Application Process and Tracking
- Written by Adam Gatt Penrith City Council (02) 4732 7777 (02) 4732 7958 firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.penrithcity.nsw.gov.au 601 High St Penrith NSW 2750 Australia
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.
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.
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.
All significant development proposals should be reviewed by the Development Panel before the DA is submitted. Examples of significant development include more than five (5) townhouses, boarding houses, childcare centres, extractive industries, residential flat buildings and places of worship etc.
Once you have prepared a preliminary concept plan for a proposal on a specific site, contact Development Services Administration to discuss presenting your concept to the Development Panel for review.
We need the following information included in your application package:
- completed application form pre-lodgement meeting application form
- written description of the proposal
- site plan, floor plan, typical elevation containing dimensions, north point, existing buildings, preliminary site levels, access and parking (electronic copies only)
We are unable to book your meeting until the complete application package is received in electronic format.
Please allow us 7 working days to schedule your meeting. They are usually held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with 60 minutes allocated to each appointment.
Before or on the day of the meeting you will need to pay the relevant fee. See Council's 2021-22 Fees and Charges.
Senior Council Officers will attend to discuss your proposal and provide verbal advice.
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.
If you decide to proceed with the DA, you should address all issues raised by the Development Panel in your lodgement information visit https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/.
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
All applications must now be lodged through the NSW Planning Portal. For more information on how to fill out an application, see "Lodgement" below.
For an outline of fees relating to certain planning applications, certificates and payments lodged through the NSW Planning Portal visit the NSW Government website.
Find more detailed information see the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (EP&A) 1979.
All applications must now be lodged through the NSW Planning Portal. For a general guide on the documents to be submitted with applications, see the Application Lodgement Matrix and the Development Application Information Sheet. To request a quote on Council application fees, please submit a request through Council’s self-service portal. For an outline of fees relating to certain planning applications, certificates and payments lodged through the NSW Planning Portal visit the NSW Government website.
This step can include community consultation and public exhibition of plans. All submissions received will be considered. Major applications may be referred to an expert panel, such as the Local Planning Panel or the Sydney Western Sydney Planning Panel, for determination. 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 potentially 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.
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.
You must also appoint a Principal Certifier (PC) and notify Council 2 days prior to work commencing. Read our PCA factsheet.
To lodge your construction certificate and/or appoint Council as your certifier, please use the NSW Planning Portal. Fast-track your assessment process by applying for your Development Application and Construction Certificate at the same time. This allows the Council Officer to undertake both assessments concurrently.
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
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.
Once Council has completed all mandatory inspections and is satisfied that the work is compliant, you will be issued with an 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 certifier (PC) 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.
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 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.
Development Application tracker
The Development Application (DA) tracker service allows you to view and track the progress from lodgement to determination of:
- Development applications
- Construction certificates
- Complying development applications
It allows you to see key milestones in the process, including the current status, and provides access to publicly available plans and documentation. The tracker provides for submissions/comments to be lodged online for applications which are currently on exhibition.
Commenting on development proposals
For information about commenting on development proposals visit the Commenting on development proposals page.
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.
Private Certifier Applications
Penrith Council is now accepting Private Certifier Applications online through the NSW Planning Portal. Each step of the application is clear and simple and is faster and more efficient for everyone.
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.
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, 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.
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
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.
For more information call our Development Services team on 4732 7991 or the Penrith RFS Fire Control Centre on4734 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.
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.
- NSW Land Registry Services - Provides access to NSW land title records such as title searches, plans and dealings.
- 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.
- Office of Environment and Heritage - 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.
- SafeWork NSW and icare - 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.