The Development and Building Process

Here are the steps for you to undertake to identify whether you need to lodge a Development Application and then provide you with information to guide you through this process.

Should you need to lodge a Development Application, Council strongly recommends the engagement of professional town planners or other qualified professionals to assist you through this process.

Council also has a Duty Planner available between 8.30am and 2:00pm Monday to Friday to provide general planning advice. Development Applications can be lodged in person between 8:30am - 4:00pm Monday to Friday at Council's Customer Service Centre, Ground Floor 33 Moore Street, Liverpool or via post.

Development and Building Process

What is Development?

A Development Application (DA) is required to formally request permission to carry out development. The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 legally defines development to include the following:

  • The use of land
  • The subdivision of land
  • The erection of a building
  • The carrying out of work
  • The demolition of a building or work

However, before you lodge a DA you may find that more minor development can be carried out without the need to lodge a DA and obtain development consent from Council.

What is exempt development?

Exempt Development is minor and small scale development that will have minimal environmental impact and therefore does not need development consent and you are not required to lodge a DA.

As long as the development meets specific standards and land requirements no further approval or development application is required.

The first step when planning a development is to check whether your development complies with the relevant development standards. Please visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment for further information .

What is complying development?

If a development complies to a list of minimum standards, it is eligible for a complying development certificate.

A Complying Development Certificate has the same validity as a Development Consent but Liverpool City Council or an accredited person can issue a certificate within 10 days.

Please visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment further information .

Lodging a Development Application

To make a Development Application with Liverpool City Council it is recommended that you undertake the following steps:

Review Planning Policies of Council's ePlanning Portal
  • View interactive planning maps including zoning and site constraints
  • Obtain a Section 149 Certificate which will confirm your land zoning;
  • Contact Council's Duty Planner for further information on 1300 362 170.
Pre-development application meetings
  • For major development which is often a more complex process, Council has established a formal process for preapplication discussions which allows applicants to discuss more complex development proposals with a senior planning officer.
  • These discussions occur before you lodge your application and a written record is kept. Fees apply.
Development application form and Checklist
  • Review and complete the Development Application form;
  • Obtain all land owners consent;
  • Your development application will only be accepted with a completed Development Application form and all supporting documentation.
  • Review the required checklist and matrix contained within the application form to ensure that you are aware of all required plans and documentation;
  • Your Development Application is required to be accompanied by one hard copy of all plans and documentation as well as a digital copy on CD or USB with all plans individually labeled in accordance with the development application file naming convention. This is detailed on the application form.


  • Development Application fees are calculated on a scale based on the estimated cost of development (as well as the number of lots for Development Applications for subdivision). Council's Customer Service Centre can provide you with a fee estimate for your Development Application.
Development Application Lodgment
Due to the large volume of Development Applications Liverpool Council Customer Service Centre receives, please lodge your DAs with us before 4pm, Monday to Friday. Our opening hours are 8.30am - 5:00pm. This allows Council time to provide feedback and advice.


The Development Application form is a legal document. Make sure that there is no false or misleading information.  Applications can be lodged:

  • By mail: Locked Bag 7064 Liverpool BC NSW 1871; or
  • In person: Ground floor, 33 Moore Street, Liverpool.  

    Our e-planning portal allows you to lodge your application, view maps and track it's progress.

Main considerations

Land Owners Consent
  • In order to lodge a Development Application, you must obtain consent of the landowner, which includes the signature of every land owner.
  • If the owner is a Company or Owner's corporation, the application must be signed by a person under the common seal.
  • If your property is a strata unit and you are proposing development beyond your entitlement, you will need to get the approval of the Owners Corporation.
  • If you have recently purchased the property, Council may not have received formal notice of the sale and the former owner will be the listed on Council's records. You will need to provide Council with a copy of the transfer of sale or a letter from your solicitor advising ownership has changed.
  • Without landowners consent, Council cannot accept your Development Application.
DA Political Donations Disclosure

A disclosure of a political donation or gift will need to be made whenever a person or their associate lodges a Development Application or makes a public submission about a Development Application.

Potential Conflict of Interest

You must declare any potential conflict of interest which includes affiliations or associations with Council staff and Councillor's.

This includes:

  • A friendship, personal or family relationship;
  • A shared membership in a club, political party or organisation; and
  • Business associations with a staff member or Councillor outside their official role at Council.
Make a Submission

Council encourages residents to be involved in the development assessment process by providing feedback (submissions) on development applications.

Can I submit a comment on any Development Application (a DA)?

Yes. Residents can submit comments about any DA that is lodged with Council during the assessment period. Council generally does not notify or advertise low risk DAs such as houses and other low-scale residential activities. For more information regarding types of applications notified by Council, please click here.

Where can I find about a DA?

You can find any specific DA on Council's ePlanning Portal using either a property address or an application number.

How do I lodge a submission?

You can lodge a submission either online (preferred) or by writing to Council (Locked Bag 7064, Liverpool BC, NSW 1871.) To lodge online, please use the form below.

Council publishes all development application submissions online on the application tracking portal.

The Anti Discrimination Act 1977 requires that your submission not contain material that is defamatory or that constitutes harassment, discrimination or racial or sexual vilification.

Is there a cut-off time to lodge a submission?

You must lodge your submission before the exhibition closing date quoting Council's application number (for example DA-1234/2015).

Personal information contained in your submission

Please note that Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 classifies all correspondence received by Council in relation a DA, including submissions, as open access information which can be made available to the applicant or any other person. However, to ensure any personal information in your submission is not disclosed to other persons, Council will seek to avoid publishing your covering letter. In this regard, Council recommends that you do not identify where you live in your submission.

Learn more about online tracking here.

To protect your privacy, Council recommends that you lodge your submission in two parts:

  1. A covering letter with your personal details, including your name and address which Council will acknowledge but avoid publishing; and
  2. An attachment briefly setting out your comments or objection to the development application.

Disclosing Political Donations

If you are making a submission in relation to a DA lodged with Council, you must disclose any reportable political donation or gift of $1,000 or more made in the previous two years (and up to the time the DA is determined) to anyone including:

  1. All reportable political donations made to any Councillor;
  2. All gifts made to any local Councillor or employee of Council.

A copy of the required disclosure form can be downloaded here.

When is a Development Application required?

When is a Development Application required?

A Development Application (DA) is required to be lodged with Council if you intend to:

  • Erect a new building or structure;
  • Erect a swimming pool, pergola, shed, tennis court, retaining wall, cubby house, or any other type of outbuilding;
  • Demolish a building;
  • Make alterations to, demolish or damage, either internally or externally a place that is a heritage item or item of heritage significance;
  • Add to or alter an existing building;
  • Subdivide land or a building into Torrens title, strata title or community title;
  • Hold a festival, community event, or similar;
  • Carry out a home business (e.g. hairdresser, accountant, clothes alterations, etc);
  • Change the use of a building or premises to another use; or
  • Carry out earthworks, filling or excavation of land.

There are some cases where a DA is not required. These types of applications are referred to as Exempt Development. The State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP) Exempt and Complying Development Codes 2008, lists types of development that may be carried out as exempt development without the need for approval under the NSW planning system.

Contact: Duty Officer Tel: 1300 362 170