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The Minister for Planning, Housing and Special Minister of State Anthony Roberts released the Development Assessment Best Practice Guide on 21 March 2017.


By 2036, NSW will need to provide homes for another 2.1 million residents with local councils playing a vital role in delivering the required housing.


The development assessment process is a key part of the housing supply chain and impacts how efficiently new housing is delivered.


The guide draws on successful practices used by councils that assist in the timely determination of development applications. It was developed in close collaboration with a number of high growth local councils and draws on leading practice processes and procedures.


Guide purpose

The guide outlines processes and procedures that are being used in some councils already to improve development application (DA) approval times.


It focuses on high-level customer service before development application lodgement to create a more efficient assessment process.


View the Best Practice Guide

Five stages to faster, more efficient assessments

The guide promotes the following stages and principles to improve approval times.



The guide recommends councils and applicants enter into an Assessment Efficiency Partnership Agreement at the start of the development assessment process to define roles and responsibilities. A template agreement has been prepared for council’s use.


The guide includes a Development Assessment Best Practice process map. A consolidated version of the process map has been prepared as a ready resource for council officers.


View the Best Practice Guide


To ensure the guide reflects the needs of councils and applicants submitting DAs, it will be reviewed six months after release. This time will allow councils to evaluate it and provide feedback.

Page last updated: 24/05/2018