Frequently Asked Questions
The following information relates to the most common questions Council receives in relation to development/building work in the Coonamble Local Government Area. In many cases, it will be necessary to engage the services of a consultant or contractor to guide you through the process.
Do I need Development Approval?
In most cases you will need to apply for approval to build. The first place to look is the zoning of the block and the land use developments that are permissible without consent. If your type of development is not listed, it is likely that you will need approval.
There are instances under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (‘SEPP’) which outlines types of development that are exempt development. The SEPP will provide the types of development standards you must consider before proceeding with your exempt development.
Certain types of minor developments, such as fences, pergolas, barbeques are considered exempt development and, thus, do not need Council approval.
Alternatively, the SEPP also provides provisions for complying development. Complying developments still require Council approval but are fast-tracked through the approval process.
It is your responsibility to determine whether you need approval.
What is Exempt Development?
Exempt Development is any minor renovation or low-impact works for which you do not need planning or construction approval.
You can see if your project meets the specific standards by checking the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.
In some situations, you cannot proceed with Exempt Development, including:
- Environmentally sensitive areas.
- Bushfire-prone areas.
- Heritage areas.
It is the landowner's responsibility to ensure the land and planned development meet the specified development standards and land requirements before starting work.
What is Complying Development?
Complying Development is any development with a low environmental impact and can be certified as complying with predetermined standards. A Complying Development Certificate can be issued either by Council or an Accredited Certifier.
Proposals complying with the development standards nominated under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 will receive a Complying Development Certificate.
How much will it cost?
Council’s fees and charges for the Development Application process are listed in our schedule of Fees and Charges.
Development Application fees are generally based on the estimated cost of the proposed development. Construction Certificate fees and Complying Development Certificate fees are calculated on the size and complexity of the proposal. Construction Certificate fees cover the Construction Certificate application fee, inspection fees and the Construction Certificate Portal fee.
Council must verify the estimated costs. Underquoting development costs is not recommended. Penalties could apply from the NSW Government if developments are under-quoted.
Council will only provide actual costs of a Development Application once it is submitted through the NSW Planning Portal and the application has passed Council’s Completeness Check.
Additional fees and approvals may be required, depending on the type of development. You may need to seek a Section 68 local approval under the Local Government Act 1993. These fees are listed in Council's Fees and Charges.
How do I pay for my application?
Once Council has reviewed your application and is satisfied you have submitted all the relevant documentation, an invoice will be raised, and you will be notified by email.
The email will direct you to log into the NSW Planning Portal, where you will find the invoice with instructions on how to make your payment.
If you are a company applying on behalf of your client, you can download the invoice and forward it to your client for direct payment to Council.
Please note: your application will not progress until payment of fees is received.
How long does it take for a Development Application to be approved?
Council's approval processes are generally within the legislated timeframe of 40 days. Council has updated several internal processes to streamline Development Applications through the NSW Planning Portal.
Common reasons why applications stall include:
- The Owner's Consent Form has not been submitted.
- A Statement of Environmental Effects has not been submitted.
- Plans have not been provided or, when provided, are of poor quality. Plans need to include a site plan and elevation plan (where applicable) at a minimum.
- The description of the development has not been properly articulated.
- A Statement of Environmental Effects has not been submitted or lacks information and is not to sufficient a level of detail.
- Failure to pay the required fees when due.
Engaging a consultant or draftsperson to assist you with your documentation can simplify and speed up your application.
Can I start work before I get approval?
No. It is an offence under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to commence work before Development Consent and a Construction Certificate or Complying Development Certificate have been issued.
Can Council lodge my application to the NSW Planning Portal?
No. As the consent authority, Council must maintain its independence and, therefore, cannot be both applicant and consent authority. Consider engaging the professional services of a draftsperson, architect, town planner or builder who has experience in lodging these applications to lodge your application on your behalf, if required.
If you encounter technical issues with the Portal, please contact the ePlanning Support Team on 1300 305 695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens after I have submitted my application to the NSW Planning Portal?
Once you have submitted your application and supporting documentation via the Portal, Council receives a notification of your application. Council reviews your application to check you have included all the relevant information: a ‘completeness check', which can take about 10 days.
If more information is required, you will receive an email, generated from the Portal, requesting the additional information be submitted (via the Portal).
When Council is satisfied that all required documentation has been submitted with your application, you will then receive an invoiced, emailed from the Portal, requesting payment of fees.
Once payment of fees has been received, your application will be formally lodged with Council and progressed to the assessment stage.
There is no need to contact Council after lodging your application via the NSW Planning Portal. If you receive an email confirming the lodgement, Council staff will receive this notification too.
How do I submit any additional information requested for my application?
Council staff may request additional information to support the assessment of your application. You will be notified via email of the additional requested information. This information should also be submitted through the NSW Planning Portal to ensure it is linked with your application.
How do I organise a Building Inspection?
You can book a building inspection by telephoning Council's Environmental Services Department on (02) 6827 1900.
Council will require a minimum of 48 hours notice for such an inspection. This time is needed for the necessary files to be made available to the inspecting officer. Council staff performing inspections are available on Mondays and Tuesdays.
You must have the following information ready when booking an inspection:
- The Construction Certificate number.
- Job site address.
- The type of inspection required (i.e. footings, frame etc).
- The preferred date and time of the inspection.
- The name of the person needing the inspection and their phone number.
Can a Construction Certificate be issued for existing work?
No. You cannot get a Construction Certificate for works that have already started. A Construction Certificate should be sought and secured before work begins.
Is a Construction Certificate required for Complying Development?
No. If you have obtained a Complying Development Certificate for your proposal, you do not need a Construction Certificate before starting work.
Is my land located in a bushfire prone area?
Some parts of the Coonamble Local Government Area are prone to bushfires. Information can be obtained through a Planning Certificate 10.7(2) or you can also view bushfire prone mapping through the NSW Planning Portal. Further information on bushfire protection may also be obtained from the NSW Rural Fire Service.
How do I register my swimming pool?
Swimming pools must be registered under the Swimming Pool Act 1992. Pools built in different years will have different requirements. If you own a swimming pool and it is not registered, there are two parts that will apply to you to have your swimming pool registered and to ensure that it is compliant to the relevant standards and requirements.
Swimming pool compliance certificates are required if you need to sell a property with a swimming pool or spa. The owner must have a Certificate of Compliance, a Certificate of Non-Compliance or a valid Occupation Certificate for the pool. Further details are available here.
What happens if I have done illegal building works?
Council thanks you for acknowledging this question. Council views illegal building works or failures to comply with the terms and conditions of Development Consent as extremely serious. In the first instance, contact Council immediately on (02) 6827 1900 to notify relevant officers of this issue.
Individuals may feel that illegal building works are not an issue for them. Aside from the penalties that could be pursued under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, there are other implications that individuals may not have thought about when carrying out the illegal building works. These include:
- If the illegal building was to be damaged by fire or other such events, insurance companies may not cover the costs of these structures or assets.
- When going to sell, illegal building works which do not have a final Occupation Certificate or other appropriate approvals could inhibit the sale.
I think my neighbour is doing illegal building works
If you are a neighbour or have observed illegal building working occurring in our community, we encourage you to report this matter to Council by phoning (02) 6827 1900.