When do I need approval?

When to apply for development approval

You need development approval for building work or development including:

  • advertising signs (an advertisement or sign that is visible from a street, road or public place)
  • changing the use of land or a building
  • construction, addition or alteration to a building or structure (including swimming pools)
  • demolition of a building
  • fences, walls and retaining walls, pools and spas
  • land division
  • residential development such as verandahs, pergolas, sheds, solar panels, carports, removing or pruning a Regulated or Significant tree
  • work that may alter a heritage building.

Detailed information about what is and isn’t development is set out in the Development Act 1993.


Types of approval

  • Development Plan Consent
  • Building Rules Consent
  • Land Division Consent

In most cases you’ll need more than one consent.


Development Plan Consent

If you need Development Plan Consent you generally will need to lodge your application with us.

In some instances, a private certifier may be engaged to assess and issue Development Plan Consent - e.g. Residential Code development.


Building Rules Consent

If you only need Building Rules Consent you can either lodge your application with us, or engage a private certifier to assess building applications.

We will issue the final Development Approval.


Land Division Consent

If you need Land Division Consent you must lodge your application with the State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP).

Download the Land Division Guide for applicants for information about how to apply.



There are types of residential development which don’t require development approval.  To find out if you don’t need development approval you can:


Need more information

Planning Officers are available without appointment at the Civic Centre on Monday - Friday, 8:30am to 5pm. To meet with a Planning Officer at another time or just to ask a question please Email the City Development Team or call 8416 6333 to make an appointment.

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