Refurbishment of residential flats

Council approval for residential flat refurbishments 

Many residential flat buildings in Randwick are in need of redevelopment or refurbishment to meet current lifestyle needs, improve sustainability, meet current building standards and to update the buildings appearance.

Some minor refurbishment may be undertaken as exempt or complying development; however major rejuvenation works are likely to require a development application.

Please refer to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

The following steps are provided to assist you in preparing and lodging a development application for refurbishment of an existing residential flat building.

Step 1: Seek information

You should consider the following documents when preparing you DA:

Environmental Planning Instruments and Development Control Plans

There are many documents and policies that may be relevant if you are planning to refurbish an existing residential flat building. The following list is not exhaustive, but includes the main Environmental Planning Instruments (EPIs) and Development Control Plans (DCPs) that may be applicable to your development:

  • Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No. 65 - Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development)
  • State Environmental Planning Policy No. 71 - Coastal Protection
  • State Environmental Planning Policy (Building Sustainability Index: BASIX) 2004
  • Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013

There are also several town centre and site specific DCPs that may be applicable.

To download copies of relevant EPIs and DCPs, please refer to Planning Strategies and Controls.

Disability Discrimination Act 1992

Your development should comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and Disability (Access to Premises - Buildings) Standard 2010.

Guidelines, council policies and other site specific considerations

Design Ideas for Rejuvenating Residential Flat Buildings - Council has prepared a booklet titled Design Ideas for Rejuvenating Residential Flat Buildings PDF, 5021.27 KB. It is a very useful tool if you are planning to refurbish an existing residential flat building.

The Apartment Design Code -  This guide is available from the Planning NSW website and contains valuable information for improving the design of apartment developments. It is recommended that this document is used in the design process.

Crime prevention - Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) is a crime prevention strategy that focuses on planning and design. The NSW Police 'Safer By Design' programs are part of this strategy and provide ideas on how to minimise opportunities for crime.

Building Code of Australia (BCA) - If your residential flat building does not currently comply with the BCA, you may be required to undertake upgrade works as part of your application.

Flooding - If your site is located in an area that may be subject to flooding, the redeveloped portions of your site should be designed with suitable freeboards. For more information about flooding controls, please refer to Flood Management or contact Council's Development Engineers.

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 size)
  • Survey Plan
  • Landscape Plan
  • Drainage Plan
  • Shadow Diagrams (may be required if additional floor area proposed)
  • Sediment and Erosion Control Plan
  • Subdivision Plan (if subdivision is proposed)
  • Photomontage (if required by Council)

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.

  • The Site and Surrounds
    • Site description
    • Surrounding development
    • Streetscape
  • Background
    • Design objectives and principals
    • Previous development applications
  • Proposed development
    • Description of proposal
    • Materials and finishes
    • Landscaping and open space
    • BCA upgrade works
  • Section 79C assessment
    • Assessment of proposal against relevant environmental planning instruments, draft instruments and development control plans
      • SEPP 65: Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development
      • 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

The following supplementary reports/details may also be required:

  • Heritage impact assessment report
  • Flood study
  • Hydraulic report
  • Waste management plan
  • Schedule of colours and finishes
  • Asbestos survey 

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. If your application requires referral to the design review panel under SEPP 65,  you will also need to complete a SEPP 65 checklist PDF, 215.58 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 the landowner/s and by you as the applicant.  If the owner is a company or owners' association (body corporate), the application must be signed by an authorized person under seal.

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 our 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

If your application requires referral to the design review panel (under SEPP 65), an additional six (6) sets of plans and documentation will be required for distribution to the panel members (as detailed in the SEPP 65 checklist PDF, 215.58 KB) .

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

Last Updated: 24 October 2022
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