Approval overview

Do you need approval for your development?

Before you undertake any development or building works, you will need to determine what approvals are required.

Certain types of minor development may be carried out as Exempt or Complying Development. All other development will require a Development Application (DA) to be submitted to Council.

Unauthorised development, or using a premises without the required approvals is an offence, which can result in significant penalties.

For a step by step guide to getting approval for some common developments, please select your development type on our Choose your development page.


This section provides responses to some frequently asked questions:

Do I need to submit a Development Application (DA) to Council?

This depends on the type and scale of your proposed development. A development application (DA) will be required for developments that do not meet the nominated criteria for either exempt or complying development.

How long will it take to process a DA?

The time taken to process a DA will depend on:

  • the type of development being proposed
  • the quality and comprehensiveness of information provided with the application
  • whether there are any complex issues to consider in relation to the development
  • the type of notification required (advertised applications generally take longer)
  • whether any person or group makes a submission to Council in relation to the DA
  • whether additional information or amendments are required.

The Assessment Officer will be able to give you information on the progress of the application by letter or phone approximately three to four weeks after lodging the application.

Incomplete or insufficient information can cause delays in the DA process.

How do I make a submission regarding a DA?

If you feel a development proposal has the potential to impact your property or the wider environment, then you may wish to make a formal written submission.

If you decide to make a submission and object to the proposed development, the reasons for your objection must be included in your submission. To lodge a submission on a development application, you may either use email or send a written submission addressed to the General Manager. Don't forget to include your return postal address so we can contact you for further clarification (if necessary) and notify you of the decision regarding the application. Submissions must be received by Council by the end of the notification period.

Summaries of submissions, names and addresses of people making submissions may be included in the Assessment Report. All submissions received within the specified period will be fully considered by Council prior to the determination of the application. Submissions are kept on file and may be accessed by other members of the public under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009. Persons making a submission in relation to a development application should keep this in mind and seek legal advice before making statements that could be adverse or defamatory to other persons.

When your submission is reviewed by the Assessing Officer, you may be contacted for further clarification of any issues you have raised. If the Assessment Officer agrees with your objections, they may contact the applicant and request amendments to the application before the matter goes any further.

When amendments are made to a DA, you may receive notification depending on the extent and type of amendments. Minor amendments are not re-notified. If you are not notified of these amendments, your earlier submission will still be considered in the assessment of the application.

The Assessment Officer will address the issues raised in the submissions in an assessment report and make recommendations to an appropriate decision body. Either a Senior Planning Officer with delegated authority or Council will determine the application.

For further information, please refer to Making submissions on development applications PDF, 111.95 KB.

Note: Council will only acknowledge the receipt of a submission if it is sent to


We urge anyone organising a petition regarding a development application to include their name and contact details and the organisation (if any) they represent. This contact information will enable us to send a response to the person or organisation initiating the petition. Please note that Council will only contact the person/organisation who initiated the petition. Council will not notify other signatories.

Political Donations and gifts - Your Disclosure Requirements

In accordance with the requirements of Section 147 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, a person making a submission on a development application must disclose any reportable political donations or gifts they (or an associate) have made within the preceding two years. The disclosure requirements continue to apply until the application is determined. 

Reportable political donations include donations of $1,000 or more.

If you have made a reportable political donation or gift within the designated period, please complete a Political Donations and Gifts Disclosure Statement PDF, 69.36 KB.

How do I find out whether a DA has been approved?

This information is available through Council's online services. 

The signed determination and associated documentation will be sent to the applicant outlining the decision with respect to the DA. All persons who made a submission will also be notified of the decision regarding the application. All applications that are approved are also advertised in the local press shortly after their approval.

What happens if my DA does not comply with Council's guidelines?

If your development proposal does not comply with a development standard contained in the Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012 (RLEP 2012) and you believe that your development achieves a better outcome than a compliant development, you may seek an exception to a development standard PDF, 212.52 KB in accordance with Clause 4.6 of the RLEP 2012.

However, please be aware that Council has undertaken detailed studies to determine the development standards contained in the new RLEP 2012 and there must be sound planning grounds for any variations to a development standard. 

If your development proposal does not comply with a control in the Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013 (DCP), you will need to demonstrate how the corresponding objective is still being complied with. A control contained in the DCP is not a development standard.

For more information on the new RLEP 2012 and the Randwick Comprehensive DCP 2013, please refer to Planning strategies and controls.

Last Updated: 25 October 2022
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