Development Control Unit

Council's Development Control Unit (DCU) provides pre-lodgement advice to proponents intending to carry out development within the Bellingen Shire.

Who makes up the DCU?

The DCU comprises the following Council staff:

  • Senior Development Planner
  • Team Leader Building and Regulation
  • Development Engineer

Other staff will attend the DCU where the proposal being discussed warrants their particular area of expertise.

How will I benefit from Consulting with the DCU?

Early consultation with the DCU has the following benefits:

  • Provides a broad overview of legislative requirements, planning context and Council policy requirements in relation to a particular activity, development or area of land;
  • Identifies any issues or constraints that might apply to the land or activity/development proposed;
  • Provides a clear direction with respect to progression of a development proposal;
  • Identifies the required documentation and plans that will be required to support an application;
  • Reduces development application processing time by ensuring that the application covers the whole range of issues identified by the DCU and avoids the need to seek additional information from an applicant after lodgement.

Note: Any advice provided by the DCU should not be construed as granting approval, in principle or otherwise, to any proposed activity or development. The determination of any proposal can only be made once a development application has been lodged with the Council and the application is comprehensively assessed against all relevant legislation and Council policy.

On what types of proposal should I seek advice from the DCU?

  • Any medium density housing development
  • Any subdivision involving the construction of a new road (either private or public
  • Any subdivision in excess of five (5) lots
  • Any new building within a heritage conservation area
  • Any demolition, alterations or additions to a building listed as a heritage item or any demolition, substantial alterations or additions to a building located within a heritage conservation area
  • Any new development for tourist accommodation
  • Any new development industrial or commercial zone
  • Any proposal for 'designated development'

When does the DCU meet?

The DCU meets on Friday afternoons by appointment.

How do I make an appointment with the DCU?

To make an appointment with the DCU contact Julie Spokes of Council's Operations on Phone Number: (02) 6655 7347. Every effort will be made to provide an appointment at the time most convenient to you however you must have made your appointment no later than 12.00pm on the Wednesday prior to the Friday you wish to meet with the DCU. If there are no available sessions on the day you require Council may have to arrange your appointment for the following week. When making your appointment with the DCU you should provide the following information:

  • The names of all persons to attend the meeting
  • The address of the land under discussion
  • The type of development proposed
  • A contact person and phone number

What information needs to be provided to the DCU meeting?

The following minimum level of information should be provided at the time an appointment is made. If this information is not received at this time the appointment may be re-scheduled:

  • A locality plan identifying the property
  • A concept plan showing the layout of the site (at minimum) and sketch elevations with basic dimensions
  • A brief written description of the proposal
  • Photographs (where possible) of the site and existing buildings where relevant

Is a fee required to be paid to meet with the DCU?

There is no fee required to meet with the DCU. Council seek to provide the maximum incentive possible to ensure that the DCU is well utilised and accepted by the development industry and that the potential benefits of the DCU are realised in terms of better advice earlier in the process and reduced application processing times.

Does Council confirm the advice of the DCU in writing?

The minutes of the advice session relating to your development proposal will be forwarded to you as soon as possible after the DCU meeting.