How do you assess a DA?

For each DA, we are required to:

  • assess the application against all the relevant development rules,
  • consider all the objections and comments made within the advertising and notification period, and
  • determine the environmental impacts of the development and whether or not it is in the public interest.

Our assessments are informed and guided by the Planning Principles published by the Land and Environment Court and we assess all development applications in accordance with section 4.15 (formerly known as 79C) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

What is more important, the objectives or the numerical controls?

The objectives are paramount. Whilst the numeric and prescriptive controls are our best indicator as to the general acceptability of any development and every applicant should strive to meet these controls, we will always consider the objectives. There will be cases when a proposal complies with numeric or prescriptive controls, but does not meet the objectives of the development rules, Planning Principles or adopted codes and policies.

As economics and technology drive innovation in architecture and solutions to issues that our numeric or prescriptive controls did not envisage, we will again fall back to the objectives to inform our decisions.

Judgements of the Land and Environment Court also provide us with very rigorous guidance. Court of Appeal and High Court judgements provide higher levels of precedence.

Council is committed to the principles of Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) and all applicants must ask themselves would a more skilful design meet my objectives and create more ESD.

How much weight will be given to objections and comments?

All objections and comments will be considered as part of our assessment. We can only give weight to objections which fairly and reasonably relate to the proposed development and which are themselves reasonable. We get many objections that raise issues which we cannot give any weight to in our final recommendations. We ask that if you are making a submission, that you read through our advice on objections and comments.

Generic petitions are not very helpful to the process. If you are affected by a proposal, then what we need to know is exactly how the proposal will affect you, your property and the amenity of your property.