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?

At the DCU Meeting will be Planning Staff and other staff (e.g. Development Engineer) where the proposal being discussed warrants their particular area of expertise.

You are encouraged to bring any Consultants or Experts you have appointed to discuss your proposal. 

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 a as needs basis.  Generally, meetings will be held on Wednesday or Fridays however Council will endeavour to accomodate other days/availaiblity where possible. 

How do I make an appointment with the DCU?

To make an appointment with the DCU contact Council on (02) 6655 7300. 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
  • Supporting documentation (a brief summary of your proposal, particular items for discussion and any plans/expert reports)

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

The fee associated with a DCU meeting is outlined in Council's Fees and Charges. A fee of $75.00 is payable for the 2020/2021 finanicial year.  This minimal fee allows Council 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.