Development and Building

Liverpool City Council is processing development applications at a faster rate after revamping its procedures and introducing time saving assessments.

More resources have also been employed to ensure a speedier resolution of applications and to overcome an unavoidable backlog caused by staff shortages and recruitment challenges.

To continue its program of meeting applicant expectations as quickly as possible, initiatives introduced by Council include:

  • Re-establishing a Fast Track Team to reduce the overall workload by focusing on processing and determining applications for minor projects.
  • Engaging external planning consultants, both directly and via the Department of Planning and Environment, to assess outstanding applications.
  • Trialling a triage system enabling administration officers and a dedicated phone call duty officer to quickly assess where, and to whom, an application should be directed.

An external service review has also been completed covering workload, structure, attraction and retention of staff, as well as performance, team culture, safety, customer service, and other development insights.

A complete process-mapping exercise is also being done, to record time saved through restructuring.

Recruitment remains an important issue for Council, with employing more planners a priority to ensure applications are managed and processed with greater efficiency.

A recruitment specialist has been engaged to assist Council with filling vacant positions.

Council initiatives have already brought time saving dividends with an increase in the number of determinations made by council and a reduction in the number of outstanding applications since the start of the year.

Council would like to thank owners, applicants, and residents for their patience and understanding through this period.

Development Applications and applications for the certifications listed below can now only be lodged via the NSW Planning Portal and not directly with Council:

  • Construction certificates;
  • Complying development certificates;
  • Occupation certificates;
  • Subdivision certificates; and
  • Private certifier packages.

Before you carry out any development, it’s important to find out whether you need to lodge a Development Application. This section sets out the Development Application process.

NOTE: If you are a developer or owner-builder, there are important Commonwealth telecommunications rules you need to comply with. For more information visit

You should check to see if a Development Application (DA) is required to be lodged 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.

Many of these activities can now be undertaken without a DA. See the NSW Department of Planning and Environment's guide to Exempt Development and Complying Development.

For Complying Development 'sign off', or certification, is by a building professional – either an independent certifier or by Council’s own, Liverpool Certification Unit.

Council’s ePlanning Portal can assist you in determining if a DA is required for your proposal on your site.

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 has a Duty Planner available to provide general planning advice Monday to Friday, by Phone from 8.30am to 2pm and in person from 8.30am to 12 Midday. You can contact the Duty Officer on 1300 36 2170.

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 10.7 Certificate which will confirm your land zoning;
  • Contact Council's Duty Planner for further information on 1300 36 2170.

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. You can contact the Duty Officer on 1300 36 2170.

Pre-development application meetings

  • For major development which is often a more complex process, Council has established a formal process for pre-application 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

  • Your Development Application is required to be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal with all plans and documentation separated into individual files labelled in accordance with the development application file naming convention;
  • Ensure relevant documents are in digital form; and
  • Obtain all land owners' consent.

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.

Consultant requirements

To improve environmental health outcomes and efficiency during the development assessment process, Council requires Development Applications to be supported by technical reports prepared or reviewed and certified by suitably qualified environmental consultants. All technical reports shall confirm that the environmental consultant preparing or reviewing and certifying the document is a member of the Society or Association specified below or certified under the relevant certification scheme recognised by Council.

The report's cover or title page must confirm the consultant's qualifications (applicable to wastewater reports only as there is no certification body), membership details or include a watermark for the relevant certification scheme. For contaminated site reports, the cover or title page of the document shall include a personalised electronic seal for either the CEnvP(SC) or CPSS CSAM scheme. Council is unable to recommend specific consultants or auditors.

Certification schemes ensure consultants bear the necessary skills to complete environmental assessments. Council currently recognises environmental consultants with the following qualifications (applicable to wastewater reports only as there is no certification body), membership and/or certifications:

Contaminated Site Reports

  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand- Certified Environmental Practitioner (Site Contamination) scheme (CEnvP(SC)); or
  • Soil Science Australia- Certified Professional Soil Scientist Contaminated Site Assessment and Management (CPSS CSAM) scheme

Acoustic Reports

  • A member of the Australian Acoustical Society; or
  • Employed by an Association of Australasian Acoustical Consultants (AAAC) member firm

Air Quality/ Odour reports

  • Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ)- Certified Air Quality Professional under the CAQP program; or
  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand- Certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP) scheme

General Environmental Reports

  • Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand- Certified Environmental Practitioner (CEnvP) scheme

On-site Sewage Management (OSMS) Waste Water Reports

  • Environmental Scientist or Engineer with a minimum Bachelor degree qualification and extensive industry experience in site and soil assessment within an on-site sewage management context.  Note: There is currently no certification body for this field.

Certification schemes may change or evolve over time and therefore Council will consider these schemes as they arise.


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

On-line using the NSW Planning portal


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.

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 Councillors.

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.

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

Low-risk DAs such as houses and other low-scale residential activities are generally not notified or advertised by Council.

Where can I find more information about a DA?

You can look up information about specific DAs on Council's ePlanning Portal using either a property address or an application number.

How do I make a submission about a DA?

You can provide feedback about a DA:

  • Online (this is the preferred method) – please use our ePlanning Portal and search for the DA you wish to comment on, from there you will be able to complete the NEW online Submission form from the DA track details page itself, simply select the “Submission” tab and complete the form, or
  • By Post – please download the hardcopy form here and post the completed form with your feedback to:  Liverpool City Council, Locked Bag 7064, Liverpool BC, NSW 1871

Will my submission be disclosed?

All feedback submissions will be made available to the public, including publication on Council’s website, as required by the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009.

Please carefully follow the instructions on the online or hardcopy form to ensure that only your comments are published, that your personal details are not published and your privacy is protected.

The Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 requires that your submission not contain any material that is defamatory or 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).