Under the EP&A Act, all DAs must be formally assessed by the council. This means that the site must be inspected, applicants and neighbours engaged, reports drafted and recommendations made.
The six matters that your council must consider (under section 4.15 of the EP&A Act) are:
- All plans and policies that apply – SEPPs, LEPs, DCPs (as outlined in Part 1 of this guide).
- Impacts of your proposal on the natural and built environment and the social and economic impacts in the locality.
- The suitability of your site for your proposal (e.g. physical characteristics, availability of access and services).
- Any submissions (such as from neighbours or other groups).
- Any comments or agreements/approvals from any NSW Government agency.
- The broader public interest.
Key point – The significance of DA assessment
Your council will refer to section 4.15 of the EP&A Act when assessing your DA, so ensure your team addresses these matters when completing your Statement of Environmental Effects.
Council’s DA tracking system
You can consult your council’s online DA tracking system, if available, to monitor the progress of your DA. The system may give you access to the assessment officer’s report and its recommendation.
Liaison with council – additional information requests
If you get the ‘front end’ right then the assessment officer will most likely have all the information required to make a decision. However, it may be necessary for the assessment officer to contact you or your consultant and request clarification or additional information. It’s helpful if you can respond quickly and it’s best to get your experts to talk directly with council if further clarification is needed.