Dwelling houses

Council approval process for dwelling houses

A dwelling house is a dwelling:

  • that is the only dwelling erected on an allotment of land (not being an individual lot in a strata plan or a community title scheme), and
  • that may or may not be attached to one other dwelling by a common wall.

The definition includes detached dwelling houses and semi-detached dwellings.

Complying development

Some new detached dwelling houses can be designed to meet the criteria for complying development listed in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. If your dwelling meets all of the complying criteria, you will need to obtain a complying development certificate prior to commencing work.

Development requiring a Development Application  

Many new dwellings houses will not meet all of the nominated complying criteria, and you will need to lodge a development application with Council. If you receive development approval for your dwelling, you will also need to obtain a Construction certificate prior to commencing building works.

The following steps are provided to assist you in preparing and lodging a development application for a new dwelling house.

Step 1: Seek information

You should consider the following documents when preparing you DA:

Environmental Planning Instruments

Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012

The Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012 (RLEP) details planning controls applicable to your site; including whether your site contains a heritage item, is located within a heritage conservation area, or is within a foreshore scenic protection area.

If your site is within the vicinity of a heritage item or is located within a heritage conservation area, you will need to consider whether your proposed development will affect the heritage significance of the heritage item/s or heritage conservation area.

If your site is within a foreshore scenic protection area, clause 6.7 of the RLEP applies.

State Environmental Planning Policy No 55 (Remediation of Land)

This State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) requires you to consider whether there has been any activity carried out on your land in the past that may have resulted in contamination. If contamination may be present, you are required to undertake suitable investigation and, if necessary, remediation works.

State Environmental Planning Policy No 71 (Coastal Protection)

This SEPP applies to all land within the Coastal zone as defined by the Coastal Protection Act 1979. It aims to protect and manage the natural, cultural, recreational and economic attributes of the NSW coast. If your site is located within a coastal zone, you will need to consider the requirements of SEPP No. 71 when preparing your DA.

State Environmental Planning Policy (BASIX)

You will need to submit a BASIX certificate with your application. Please refer to the BASIX website for more information.

All details listed on the BASIX certificate (e.g. rainwater tanks, window areas, awnings/screening/shading devices, hard and soft landscaping, etc.) must be included on the submitted plans.

Development Control Plan (DCP)

The Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013 (DCP) is applicable to your development as it contains Council's requirements for dwelling house design and layout.

The key matters that should be considered when designing your dwelling house are:

  • Context - your design should consider the streetscape, the desired character of the neighbourhood, and the prevailing site conditions
  • Height and Scale - your proposal should not be excessive in height or scale
  • Setbacks - your dwelling should maintain established setbacks in the street and ensure that adjoining dwellings have adequate access to light and air
  • Privacy - your proposal should not result in direct overlooking of adjoining sites
  • Landscaping - your proposal should retain sufficient landscaped area for outdoor recreational use, stormwater management and aesthetic appeal.
  • Views - dwellings should allow for fair sharing of views (i.e. not unreasonably block views from neighbouring sites).
  • Solar access - your proposal should optimise solar access opportunities and not result in any unreasonable overshadowing.

The Randwick Comprehensive DCP 2013 contains objectives and controls. Applications are assessed on how well they achieve the objectives and controls of the DCP.

Your statement of environmental effects (refer to step 3) should demonstrate how the objectives and controls are being achieved through your design.

Proposals are expected to comply with the numerical controls in this DCP. Any proposed variation from the controls may be considered only where the applicant successfully demonstrates that an alternative solution could result in a more desirable planning and urban design outcome. This ensures that the DCP guidance has sufficient flexibility to recognise that every property has different characteristics based on their unique combination of site conditions, size, aspect and location. The context and site analysis will be critical in demonstrating the need for any variation to the numerical controls.


Parking should be provided in accordance with Section B.7 of the DCP for Transport, traffic, parking and access.

Guidelines, Council policies and other site specific considerations

Council's Preservation of Trees and Vegetation- If there are any trees (covered by Council's Preservation of Trees and Vegetation) that may be affected by your proposed works; Council's Landscape Development Officer will inspect the site and determine whether the impact on the tree is acceptable. You may also be asked to prepare an Aborist's report to assess the potential impacts of the development. Your plans must clearly show the location of all trees on and near your site.

Flooding - If your site is located in an area that may be subject to flooding, your development must be designed with suitable freeboards; and must not obstruct any drainage easements or flow paths. For more information about flooding controls, please refer to Flood Management or contact Council's Development Engineers.

Construction near stormwater pipes - Your dwelling should not be located over any drainage easements or stormwater pipes. If your proposal is located near a stormwater line, please contact Council's Development Engineers to discuss your proposal.

Construction near sewer lines - If your proposal involves construction over or near a sewer, please refer to the Sydney Water website to obtain their requirements for construction near a sewer.

Planning Certificates - A Planning Certificate (issued under Section 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act) provides formal advice on land zoning and planning controls applicable to your site.

Step 2: Prepare Plans and Drawings

The following plans may be required:

  • Site Analysis Plan
  • Scaled Plans and Elevations
  • Notification Plans (A4)
  • Survey Plan
  • Landscape Plan
  • Drainage Plan
  • Shadow diagrams (if dwelling house is two storeys or more)
  • Sediment and Erosion Control Plan
  • Streetscape elevation

Note: Plan requirements may vary depending on the scope of your proposal

Step 3: Prepare a Statement of Environmental Effects

The following headings may be used to provide the framework for your statement of environmental effects (SEE).

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • The Site and Surrounds
    • Site description
    • Surrounding development
    • Streetscape
  • Background
    • Design objectives and principals
    • Previous development applications
    • Pre-lodgement consultation (if applicable)
  • Proposed development
    • Built form and siting
    • Materials and finishes
    • Parking
    • Landscaping and open space
    • Stormwater drainage and flooding
    • Services
    • Site Management
  • Section 79C assessment
    • Assessment of proposal against relevant environmental planning instruments, draft instruments and development control plans
      • SEPP 55: Remediation of Land
      • SEPP 71: Coastal Protection
      • SEPP (BASIX) 2004
      • Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012
      • Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plans 2013
    • Likely impacts of the proposed development
    • Suitability of the site for the proposed development

*To show how your proposal satisfies the objectives and controls contained in the Randwick comprehensive DCP 2013 you may download a Sample compliance table - Dwelling houses PDF, 130.02 KB for inclusion in your SEE.

The following supplementary reports/details may also be required:

  • Heritage impact assessment report
  • Flood study
  • Hydraulic report
  • Geotechnical report
  • Waste management plan
  • Schedule of colours and finishes
  • Contamination investigation report
  • Asbestos survey
  • Environmental assessment of Flora and Fauna

For more information on the supplementary reports, please refer to supplementary report requirements.

Step 4: Complete an application form

You will need to complete an application form & checklist PDF, 346.16 KB, and a cost summary report PDF, 170.76 KB.

The cost summary report must be prepared in accordance with Council's S94A Development Contributions Plan. If the cost of your development is $500,000 or more, a detailed cost report will need to be prepared by a Registered Quantity Surveyor.

The application form must be signed by all land owners and the applicant.

Note: Section 94 or Section 94A Development Contributions may be payable for your development.

Step 5: Lodge the DA with Council

The development application must be lodged with the applicable DA fee. Please contact us to obtain a fee quote.

You may lodge your DA directly with Council at our administration building or by online services. A Council Officer will use the Development Application checklist form to check your application. Council will only accept a DA with all necessary information.

You are required to submit:

  • One (1) copy of the completed DA form and checklist
  • One (1) copy of the cost summary report
  • Two (2) copies of the A4 notification plans
  • Three (3) copies of the survey plan
  • Six (6) copies of all other plans
  • Six (6) copies of the SEE and other supporting documentation

Additional sets of plans and SEEs will be required if your application requires referral to any external agencies (e.g. Roads and Maritime Services, Heritage Office, Police, etc)

Download a Sample compliance table - Dwellings houses PDF, 130.02 KB that may be included in your DA submission

Last Updated: 25 October 2022
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