW Department of Planning or the NSW Fire Brigades for more information.

    Standards Australia - SAI Global is a source for global technical content such as Standards and legislation. All Australian, ISO and IEC Standards, plus a range of publications are available.

    sydneywater.com.au/tapin - provides information about the requirements for development, necessary approvals and Section 73 Compliance Certificates from Sydney Water where sewer, water or stormwater mains or easements will be affected by any part of your development.

    WorkCover NSW - Promotes workplace health and safety. They administer and enforce compliance with occupational health and safety (OHS), injury management, return to work and workers compensation legislation. They also have useful information on asbestos removal and licensing.

    top of page

Have your say

Community input is important


We encourage you to have your say about community plans, policies and issues that will shape our City's future...

Community input is important

Find us on
Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 council@penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia