Inner West Council

Development Applications

Most development in Ashfield requires Council approval, which is gained by lodging a Development Application (DA). Preparing a Development Application (or DA) can be a complex process, especially if you are lodging one for the first time.

Before making any changes to your property, large or small, please contact Ashfield Council to discuss your proposal. Council’s experienced and helpful staff will explain the relevant Plans and Policies which apply to you depending on zoning of the land and the proposed nature of works.

Some minor development, called Exempt Development, does not require Council approval. Whereas some other small scale development, called Complying Development, requires certification prior to the works being carried out. All other development requires consent. To obtain development consent, you must lodge a DA with Council.

Some applications are determined by a Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) established by the State Government.  For information on current applications to be determined by JRPP click here

What is a DA?

A DA is a formal request for permission to carry out proposed development, such as change of use of land, subdivide land, carry out building, landscaping and other work. You must lodge a DA and have it approved by Council before you begin. Generally, a DA consists of

  • Plans and drawings of the proposed development
  • A Statement of Environmental Effects and other related documentation
  • An application form

Generally speaking any building work in heritage conservation areas or affecting properties that are heritage items needs Council approval, and depending on the type, height and size of structure you propose to build you may also need consent even if you live outside these areas.

For example, all front fences over 1 metre in height need Council approval, as do larger satellite dishes. You will need to lodge a development application with Council for any proposal that is likely to generate environmental impacts and involves construction work. The information on this web site is designed to help you understand the steps to take when lodging a DA.

What makes a good DA?

Good developments, whether small or large, succeed because projects are well conceived as part of a thorough site analysis process, have been designed having regard to Council’s planning rules and are well documented to enable Assessment Staff to carry out assessments.  For major applications, the process is not simple and may benefit from the employment of expert consultants such as planners, architects and other relevant experts.

It is good practice to consult with your neighbours or other persons or bodies that may be affected by your development.  Issues can be identified at an early stage and addressed as part of your planning process.

You, or your architect, should not commence the design of a project until you have completed your site analysis, have read and fully understand the planning rules and have consulted with those who may be affected.

If you don't get it right at the planning stage you will not get it right on the site!