Development Application Process for Community Gardens

Approval to construct and operate a community garden is required for all types of gardens on private land. The process below describes the things a community group that seeks to start a community garden should know about the development application approval process. The steps involved with the application preparation, lodgement, assessment and determination of a development application are as follows:

Step 1 | Development Advisory Service Meeting

Council’s Development Advisory Service is available to assist community groups setting up a new community garden. Please read about the role of the Development Advisory Service and how to make contact for a meeting to discuss your proposal. If you have identified a site that has the potential to meet the needs of your group please bring along a concept plan that illustrates the key features of your garden proposal.  

The Development Advisory Service will outline what types of information and documentation is required to be lodged with your development application.  It will also assist you in understanding the overall approval process for a community garden proposal.  A general description of the development application process may be found in the Lodging DA Information Package(PDF, 417KB). The Statement of Environmental Effects template(DOCX, 28KB) for a community garden is also available to assist in the preparation of a development application.

Step 2 | Development Application Preparation

Once you have received guidance from the Development Advisory Service you should prepare your development application.

Please follow the information requirements to support your application as described in the Community Garden DA Documentation webpage. Your application will also incorporate any additional special or site-specific information requested by the Development Advisory Service.

Step 3 | Electronic Lodgement of DA

Please submit your development application through the NSW Planning Portal  where there is also guidance to complete this task.  The supporting documentation described in the Community Garden DA Documentation Webpage should be lodged at the same time.

A development application fee will also be required at the time of lodgement in accordance with Council’s latest Fees and Charges Schedule. The Development Advisory Service can assist in determining the fee to be paid.

Step 4 | Community Consultation

Your garden development application will be notified by writing to the surrounding neighbours with information about its key elements.  Council’s website will also exhibit the application in full.  Neighbours will have 28 days to make a submission to Council.

Step 5 | Development Application Assessment

An assessment report will be prepared by Council after the submission period has ended.  Council will assess your application on its merits and alignment with the planning and management controls that apply to the site.  The site will be inspected and all submitted plans and information will be considered.  Feedback from the community will also be taken into consideration. 

During the assessment period additional information may be requested to clarify any issues.  

Step 6 | Development Application Determination

A determination of your application by Council will be made based on its assessment of the information submitted. A written notice of Council’s determination will be issued.

Applications situated on Council owned land are required to be reported to the State Government’s Local Planning Panel (LPP) before a determination is made.  Council cannot overturn a decision made by the LPP.

Step 7 | Garden Group commences Construction and Operation

After the garden group receives development consent it may proceed to commence construction of the garden in accordance with any conditions attached to the consent.

The following flowchart summarises the process of conceiving and obtaining an approval to set up a community garden.