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Your Quick Guide to DA Approvals in NSW
Fri 1st May

You may be planning a new home build, a knock down and rebuild or a major renovation to your property. If this is the case, these works will require DA approval before work can begin. Here, we answer the most common questions asked about the approval process in New South Wales.

What is a DA approval?

A development application, or DA, is a request for legal documentation that will permit a development to go ahead on a specific lot of land in accordance with local planning requirements. DA approval is typically provided by your local council.

How do I get DA approval in NSW?

You can submit a DA to your local council, or have a DA submitted on your behalf. The process can be quite complex depending on what the planned works involve and where the property is located, and can take anywhere from two weeks to a number of months for the council to process.

If you’re working with a builder, architect or engineer to make a change to your property, they’ll typically prepare and submit the DA on your behalf. The benefit to this is that a local building or design team will often be familiar with the unique rules of your council area, so designs and applications can be tailored to suit. As such, gaining approval can be a far smoother process when working with a professional provider.

You might prefer to engage one team who can both design and build a home; or to engage a builder who can provide a design and gain DA approval on your behalf before taking these DA-approved plans to your builder of choice. At Wincrest Bespoke we provide both options for our clients.

How much does DA approval cost in NSW?

The cost of submitting a development application will vary depending on the nature and cost of the works, and which local council your property is located in. DA fees can range from a couple of hundred dollars for minor works to thousands of dollars for a large project. You can usually find a schedule of fees and charges on your local council’s website.

If working with a custom builder in Sydney who submits a DA on your behalf, this cost may be included as part of the services they provide.

How long does a DA approval last in NSW?

Once again, this depends on the works and which local council your property is situated in. DA approvals will specify a lapsing date, which are typically two to five years from the date of consent. This means that the approved building, engineering or construction work must commence within this time period. Extensions may be available upon application to the local council. If you’re building or knocking down and rebuilding a home with a custom builder like Wincrest Bespoke, then the process will be streamlined to ensure you step into your new home as soon as possible.

Is there an alternative to a DA that might be faster?

Yes there is! It’s called a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) and it can streamline the approval process significantly – in fact, plans can have approval within 10 days rather than months. A CDC is issued by a private certifier rather than council and verifies that the plans abide by state government regulations against the rigorous planning and environmental criteria. Another benefit is that in order to lodge for a CDC all total costs must be provided upfront, so you’ll receive a final cost for your home early in the process.

You can visit one of our offices or call your local Wincrest Bespoke team to find out if you can be in your brand new home faster with CDC.