This article will assist you in completing each section of the form. The chapter numbers relate to the corresponding section numbers on the form. Each section of the application form must be completed in order for your application to be accepted by Council.

1. Application type

Please tick ONE application type, either Development Application or Complying Development Certificate.

There are two main types of development applications. They are Local and State significant development. Council deals with local development.


Local development

The majority of applications in the Muswellbrook Shire are local development. It only becomes a designated development if the proposed works relate to industrial, agricultural and waste management industries that have significant potential environmental impact. A development may also be considered advertised development under the provision of the EP&A Act and/or Council’s DCP Section 4 Notification Policy. For example child care centres, multi-unit housing, place of public worship.

A staged development consent can also be applied for. For example, a large scale development or subdivision may be completed in stages.


Major development and significant regional development

Major development and significant regional development criteria are set by State Environmental Planning Policy (Major Development) 2005.

Applications for Major development are made direct to the Department of Planning and as such this type of development is not included in the application form and these are determined by the Minister.

Applications for significant regional development are made to Council, however these are determined by a Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP).


Integrated development

Some development proposals need other kinds of approvals (e.g licences, permits). A proposal is known as integrated development if you need development consent and one or more approvals from another government body. For example, subdivision of land that is mapped as bushfire prone land must also have a permit issued by the NSW Rural Fire Service (called a Bushfire Safety Authority).


Designated development

‘Designated Development’ is a classification in which a development application is to be submitted to Council in conjunction with an Environmental Impact Statement.

A list of developments and criteria which are classified as ‘designated development’ can be found in Schedule 3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000. These include composting facilities, concrete works, extractive industries, livestock intensive industries, marinas, wood or timber milling processing.

Generally developments that have potential for significant impacts on the natural and built environments require an Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared.


Combined development and construction certificate

The EP&A Act provides for combined applications where a Development Consent and Construction Certificate may be issued together, however it is not recommended that this option be taken.

One reason for this is that to obtain a Construction Certificate, full working drawings must be submitted. If these are prepared before the planning issues are resolved (i.e before development consent is obtained) plans may need to be redrawn to comply with the development consent before a construction certificate is issued. This would be costly for the applicant or owner. If an application is refused on planning grounds, significant costs may have been unnecessarily incurred in preparing working drawings.

Additionally Council encourages a two part process. This generally benefits all parties involved.

It is recommended that Construction Certificate applications be lodged only after Development Consent has been issued.


Council as Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The role of the PCA is to ensure that the development is carried out in accordance with the approved plans, specifications, any conditions listed in the development consent or complying development certificate and certifies that the construction has been built in accordance with the Building Code of Australia or any other relevant standards.

It is the owner’s responsibility to appoint a PCA. This can be Council or an accredited certifier, but once chosen, must remain the same throughout the construction process.

It is in the interests of all owners to sight the inspection results, regardless of whether you use Council or an accredited certifier.

If you nominate Council as your PCA, inspections can be arranged with 48 hours notice. Results are issued at the time of the inspection. On completion of the development an Occupation Certificate will be issued, if the development complies with all relevant standards and conditions of consent.

If you choose an accredited certifier as your PCA you are obliged to notify Council in writing of who this is at least two days before work starts.


Construction certificate

Long Service Levy payments must be made before the issue of the construction certificate.

Every development that involves building, engineering or earth works will require a construction certificate. The plans and specifications submitted with a construction certificate application must contain enough detail to ensure that the works comply with the relevant standards and are consistent with the terms of the development consent.

Construction certificates can be issued either by Council or by an accredited certifier.

Construction Certificates are valid for the life of the development consent.


Complying development

Check ”State Environment Planning Policy  (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008” (SEPP) to ensure proposal is complying development.

This category of development seeks to streamline the application process by providing a single approval.

If your development is complying, please indicate the appropriate SEPP code in Section 2 ‘Describe what you are proposing’.

Your complying development application must include a written statement addressing all SEPP Code requirements.


2. Property and development details

This section asks you to provide details on the location and description of the land, its present use and the type of work proposed. The Lot, Section and DP Number are easily found on the Certificate of Title or on a Council rates notice.

It is important that the property is accurately identified by its legal description. Other details such as house numbers, street name and locality are also necessary to help confirm the legal description.

Not all properties have Section Numbers.


If you live in a rural area submit a locality sketch

A locality sketch indicating directions to the property, nearest cross street and northern point should be supplied with your application if you live in a rural area. This enables Council officers to find your property with minimal difficulty.

If you have special access requirements (e.g locked gates, availability, dogs etc) indicating this on your application will ensure delays do not occur due to an officer’s inability to access the site.


Development type

Please tick the type of development you are applying for.


Purpose of proposed development

Tick the appropriate box and provide a description of the proposed use of the land and indicate the type of work that best fits your proposal. Where possible this should be consistent with the development types listed on the Development Matrix form.

If the proposal involves building, earthworks (such as landscaping) and/or demolition include these in your description.

If there is not enough room to fully describe your proposal, please attach further detail in your Statement of Environmental Effects (see page 13).


Existing development/use and total project value

Provide a description of the existing use of the land (e.g vacant, single dwelling etc).

The total project value should include all of the costs of developing the site (e.g building construction, landscaping, car parking, drainage, fencing, labour, management etc) but should not include the cost of the land.

Council will estimate the total project value of your development proposal. If there is a significant discrepancy between that and your estimate, a builder’s contract price will be required to substantiate the lower estimate, otherwise Council’s estimate will be used. The total project value is used by Council to determine the development application fee.

Refer to the Development Cost Estimating Policy at for Council’s cost estimate rates.

Development Cost Estimating Policy


Will the development be completed in stages?

If the development proposal cannot be achieved in one stage, it may be staged.

For example, a three stage 15 lot subdivision could be:

Stage 1: Lots 1-3, Stage 2: Lots 4-10, Stage 3: Lots 11-15.


3. Applicant details

Anyone can apply for approval but if the applicant is not the owner of land, then the owner’s written permission to lodge the application is required. This section MUST be completed.

Any notice of determination of the application will be sent to the person(s) named in this section of the form as will any approved plans and/or specifications. Correspondence relating to the application will also be sent to the applicant. It is important to notify Council of any change of address and/or telephone number if this occurs during the processing of the application.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide Council with any additional details that may be requested.


4. Operating details

If you selected “Change of Use” as your development type from Section 2 of the application form you will need to complete this section.


5. Integrated development and other approvals

The following questions should help you to determine whether the proposed works require a licence/permit and if so, the legislative Act under which those approvals are required.


Is this application integrated development?

Do you want to carry out aquaculture?

If YES you need an approval under S144 of the Fisheries Management Act 1994.  Acquire from Department of Primary Industries (NSW fisheries).

Does your development involve a building, a place or land that has permanent conservation order, an interim conservation order or an interim heritage order protecting it, or which is listed on the State Heritage Register?

If YES you need an approval under S57(1) of the Heritage Act 1977. Acquire from Heritage Council.

Will it destroy, damage or otherwise harm an Aboriginal relic that is known to exist on the land you want to develop?

If YES, you need approval under S90 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974. Acquire from Dept. of Environment and Climate Change (Environment Protection Authority).

Is the proposal designated development?

The Application Process

If YES, you are likely to need a licence number under S47 or S48 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. Acquire from Department of Environment & Climate Change (Environment Protection Authority).

Will the development cause the pollution of water?

If YES, you will require a licence under S43(d) of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. Acquire from Department of Environment & Climate Change (Environment Protection Authority).

Do you propose to extract water from a surface water source or ground water?

Do you propose to construct a weir, dam or structure for impounding water?

Do you propose works to prevent flooding, such as levees?

Do you propose a dam or structure that intersects the groundwater?

If YES, you will need an approval under S89, S90 and S91 of the Water Management Act 2000. Acquire from NSW Office of Water.

Will the development affect a public road, a Crown road, a highway, a main road, a freeway or a tollway?

If YES, you will need a consent under S138 of the Roads Act 1993. Acquire from Roads and Traffic Authority.

Is the development a subdivision or school, child care centre, hospital, hotel, motel or other tourist accommodation; or, Housing for Older People or People with a Disability (Senior’s Living); or, a Group Home (SEPP 9); and on designated bushfire fire prone land?

If YES, you will need bushfire safety authority under S100B of the Rural Fires Act, 1997. Acquire from NSW Rural Fire Service.


Other approvals

If your application requires the removal of native vegetation in any Rural Zone other than for the erection of a single dwelling, you must contact the Hunter Rivers Catchment Authority (HRCA) to discuss their requirements.


Does this application seek approval for one or more of the matters listed in Section 68 of the Local Government Act 1993?

There are a number of other activities that can only be carried out if you have approval from Council. A full list of these activities is included in s.68 of the Local Government Act. It includes the approval to install /operate an amusement device; place a waste container in a public place; install and operate a sewage management system; install a solid fuel heater etc.

If you identify one or more of these activities you will need to tick ‘YES’ and list the appropriate approval type. Additional forms/fees may be required.

  •  Installing a manufactured home, moveable dwelling or associated structure on land.
  •  Carrying out water supply work.
  •  Drawing water from a council water supply.
  •  Drawing water from a standpipe or selling water so drawn.
  •  Installing, altering, disconnecting or removing a meter connected to a service pipe.
  •  Carrying out sewerage work.
  •  Carrying out stormwater drainage work.
  •  Connecting a private drain or sewer with a public drain or sewer under the control of a council or with a drain or sewer which connects with such a public drain or sewer.
  •  Disposing of waste into a sewer of the Council.
  •  Installing, constructing or altering a waste treatment device or a human waste storage facility or a drain connected to any such device or facility.
  •  Swinging or hoisting goods across or over any part of a public road by means of a lift, hoist or tackle projecting over the footway.
  •  Operating a public car park (including temporary car parks that require approval).
  •  Operating a caravan park or camping ground.
  •  Operating a manufactured home estate.
  •  Installing a domestic oil or solid fuel heating appliance, other than a portable appliance.
  •  Installing or operating amusement devices.
  •  Installing or operating amusement devices prescribed by the regulations under the Local Government Act 1993 in premises.
  •  Operating an Undertaker’s business.
  •  Operating a mortuary.

6. Structure details

Details of construction materials

This information is required by the Australian Bureau of Statistics and contributes to key economic indicators for the country.

If there are two or more different material types used, then please nominate the primary material used. If there is more than one structure in the development application please attach details of materials for each structure.

Building construction value should not include incidental project costs such as car parking and landscaping but should include the value of labour, even if the owner or applicant provides the labour.

Laying a brick wall7. Builder or owner-builder

Please complete all of the details for the builder including license numbers.

If you are an owner-builder you will need to supply evidence to Council (copy of permit) that you have an owner-builders permit from the Department of Fair Trading (DoFT). Owner-builders do not require a permit if the reasonable market cost of labour and materials involved in the work is less than $10,000. You will require an application number before you can apply to DoFT for your owner-builder permit.

If you do not know the builder at this stage tick ‘Not yet known’.

For works over $20,000 owner-builders will need to attend a course prior to the issue of a permit. Approved courses can be found on the Department of Fair Trading website.

Owners must ensure builders take out job-specific insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (previously Home Warranty Insurance) for home building work values at over $20,000. Call 133 220, Department of Fair Trading for further information.

The builders details are required prior to the issue of any construction certificate.

A construction certificate must be issued before any site work commences. This includes clearing of vegetation and earth moving.

8. Political donations and gifts disclosure statement

This section must be completed and signed by all applicants and owners even if you tick ‘no’. If you tick ‘no’ you do not have to complete the separate disclosure form.

9. Owner’s details

The owner of the land is normally the person having title to the land. Exchange of contract does not confer title to the purchaser. The names of all owners must be shown in this section.

See notes under Owner’s Declaration at the end of this section.

This allows Council to confirm the ownership of the land which is needed to ensure the actual owner has agreed to the lodgement of the application. If it is a strata plan, then a copy of meeting minutes is required and the strata plan seal authorising the lodgement of the application.

Owner’s declaration

This section requires the signature of all of the owner(s) of the land consenting to the lodgement of the application and granting permission for Council’s officers to enter the property in the course of their normal duties.

The signature of a solicitor or agent acting on behalf of the owner is not sufficient. If you have recently purchased the land and are signing as the owner, you should ensure that settlement has occurred and Council has been formally advised of the transfer. Exchange of contract does not confer ownership.

For applications made over Crown Land, whether leased or not, the owner’s consent must be signed by an officer of the Department of Lands who is duly authorised for these purposes.

If the owner of the property is a company, then a director or company secretary must sign the application. Where this is the case, then the Australian Business Number (ABN) is also required. If the property is within a strata then the consent of the strata management is necessary and the body corporate seal must be provided.

Applications will not be accepted unless they have all owners’ signatures.

10. Applicant’s declaration

The applicant is the agent chosen by the owner of the land to act on their behalf in the management of this application. This includes amendments or withdrawal of the application. All communications from Council is directed to the applicant until the final Occupation Certificate is issued.

In all cases, the applicant is required to sign the application, agree to develop the land in accordance with Council approval, and the relevant legislation and planning instruments and indemnify Council against damages to public or third party property within the road reserve. In addition, the applicant is required to agree to the payment of any fees, charges or contributions, which Council assesses in relation to the proposal.

11. Payment

You may leave this section blank and a Council officer will assist in determining the costs involved. Page 22 provides directions on determining the fee payable.

Credit card surcharge is 0.75%.
eg. $100.00 x 1.075=$107.50

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