Our town planning consultants can offer professional and educated advice to streamline your construction project.

The NSW Planning System is a complex and continually evolving mechanism with several instruments and plans available for a range of subject sites. At Dix Gardner, we aim to help you navigate the development application process to achieve the best results possible.

The New South Wales Planning System can be broken down into two major development streams.

Development Application

A development application (DA) is a formal request for consent to carry out a proposed development, such as a change of use of land, subdivide land, and carry out building, landscaping, and other work. You must lodge a DA and have it approved by the council before starting to build or make changes to the land.

The council or a building professional like a town planner or accredited certifier will advise if you need to lodge a DA.

In almost all cases, the council issues the development consent, although sometimes a state agency will give consent.

Accredited certifiers cannot assess DAs.

Complying Development Certificates

A complying development certificate (CDC) is an alternative to a development application. A CDC is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial developments. These projects meet a strict list of criteria and can be approved by an accredited certifier.

A CDC is issued if a proposed development complies with relevant planning and building controls under the Building Code of Australia (BCA).

Dix Gardner can issue CDCs. The certificate must be obtained before any building work commences, including site works like demolition and excavation. Complying development is continually expanding and this kind of planning is well worth exploring for your future development.


If you have any questions regarding town planning and complying developments, contact our dedicated team.