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Who decides the outcome?

After your application has been assessed a determination will be made by the relevant Authority. Council Officers can determine simple applications under 'delegated authority' (Delegated Authorities - Development & Environment Staff). This means that the Development Applications are not required to be reported to a Council meeting.

Council Impartiality

Staff and Councillors must be impartial in the evaluation of your application.  The development advice Council provides is of a general nature.  Applicants seeking guidance to address development complexities or objections are encouraged to engage a qualified consultant.  Council staff will not individually provide solutions or make decisions in instances where objections have been received as to do so would undermine their independence.  Such deliberations and recommendations will be made by the relevant determining authority.

Larger applications, SEPP1 Applications or where submissions have been made, may require referral to one or more Panels listed below:  

  • Development Assessment Panel & Council

    Where objections to a development proposal are unresolved a report will be presented to the Development Assessment Panel (DAP) for determination.  DAP also considers proposals where the applicant is seeking a variation to the Development Control standard.  Refer to the link at the bottom of this page for more information on DAP and Council meetings.

Decisions on State significant, integrated, or height impacted development are referred to the Minister, Joint Regional Planning Panel or Design Review Panel.

  • Joint Regional Planning Panel

Established by the State Government to provide greater expertise and independence on regional planning issues. Regional Panel members are appointed by State Government and Local Council. The Panels have been established to provide independent, merit-based decision-making and advice to the Minister on regionally significant development proposals.

The Regional Panel for our region is called the Northern Region Joint Planning Panel.

What kinds of development do Regional Panels determine?

  • Certain Designated development
  • Development with a capital investment value over $20M
  • The following development with a capital investment value over $5M:
    - Certain public and private infrastructure
    - Crown development
    - Development where council is the proponent or has a conflict of interest
    - Ecotourism
    - Certain subdivisions
    - Certain applications subject to delays.

Regional Panels will not determine proposals for the above classes of regional development if they are:

  • Complying development
  • Development that does not require consent (including exempt development and development to which Part 5 applies)
  • Development where the consent authority is not the Council (including where the Minister is the Consent Authority).

Details of projects that are determined by Joint Regional Planning Panels can be found in the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011.

Want to know more?

Visit the JRPP website for details on the Norther Region meetings, approvals and the Panel's Charter.

  • Design Review Panel

The independent Design Review Panel for Council was established in 2005. The functions of the Panel are set out under the State Environmental Planning Policy 65 SEPP65 with the 3 most significant being pre-lodgement advice, advice on development applications and to provide advice to Council on the urban design content of its policies.

Panel Members:

  • Stephen Buzacott - architect and urban designer 
  • Sheila Tawalo - urban designer
  • Alternate - Philip Thalis - architect and urban designer

State Environmental Planning Policy 65 (SEPP 65): Design Quality of Residential Flat Development

Residential flat development as defined in SEPP 65 is a building that comprises or includes 3 or more storeys and 4 or more self-contained dwellings whether or not it includes uses for other purposes such as shops.


Notification of Decision

After your application has been determined, you will receive a Notice of Determination of Development Application. The Notice will tell you whether your application has been approved or refused.

This page was last updated on: 20 March 2014