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.

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.

Do I need to lodge a DA?

In 2008, the State Government introduced State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 to provide a range of development that does not need development consent from Council.

These forms of development are split into two categories:

  • Exempt development
  • Complying development

If your development does not fall within these two categories than a Development Application is required to be lodged with Liverpool City 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.

With the introduction of State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 many types of renovations and minor building projects don't need approval from Council. This is called exempt development.

As long as the development meets specific standards and land requirements (which is outlined in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008), the project will be considered to be exempt development and no further approval or development application is required.

The first step when planning the 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?

Complying Development is a form of planning approval that can be issued by an accredited person or a council in the form of a Complying Development Certificate which combines approval for use of the land and building construction.

Complying Development is generally larger in scale than exempt development but not considered to have an impact so needing development consent. Complying Development contains a list of minimum standards that must be satisfied in order to obtain a Complying Development Certificate.

A Complying Development Certificate has the same validity as a Development Consent but applicants and land owners have the certainty that as long as the development complies with the set standards and criteria outlined in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, 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

  • Visit Council's online ePlanning Portal to review planning policies that may apply to your development;
  • View interactive planning maps including zoning and site constraints;
  • Contact Council's Duty Planner for further information on 1300 362 170;
  • It is also recommended to obtain a Section 149 Certificate which will confirm your land zoning.

Pre DA 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

  • 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.

Checklist and matrix

  • 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.