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Over 20 Years Experience
Residential & Commercial Design
Development Applications NSW

Development Applications NSW

Making Development Applications in NSW easy

Are you planning to build a new house or renovate your property in New South Wales? The Development Application (DA) process can be overwhelming, but understanding the steps involved can make it faster and easier.

At Sorensen Design, we make Development Applications in NSW seamless, including the application in our service. Learn more about Development Applications and bypass local Council complications with Sorensen Design & Planning.

Why Design With Sorensen Design?

A Development Application is a formal request submitted to the local Council to seek approval for a proposed development project. This approval ensures that the project complies with the Local Council Development Control Plans and the relevant building codes, regulations, and standards the government sets.

Whether planning a new building, renovating an existing property, or changing the land use, you will likely need development approval.

Sorensen Design & Planning has decades of experience and close relationships with Councils across NSW. Development Applications are included in our complete, end-to-end service, meaning we will take care of development consent and communication while you focus on the more exciting elements of building design.

Contact us to make the Development Application process in NSW as simple as possible! We will submit architectural plans on your behalf.

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Understanding the Development Application process in NSW

The Development Application process in NSW consists of several stages. Let's dive into each stage to understand what it entails and what you can expect.

Stage 1: Pre-Lodgement

This stage involves Sorensen Design & Planning gathering all the necessary documents for your DA to be assessed, including;

  • Detailed building design plans
  • Town planning report, including a statement of environmental effects
  • BASIX Certificate
  • Thermal Performance Assessment
  • Arrange the plans to be stamped by the relevant approval authorities, e.g. Hunter Water and/or Mine Subsidence
  • Other relevant supporting documentation subject to to your project and site.

Before finalising the development plans and application forms, it is important to assess the site conditions. This might involve conducting soil tests, geotechnical investigations, and surveys to identify any potential constraints or environmental considerations that must be addressed in your application.

Stage 2: Lodging Your Development Application

Once we have completed the pre-lodgement stage, it's time to submit your Development Application. This involves providing your local Council with all the required documents, forms, and fees.

Stage 3: Assessment

Once your Development Application is lodged, it undergoes a thorough assessment by the relevant Council.

This stage involves a detailed review of the proposal, including its compliance with planning controls, environmental impacts, and any potential objections from the community or other stakeholders.

Once the assessment is complete, the certifying authority will prepare a report. This report summarises the assessment findings, including any conditions or modifications that may be required for the development to proceed.

Stage 4: Determination

After the assessment stage, the certifying authority will decide on your Development Application. This decision can fall into three categories: approval, refusal, or approval with conditions. The certifying authority will provide a written determination outlining the reasons for their decision.

Stage 5: Get Your Construction Certificate & Find a Builder

Once your Development Application is approved, we will obtain a Construction Certificate (CC) on your behalf, detailing construction plans and specifications that align with the approved Development Application. We can also provide builder recommendations to ensure your design is built to the highest standard possible!


  • How long does DA approval take?

    The duration of the Development Application process in NSW can vary depending on the proposal's complexity, the Council's workload, and public consultation requirements. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The Council must provide a decision within 40 days of receiving a DA, but this timeline can be extended in certain circumstances.

  • Do I need to submit a DA?

    You generally need to submit a Development Application if you plan any new development, like a new building, making alterations or additions to an existing property, changing land use, or subdividing land. We will let you know if you need a DA.

  • How long does a DA approval last in NSW?

    A DAlasts five years from the date of determination. Once a DA is approved, you have a five-year window to commence the proposed development. If the development has not commenced within this timeframe, the approval may expire, and a new DA may need to be lodged.

  • What is the estimated cost of this service?

    There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question; however, we can provide a detailed quote and consultation before proceeding.

Why choose us?

  • We have been established since 2002 and are multi-award winning building designers and town planners
  • We have just been awarded the 2022 HIA Residential Design Award Winner!
  • We have just recognised as a finalist in the 2022 BDAA National Design Awards in the Multi-Residential Buildings Category, for our Burbong Street Dual Occupancy
  • We have been members of the Building Designers Association of Australia (BDAA) continuously since 2004
  • Our Director Adrian Sorensen is an open accredited chartered building designer with the Building Designers of Australia Association (BDAA), with over 25 years of building design experience
  • We use licensed copies of archicad software, so we can produce high resolution 3D images of your project
  • All of our staff are fully qualified with multiple years of building design and town planning experience
  • We are a dedicated and enthusiastic company that services a wide area. However, we only take on a sufficient amount of clients to provide service of the highest levels
  • We are familiar with all council requirements, lodging your development application (DA) on your behalf, as well as engaging all other sub consultants e.g. structural engineers and surveyors where required
  • Our most recent award proudly is the 2022 HIA Residential Design Award Winner!
  • Winner of numerous other BDAA awards for renovations, new houses, multi-residential design, dual occupancy, alterations and additions, as well as bathrooms, kitchens and interiors
  • We are passionate about what we do!

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Whether you need our design services for a new home, commercial premises or anything else, we can do whatever you require.