Construction Permission

Obtain a Site Survey/Analysis Plan

Agency: Private surveyor

One of the mandatory requirement to obtain a building permit is to submit a Site Survey/Analysis Plan.

Time and cost: 21 days, AUD 4,000

Verify if a development application is required

Agency: Local Council

It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact a planner at the nearest Council Location before preparing a Development Application (DA), to check:

  • Whether the proposed development is permissible;
  • Whether a DA is required; and
  • How the City’s planning instruments – plans, codes and policies – affect the proposed development.

BuildCo should ensure that the relevant planning controls have been identified and satisfied.

There are a range of planning instruments that apply to various types of development and locations within Sydney.

Most environmental and planning law in Australia varies from one Australian state to another. In Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, development will generally be assessed under one of the regimes in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (Planning Act).

The warehouse to be constructed by BuildCo is most likely to fall under Part 4 of the Planning Act and will most likely require development consent from the relevant local council. The Planning Act provides that, for certain types of development, the concurrence of an authority other than the consent authority must be obtained. The conditions for approval of development assessed under Part 4 may also require the developer to obtain further certificates or approvals. These will add cost and time.

The council’s local environment plan (LEP) usually identifies whether development consent is required. The LEP categorizes development as requiring consent, not requiring consent, or prohibited. In most cases, the zoning of the site determines the types of development permitted on the land. Note that the construction of a warehouse is a type of development that almost always requires consent. If the development requires development consent, the local council will usually be the consent authority. However, in some cases, another authority (such as a State minister) may be the consent authority.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

File development application with consent authority

Agency: Local Council

It is a legal requirement to submit digital copies of plans and the following supporting documentation

  • A4 plan for notification purposes (3 copies)
  • Survey plan (7 copies + 3 A4 copies)
  • Site plan (7 copies + 3 A4 copies)
  • Floor plan (existing and proposed), elevation plan, section plan, shadow diagrams, subdivision plan, landscaping plan (7 copies + 3 A4 copies each)
  • Model
  • Computer model
  • Efficient use of resources commitment table (7 copies)
  • green star rating
  • Basix certiciate (2 copies)
  • Design excellence map
  • Exceptions to development standards (if applicable – 7 copies each)
  • Statement of environmental effects (7 copies including 1 unbound copy)
  • Erosion and sediment control plan (7 copies)
  • Stormwater managemenet plan (7 copies)
  • Waste management plan (7 copies including 1 unbound copy),

If the assessment is satisfactory, the consent authority will grant BuildCo development consent, which may be subject to conditions. The Development Application will be advertised for approximately 21 days to give the surrounding neighbors the opportunity to contest the planned development in that area. Once the advertising period is over, it will typically take 6 weeks for the development certificate to be issued.

Time and cost: 49 days, AUD 6,866

Apply for a construction certificate

Agency: Sydney City Council

After a Development Consent has been issued by the Local Council and before any building work is carried out, the owner must apply for and obtain a Construction Certificate. This certificate states that building work may commence on an approved development, and complies with the terms of the Development Consent and the Building Code of Australia. Construction Certificates are either issued by Council, or independent accredited certifiers (PCA – Principle Certifying Authorities). A Construction Certificate cannot be issued without obtaining prior development consent for that development.

Items required include:

  • Development consent compliance statement (5 copies)
  • Plans (5 copies)
  • Colored plans (5 copies)
  • Survey plans (5 copies)
  • Site plan (5 copies)
  • Floor plan (5 copies)
  • Elevation plan (5 copies)
  • Section plan (5 copies)
  • Specifications (2 copies)
  • Fire safety measures schedule (5 copies)
  • Home Building Act requirements

The PCA will also provide a list of mandatory inspections that need to be carried.

Time and cost: 21 days, AUD 7,622

Apply for approval of building/development plans by Sydney Water Quick Check Agent

Agency: Sydney Water

Before any construction work can be done, BuildCo must request connection and building plan approvals, service plans and diagrams online using Sydney Water Tap In website or by visiting the Sydney Water Quick Check Agent to verify that the proposed building work will not affect a Sydney Water asset (water supply pipe and/or drainage pipe).

The documents that must be provided are:

  • A full set of building plans
  • A site plan to a recognized scale (e.g. 1:500) that shows the full site and the relationship of the proposed building works to the full site (the location on the lot where the building works will take place must be clearly identified) or submit dimensions using the online tool of the Sydney Water Tap In website:

Time and cost: 0.5 days, AUD 66

Notify Hill Shire City Council of Commencement of work and appoint Hill Shire City Council as PCA

Agency: Hill Shire City Council

Under s 4.5 of the amended Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, the council of the area in which the development is to be carried out will be the consent authority. Build Co needs to notify the Hill Shire City Council of the Council’s appointment as the principal certifier (technically, their surveyors ‘Hills Certifiers’ would be appointed), and of Build Co’s intention to commence the erection of the building, no later than 2 days before the building work commences.

This form is submitted only when the City of Sydney is retained as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA).

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Receive the commencement of building work inspection

Agency: Hill Shire City Council

Once a PCA is appointed, it is his responsibility to provide to the applicant a list of the mandatory critical stage inspections (in accordance to Clause 162A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000) and any other inspections (determined by the PCA) that will be required during construction of the building. The builder needs to be aware of these inspections as they need to be carried out at the appropriate time. It is the responsibility of the builder to contact the PCA at least 48 hours before an inspection is required.

Inspections during construction ensure that the construction is consistent with what has been approved in the development consent and construction certificate, and that the building will meet acceptable standards of health, safety and amenity.

Mandatory critical stage inspections are set according to the building class. For the case study of Doing Business, the warehouse is a class 7 building.

In the case of a class 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 building, the building work on the development site must be inspected:

  • At the commencement of building work
  • Prior to covering any storm water drainage connections
  • After the building work has been completed and prior to any occupation certificate can be issued in relation to the building

Time and cost: 1 day, AUD 500

Receive inspection prior to covering any stormwater drainage connections

Agency: Hill Shire City Council

A second mandatory inspection prior to covering any storm water drainage connections is conducted by the PCA to ensure compliance with the Construction Certificate.

Time and cost: 1 day, AUD 500

Request and receive connection to water and sewage services

Agency: Sydney Water

To receive a connection to water and sewage services, BuildCo must first select a water-servicing coordinator. The coordinator requests a Section 73 Compliance Certificate (for water and sewerage infrastructure) from Sydney Water on BuildCo’s behalf. Sydney Water issues a notice of requirements to the coordinator within 10 days of application receipt (or longer if the development is complex). The notice specifies charges to be paid and the project to be built. If construction is required, certification will depend on the time required for the project to be built and taken over by Sydney Water. BuildCo pays the fees, builds the project, and receives the certificate.

Fee schedule for water and sewage connection:

  • Water (including works): Up to AUD 1215.00
  • Sewage (assuming that infrastructure exists): AUD 132.00

Time and cost: 10 days, AUD 1,347

Request the occupation certificate

Agency: Hill Shire City Council

The authority that has approved the development may monitor the finished development to ensure compliance with laws and local planning policies. If the development does not comply with the development consent, the applicant can be fined (with a penalty notice), ordered to make changes to the development, or taken to the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales. The court may issue orders to remedy or restrain breaches of the development consent (e.g. orders to carry out works, cease certain uses of the premises, or remove the development). In addition, breaches of planning laws may be criminal offences.

New South Wales planning legislation allows any person to bring an action to remedy or restrain a breach of development consent. Thus, in theory, any person may commence proceedings to enforce compliance with the law (a) if a relevant approval (such as a development consent or construction certificate) has not been obtained where required; or (b) if there has been non-compliance with the conditions of a relevant approval.

An occupation certificate can be requested using the application form available on the Hill Shire City Council website.

Time and cost: 1 day, AUD 1,000

Receive final inspection by PCA and obtain the final occupation certificate (OC)

Agency: Hill Shire City Council

An occupation certificate is issued by the appointed Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allowing a building to be used and occupied.

This certificate verifies that the PCA is satisfied that the building is suitable to be occupied and used according to the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA). That Code sets required standards for the design and construction of various classes of building to protect health, safety and amenity.

There are two types of occupation certificates:

  • A final occupation certificate allows commencement of either the occupation or use of a new building (including alterations or extensions), or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change of its use
  • An interim occupation certificate allows the commencement of either the occupation or use of partially completed building, or of a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use for the building

An occupation certificate is required for any new building work or change of use of a building that has a development consent or a complying development certificate under the EP&A Act.

Time and cost: 15 days, AUD 500