NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Councils Development Assessment Guide

Development Assessment Best Practice Guide

The Minister for Planning, Housing and Special Minister of State Anthony Roberts released the Development Assessment Best Practice Guide in early 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 their proven processes and procedures.

Since the guide was released, the department has met with 37 councils across regional and metropolitan NSW to discuss their development assessment processes. Many councils site the guide as a useful resource and benchmarking tool.

On 25 May 2018, the Minister for Planning released Your guide to the Development Application process (Your Guide). Your Guide was designed to assist inexperienced and one-time applicants navigate their way through the development application (DA) process. Your guide emphasises the importance of having all information prepared up front to ensure an efficient process, saving time and money and helping councils approve applications faster.

View the Best Practice Guide

Five stages to faster, more efficient assessments

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

5 stages to faster more efficient assessments infographic

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.

Page last updated: 04/10/2022