There are three possible outcomes for a DA:
Your development consent is a legal document and is extremely important – you must build according to the conditions to avoid possible penalties or having to take costly rectification measures. As owner, you should carefully read and discuss these conditions with your certification and building team members, as the conditions may modify the proposal you submitted.
Some conditions are mandatory and must be applied on all development consents e.g. your house must meet the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
For small housing development most decisions will be made at staff-level e.g. the assessment officer, senior officer, the Manager/Director of Development Assessment, or the General Manager.
Conditions of consent can modify your plans (e.g. reducing height, deleting elements, adding a privacy screen, requiring a retaining wall). These changes may increase the cost of your construction. Getting it right at the start will help minimise unexpected and unplanned costs because of conditions imposed.
Conditions also require you and your team to take steps prior to or at key stages e.g. prior to the issue of a Construction Certificate, prior to/during construction and prior to the issue of an Occupation Certificate. Some standard conditions to bring to your attention include:
The consent lasts for five years unless another period is specified by council or physical commencement has occurred in which case it does not lapse.
If your DA is refused or granted with unacceptable conditions you have three options all of which will require some time and cost:
If you wish to make changes to your approved plans (or the conditions), you can submit an application for a Modification of Consent (under section 4.55 of the EP&A Act). This may be needed if you change your mind on particular aspects of the development.
The development you seek to modify must remain substantially the same as the development the original consent was granted for. If the application varies too much from the original consent a new DA must be lodged.
Modifications can be time consuming and cost additional fees. Getting the intended outcome right in the initial DA is much easier.
Page last updated: 01/04/2020