How we can assist you

If you need advice on planning and development matters, we offer 3 levels of service.

Level 1 - Self Service Resources

Before you purchase a property or start designing and preparing for a project;

1. Check the zoning and rules that apply to your property. Simply enter your address into the ePlanning Spatial Viewer.

2. Read our Building and Planning Frequently Asked Questions and Submitting an Application pages.

3. View the applicant resources page on the NSW Planning Portal to view how-to guides, fact sheets, FAQ's and more.

4. Visit our Forms page; this is where you will find checklists, templates and forms to help you prepare your application.

5. View these documents

6. Discuss your preliminary plans with a suitably qualified professional.

Level 2 - Duty Officer

Our Duty Officer service is there to answer general inquiries about your property, such as:

  • zoning
  • constraints
  • permissible uses
  • site suitability
  • agency consultation
  • process and procedures.

Our duty team can only provide preliminary advice on planning-related enquiries associated with properties.

This is a free service provided either over the phone (02) 6655 7300 or at the counter on Tuesdays between 08:30am-3:00pm. 

Note: The duty team cannot review your plans, advise whether your plans will be approved, or confirm that your proposal meets all the requirements. For detailed advice about your property or development, we recommend you engage a suitable qualified professional to help with your decision-making. 

If you are buying or selling a property, speak with your conveyancer about matters like easements, private agreements and access roads.

Level 3 - Development Control Unit (DCU) Meeting

If you are proposing a large scale or complex development, we recommend reaching out to a professional consultant before submitting an application. 

Prior to submitting your application, a pre-lodgement (DCU) meeting with our team may be appropriate, to ensure that key planning considerations have been addressed. 

A pre-lodgement meeting is an opportunity for Council staff to provide early feedback on your proposal and specific investigations. It also give us a chance to highlight any concerns or issues that you'll need to address prior to lodging your application

If you're booking a DCU Meeting, you'll need to submit the following documentation to Council two weeks prior to your meeting:

  • development or site plans
  • preliminary elevations
  • preliminary floor plans
  • site analysis

Depending on your proposed development, you may also need to submit a subdivision plan.

A fee is payable at the time of the meeting.

Request a DCU meeting 

Who is a suitably qualified professional, and why would I engage one?

If your proposal is complicated, or you are not confident about preparing an application yourself, you can engage a professional to help you.

Qualified professionals understand the approval process and are familiar with lodging applications. They can help you design your proposal and put your application together before lodgement.

Professionals can also lodge an application on your behalf and act as the primary contact throughout the assessment process.

While using professional advice is an additional cost, the resulting application is typically of a higher standard and generally assists with the assessment process. Professional advice may also help to shorten decision timeframes.

This could include professionals such as;

Planning Consultant

Planning consultants offer advice and support on all matters relating to planning, development and environmental issues for building and renovation projects.

Planning consultants know the details and constraints of the complex planning system and therefore can offer their expertise on whether there is a planning solution and if so, what is the most efficient and cost-effective way to proceed.

Planning consultants are able to manage and complete planning applications, which can often be detailed, time consuming and obscure.

The range of advice can vary from the provision of initial advice about what approach to take for planning, through to being involved with all stages of the design and build process. 

Biodiversity/Ecological Consultant

Biodiversity/Ecological Consultants can undertake both simple and complex ecological assessments, including:

  • Prescribed Ecological Actions Report (PEAR)
  • Biodiversity Development Assessment Report (BDAR)
  • Biodiversity Certification Assessment Report (BCAR)
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Site Assessment Report
  • Landscape Management Plan
  • Opportunities and Constraints Report
  • Due Diligence Reports
  • Biodiversity offsets
  • GIS mapping

Biodiversity assessments and reports are typically required as part of a Development Applications (DA).

The Biodiversity Values (BV) Map identifies land with high biodiversity value, as defined by clause 7.3(3) of the Biodiversity Conservation Regulation 2017.

The Biodiversity Offsets Scheme applies to clearing of native vegetation and other biodiversity impacts prescribed by clause 6.1 of the Biodiversity Regulation 2017 on land identified on the map.

Biodiversity assessment and approvals decision support tool is available from the Office of Local Government to help identify biodiversity assessment requirements for proposed developments and activities. Proponents will need to supply evidence relating to the triggers for the Biodiversity Offsets Scheme threshold and the test of significance (where relevant) when they submit their application to the consent authority.


Waste Water Consultant

A Waste Water Consultant can provide a Wastewater Assessment Report is required with a development application for a Section 68 application to local council (for approval or altering a system) in the following cases: 

  • You are planning to construct a new residence or building in a non-sewered area and  therefore require a new On-Site Sewage Management (OSSM) system. 
  • You are expanding or renovating an existing house or building (domestic or commercial).
  • You plan to subdivide land in area not serviced by a reticulated town sewer system.
  • You wish to update an existing OSSM (e.g. from septic tank to an Aerated Wastewater Treatment System).
  • You wish to construct additional structures or dwellings on your block (domestic or commercial).
  • Your trench or absorption system is failing and you need a new OSSM.
  • Your local council has ordered that a Wastewater Management  Assessment be undertaken to recommend a new effluent management system. 

A Waste Water Consultant can conduct site and soil assessment to determine options for effluent management, design systems including treatment and disposal methods, create site layout maps to provide you with a recommendation for the best on-site sewerage management system for your situation. 

Bush Fire Consultant

A recognised bush fire consultant can help you with the application process.

If you are intending to apply for complying development you will need to submit a BAL Risk Assessment Certificate with your application. This certificate must be prepared by a recognised bush fire consultant or your council.

A list of qualified consultants can be found on the Fire Protection Association of Australia's website at

The NSW Rural Fire Service has lots of useful information on;

  • Bush Fire Prone Land
  • Asset Protection Zones
  • FAQ's.


Architects create designs for new construction projects, alterations and redevelopments. They use their specialist construction knowledge and high-level drawing skills to design buildings that are functional, safe, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.

Architects stay involved throughout the construction process, adapting their plans according to budget constraints, environmental factors and client needs. That means they’re part of an overall project design team, working closely with a range of construction professionals from quantity surveyors to building services engineers.

Typical work activities include:

  • creating building designs and highly detailed drawings both by hand and by using specialist computer-aided design (CAD) applications
  • liaising with construction professionals about the feasibility of potential projects
  • taking into account constraints such as town planning legislation, environmental impacts and project budgets
  • completing planning applications and taking advice from local authorities, legal professionals and governmental new build departments
  • writing and presenting reports, proposals, applications and contracts
  • specifying the requirements for each project
  • adapting plans according to circumstances and resolving any problems that may arise during construction
  • playing a role in project and team management
  • viewing building sites, proposed locations and client meetings.

Contaminated Lands Consultant

Contaminated Land Consultants find the safest and most cost-effective solutions to manage contaminated land and/or remediate it. They do this by investigating the land and seeing where and what the land is contaminated with.

Contaminated Land Consultants address issues such as contaminated land which pollutes soils, water and also air. They have an extensive working knowledge of environmental regulations and hazardous substances.

You may need the expertise of a Contaminated Land Consultants to help you with:

  • Air, water and soil assessments
  • Communication with inspectors and regulators
  • Environmental audits
  • Environmental management and remediation solutions
  • Health and safety guidance
  • Identifying contaminant sources
  • How to deal with chemical hazards
  • Identifying and considering potential contaminant sources
  • Identifying previous activities and any contamination
  • Land, air and water contamination
  • Legislative compliance
  • Property assessments for potential contamination