Most types of building, subdivision and demolition work requires a Development Application (DA) to be submitted to Council for approval. The following information provides a brief outline of the Development Process.

When is a Development Application Required?

All development requires approval of Council; under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act, 1979 (as amended). Development is defined as:

(a)  the use of land, and

(b)  the subdivision of land, and

(c)  the erection of a building, and

(d)  the carrying out of a work, and

(e)  the demolition of a building or work, and

(f)  any other act, matter or thing referred to in section 26 that is controlled by an environmental planning instrument.

Some minor works called "Exempt Development" may not require approval provided it meets certain criteria included in the Forbes Shire Council's Development Control Plan #7, 1999 (Available for download from the 'Local Planning Instruments' section of the Planning & Development website) or the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. All other development requires the submission of a Development Application with the consent authority.

What is required with a Development Application?

Firstly you should visit or contact Council's Environmental Services & Planning Department and check with the staff:

  • Whether a Development Application is required;
  • Whether the proposal is permissible;
  • How Council's codes and policies may affect the proposal;
  • Obtain copies of the information necessary to submit a Development Application. This includes the Development Application form.

Lodging a Development Application

Council's Development Application Form (PDF 116KB) contains a detailed checklist regarding what is required to be submitted. The checklist is intended to ensure that Council has sufficient information to determine the likely impacts of a proposal, including compliance with codes and policies. Such information may include, but is not limited to:

  • A completed Development Application form;
  • Three (3) copies of plans showing:

         - Site Plan
         - Elevations
         - Representative cross sections and long sections
         - Floor Plan
         - Landscaping Plan

(Please also provide an electronic copy of the Plans)

  • Application Fees (based on the total estimated cost of the development);
  • Written authority of all the owners of the land to which the application relates.

How is a Development Application lodged?

Initial enquiry / Prelodgement Meeting

You should discuss the proposal with an officer from Council's Environmental Services & Planning Department before lodging a Development Application. During this initial enquiry, you need to determine the processing requirements of your proposal and what information should be included in the Development Application. 

Prelodgement meetings are available by appointment.  Applicants are advised to make an appointment with Council's Environmental Services Department. This can assist the applicant to provide adequate information in relation to the proposal with the intent of avoiding unnecessary approval delays.

DA Lodgement

It is a requirement of the EP&A Act, 1979 and the Regulation that the Development Application is correctly lodged. Applicants must complete the Forbes Shire Council Development Application Form and pay a set Development Application fee before the Development Application will be receipted. A Statement of Environmental Effects and plans that describe the development proposal will need to be submitted with the Development Application.

For more information on what is required in your Development Application plans see the Development Application guide.

Preliminary Assessment

Once a Development Application is lodged with Council an officer will check its consistency with the requirements of any local, regional or state planning instrument, or other planning regulations that relate to the proposed development. It is at this stage that the Applicant may be asked to provide additional information to assist with the assessment of the proposal.


The Development Application will be notified to nearby landowners. The Development Application may also need to be publicly exhibited. Consultation may also be carried out with other government authorities or service agencies that have an interest in the Development Application.


The application will be assessed, taking into account:

  • The requirements of the Forbes Local Environmental Plan 2013, Forbes Development Control Plan 2013 and local, regional or state planning instrument, or other planning regulation that relates to the site or the proposed development. These may contain issues to be considered or standards that must be met.
  • The impact the proposed development is likely to have on the natural environment, the built environment and the local community.
  • Whether the site is suitable for the proposed development.
  • Any submissions made by neighbours, the wider community and government agencies after the development application was advertised.
  • The public interest.

The Decision

The DA will either be conditonally approved or refused by Council. If the application is approved, the consent will detail conditions which the Applicant must adhere to throughought construction phases.

Approval to begin work

If the development involves construction work (for example a building, roads or stormwater drainage system for a subdivision), the Applicant must apply to Council or an accredited certifier for a construction certificate. The Construction Certificate certifies that the work the Applicant intends to undertake will comply with required standards. The Applicant needs to provide detailed designs and documentation with their application for a construction certificate. This detail must be consistent with the plans lodged with the Development Application and it must be clear that any building work will comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Principal Certifying Authority Appointed

Before any work can start, the Applicant must choose a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). This can be Council or an accredited certifier. The PCA will make sure that the work is done in accordance with the development consent and approved construction plans. At least two days before starting work, the Applicant must notify Council that work is going to start, and who is the PCA, if it is not the Council. Notice of work form can be found here.

Approval to Occupy

Before moving into a new building or registering a subdivision with Land and Property Management Authority, the Applicant must obtain from the PCA:

  • an occupation certificate if he/she is going to occupy or use a new building or change the use of an existing building and/or;
  • a subdivision certificate to have the plan of subdivision registered.

Compliance Check

Council will monitor the finished development to make sure that local planning policies, and decisions made under those plans, are achieving their desired outcomes. If the development does not comply with the development consent, the Applicant can be:

  • fined (called a penalty notice);
  • ordered to make changes to the development;
  • taken to the Land and Environment Court. The Court may order the Applicant to carry out necessary works (such as altering the development or making repairs), or may forbid the Applicant to use the premises in certain ways.

Right of Review

An applicant can request Council to review its determination of a development application within 28 days after the date of determination. Any request for a review is required to be accompanied by a set fee.

Appealing Rights

An applicant who is dissatisfied with a decision can:

  • if the decision was made by a Council, ask the Council to review its decision;
  • appeal against the decision in the Land and Environment Court within 12 months of receiving notification of the decision.

The Applicant cannot appeal to the Court against the determination, however, if their proposal is State Significant Development and a Commission of Inquiry was held. If no decision has been made within 40 days (or 60 days for some type of development such as designated development), an Applicant can take action in the Land and Environment Court to get a decision. If you wrote to the Consent Authority objecting to a proposal that is designated development and the proposal is approved, you can appeal to the Land and Environment Court. You must lodge your appeal within 28 days of receiving notice of the determination. If the Applicant appeals against the consent authority's decision to give or refuse consent to a designated development proposal, as an objector you can also attend the hearing of the appeal at the court and make submissions. If a Development Application is the subject of a Commission of Inquiry, these appeal rights do not apply. A Commission of Inquiry however does not affect your rights under section 123 of the EP&A Act. As a member of the public you have certain rights under the EP&A Act in regard to how a development application is assessed and determined. (For details see the EP&A Act).



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