Building & Development

A Guide to Development

Gosford's Customer Service Centre

With the establishment of the Central Coast Council the planning and development processes will not change significantly. For further information see our Planning and Development Fact Sheet.

A Development Application (DA) is a request for permission to carry out proposed development. Before you get started, you might want to take a look at our handy Cost of Development Guide.

When is a DA required? 

Council’s Planning Instruments identify whether a DA is required and categorises the development as: requiring consent, not requiring consent, or prohibited development.

Zoning of the site determines which category a development proposal fits in.

Development Assessment Process Flowchart

After Development Consent Flowchart

Development that may require consent includes:

  • Construction of new buildings or structures such as dwellings, swimming pools, outbuildings, retaining walls over 600 millimetres high (including batters), jetties etc;
  • Additions or alterations to an existing building, structure or heritage item;
  • Display of an advertising sign;
  • Changes to the use of an existing building or land (i.e. establishment of use);
  • Carry out excavation, earthworks or adding fill (must be related to a permitted land use);
  • Demolition of a building, structure or heritage item;
  • ​Secondary dwellings (for more information see our Secondary Dwellings Fact Sheet);
  • Filling of land; and
  • Subdivisions.

The Development Application form and other information that must be included provide council with the information required to process the application.

The Application Form indicates the type of application being applied for, a description of the site and proposed development, and the owner’s consent.

Carefully completing the Application Form and attaching copies of plans and other relevant information (refer to the Development Guidelines will help ensure that the lodgement proceeds smoothly and will reduce the need for council to request additional information.

A Development Application must consist of at least:

  • Completed application form, fees and the consent of all registered land owner(s);
  • Copies of site plans indicating location of the proposed development on the land;
  • Copies of plans and/or drawings of the proposed development indicating elevations heights;
  • Statement of environmental effects (SEE); and
  • Other supporting documents (if required).   
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) Checklist (if required)
    This checklist is required to demonstrate that the proposal has been designed following consideration of the 'Crime Prevention through Environmental Design' strategies relating to surveillance, access control, territorial reinforcement and space management.

What are the different types of Development Applications?

The zoning of the land determines which category (does not require consent, requires consent or prohibited) applies to the development. 

Details can be found in the Gosford LEP 2014.

Exempt Development: Minor development with minimal environmental impact. Exempt development does not require a development application (does not require consent).  Please refer to the full explanation about Exempt Development.

Any development and/or works being done as exempt development that may involve the disturbance and/or removal of asbestos materials is to be done in accordance with the provisions of Workcover guidelines and to Australian Standard AS 2601 - 2001, Demolition of structures.

Complying Development: An application that meets set standards—this combines the functions of both development consent and a construction certificate. It is a form of approval appropriate for many types of minor or routine development which have a minor impact but have not been specifically declared as exempt development under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. Complying development applications can be assessed by either council or an accredited certifier.

The option to choose complying development may be limited by the constraints that exist on a property such as a high bushfire hazard, subject to acid sulphate soils or flood liable. A 149 certificate can be purchased to determine what development controls affect an individual property.

Local Development: Development that requires a development application (requires consent). Most types of development are categorised as local development. Details can be found in council’s LEP, DCP and other planning documents.

Integrated Development: Development that requires development consent plus approval from other agencies.

Some examples of integrated development are:

  • Within 40 meters of a stream, river, lake or lagoon;
  • Located in a high bushfire zone;
  • Located on or connects to Crown Land;
  • Is within a mine subsidence district; and
  • Located on or near an undisturbed site, dune system or ridgeline. 

Additional fees apply for integrated development applications.

State Significant Development: Can be declared in State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP), Regional Environmental Plans (REP) or in the NSW Government Gazette. In addition, the minister has the power to call in specific DAs, including development prohibited by council.

Designated Development: Local and state significant developments can also be designated development when the proposed development is listed in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation. The list contains large scale, potentially hazardous, noxious and offensive uses such as chemical works, coal mines and waste management facilities.

Guidance on lodging a DA

For guidance on lodging a DA, refer to the Development Application Guide ​or visit council's ePlanning Portal

Council's customer service staff can also assist you with most procedural questions about lodging your development application. Where more detailed advice is required, you may be referred to a town planner.

Alternatively, ​for general building enquiries, 15 minute appointments with a building surveyor are available between 10:00am and 12:00pm, and can be booked by phoning 4325 8222.

The NSW Government's planning portal

The department has a suite of new online tools to help make it easier for people to access planning information. 

For more information, visit the NSW Government's Planning Portal ​website.

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