Please note that this provides a guide only. Consultation should be undertaken with Council staff prior to lodgement of any application.

What can I build on my property?

The first step is to determine what zoning your property falls under. Check our land zoning maps.

Next is to check what the permissible developments are permitted under the zone of your property. This information is in the Ryde Local Environmental Plan 2014 under the heading Land Use Table.

Once you decide what permissible use you are developing on your property, you will need to check the guidelines and controls. A development may be permissible under the zone of your property, but your property may not comply with the controls for that development. All our guidelines and controls are in the Ryde Development Control Plan 2014.

Can I subdivide my property?

You will need to check the Ryde Local Environmental Plan 2014 under Principal Development Standards to determine if the subdivision you want to do is permissible.

Do all developments require Council approval?

Developments can be carried out as:

  • Exempt development (no approval required)
  • Complying development (strict requirements, 20 day approval process from a certifier)
  • A local development whereby a development application is required (neighbour notification is required in most instances and assessment is merit based).

The onus is on the proponent to determine what type of development it falls under. For more information on exempt and complying development, go to the NSW Housing Code page.

What is a DA and why do I need one?

What is a DA and why do I need one?

A Development Application (DA) is an application made to Council seeking consent to carry out development including construction, demolition, change of use of a property or premises, display of advertising, subdivision or making alterations or additions to a property.

The DA is required so that Council can assess the likely impacts of the proposal and ensure that the proposal:

  • Is a permissible and appropriate use of the site according to its zoning
  • Complies with the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979
  • Complies with the provisions of the Ryde Development Control Plan 2014 and any other relevant planning controls for the site
  • Has no detrimental environmental impacts upon the locality
  • Has no adverse impact upon adjacent and neighbouring properties.

What information do I need to submit a DA?

The requirements for DA submission are set out in the Development Application Information Pack(PDF, 417KB) .

Submission of the DA must be accompanied with the relevant fees in accordance with Council’s Management Plan. Fees are calculated on a scale based on the contract value of the work or the market value of the labour and materials needed to complete the work including GST.

Applications will have to be lodged through the NSW Planning Portal.

Before formally submitting the DA, it is advisable that you contact Council’s Building and Development Advisory Service to discuss your application with a member of the team.

Council will not accept illegible and/or incomplete applications.

How much will it cost to lodge a DA?

Fees are charged in accordance with Council's Fees and Charges schedule as per Council's Management Plan Fees are calculated on a scale based on the contract value of the work or the market value of the labour and materials needed to complete the work including GST. Fees for development applications are determined on the estimated cost of works.

The estimated cost of work must be based on industry recognised prices, including cost for materials and all labour for construction and/or demolition and GST. Various commercial entities publish building and construction cost guides/calculators, which provides technical guidance on estimating costs and methods of measurement. A copy of the Cordell’s Housing Building Cost Guide is available at the Ryde Library, located at 1 Pope Street, Ryde. 

Council will check the estimated cost provided on the application form. If the estimate is understated, the figure will need to be adjusted. Additional application fees may apply.

For details, please see the Development Application Form(PDF, 396KB) - Part 5: Estimating Cost of Works for Development.

Please contact the Ryde Planning and Business Centre on 9952 8222 for a quote on the fee. Ensure you have the address of the property, proposal outline and value of work when you call. Any changes to the proposal and/or value of work will change the quote.

How do I lodge a Development Application

From 1 July 2020, you will be required to submit your development applications through the NSW Planning Portal by creating a user account first. Customers wishing to lodge an application prior to 1 July can submit this to Council. Related forms and documents are available on our Forms and Documents Library under ‘Development Applications’.

Before you begin, ensure you read the Development Application Information Package. Additional Factsheets and FAQs are available on the Development Application web page. Owner's consent will be required. A list of all documents that will be required with your application is provided in the DA Information Package(PDF, 417KB) (page 4).

Further details of how to lodge your application can be accessed on the Department of Planning website. Information on how to use the Planning Portal to lodge your application is available on the Planning Portal’s Help and Support Section of the website. If you require assistance using the Planning Portal, and you were unable to find the answer within the Help and Support section, contact ServiceNSW for assistance via telephone 1300 305 695 or email info@service.nsw.gov.au.

You can seek further information on DA lodgement matters by contacting Council’s Customer Services Centre on telephone 9952 8222.

What happens after I lodge my application?

Most DAs follow similar steps during processing, so this guide applies to the majority of applications. Please note that this is an indicative guide only, and that these steps do not necessarily occur one after the other.;

Pre-Assessment Team (Clearing House)

The application will be reviewed by the Pre-Assessment Team, generally comprised of Client Managers, Planners, Building Surveyors, Development Engineers and other senior staff. Prior to being accepted, a preliminary assessment of the application is done to ensure that the information provided complies with Council's requirements, and that the quality of the information is sufficient. If there are any noticeable problems with the application, the applicant will be notified via the NSW Planning Portal. The processing of the application may be delayed if there is not enough information to commence the assessment.

Notification and Submissions

An application is notified for a period of generally a minimum of 14 days, 21 days or 30 days depending on the type of application. During the notification period members of the community are entitled to make submissions about the proposed development. Some applications may not be notified depending on the nature of the proposal.

If an application is amended before a determination is made, the changes may require re-notification and be subject to a re-notification fee. Further information regarding notification requirements are contained within Part 2.1 Notification of Development Control Plan 2014(PDF, 660KB).


Many applications will require input from specialists within Council. If this is the case the application will be referred to the relevant department e.g. Landscape Architect, Health Officer, Building Surveyor, Development Engineer or Drainage Engineer. Comments provided are included as part of the overall assessment of the application.

If the application is classified as integrated development under Clause 91 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, or if it involves land associated with a public authority it may also be forwarded at this time to the relevant additional public authority for their consent or agreement.


When the notification period has finished the assessing officer will commence assessing the application. The officer will review all plans and supporting documentation, conduct a site inspection, review any submissions made, consider statutory requirements and compliance with relevant planning controls, and complete an assessment report. During this time the applicant will be advised of any issues and may be requested to consider making amendments to the DA. 

Assessment officers can be contacted via phone through the Customer Service Centre between 3pm - 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Please note that the officer will be dealing with a number of applications at any one time.


The DA may be determined under delegated authority or dependant on the nature of the application, the submissions received and/or variations to Council’s codes, the application may be forwarded to the Local Planning Panel (LPP) for determination.

If the application is forwarded to LPP for determination, a report will be put forward for consideration by the LPP, and then a recommendation made to be considered at the meeting.

You will be advised in writing of the determination of your application. If your application is granted approval, you will be sent a copy of the development consent including conditions of consent and stamped approved plans. Should your application be refused, a refusal notice will be issued advising of the grounds for refusal. 

All enquiries in relation to your application can be made by contacting the Ryde Planning and Business Centre on 9952 8222. You can also track the progress of your application online via the DA Tracking page.

What if I am unhappy with Council's determination?

Applicants who are not satisfied with the determination of a DA can apply to Council to review the determination under Section 8.3 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act or submit an appeal to the Land and Environment Court.

What happens after DA consent is granted?

Once development consent is granted, the applicant may be required to apply for and receive a Construction Certificate before works or the use can commence. The consent will state whether a Construction Certificate is required. Works that would normally not require a Construction Certificate are generally demolition applications and applications for change of use of a shop or office where there are no works proposed as part of the application. 

A Construction Certificate can be obtained either from Council or an Accredited Certifier (private certifier). The requirements for a Construction Certificate application to Council are set out in the Construction Certificate Application. A listing of Accredited Certifiers can be obtained from the Building Certifiers Public Register .

Application for a Construction Certificate from Council

To obtain a Construction Certificate from Council, fill in the Construction Certificate Application(PDF, 235KB). The form includes a checklist of what is required to apply for a Construction Certificate. 

The timeframe for issuing a Construction Certificate will vary upon the quality of the information/drawings/specifications provided and the complexity of the development. The Environmental Planning & Assessment Act specifies that Council should determine an application for a Construction Certificate within:

  • 40 days (if lodged on or before the date upon which the DA is determined)
  • 60 days (if lodged on or before the date upon which the Integrated Development Applications or designated development is determined)
  • 28 days (if lodged after the DA is approved)
Commencement of Work

Prior to the commencement of work, applicants must appoint a Principal Certifier (PC). This can be Council or a private principal certifier. If you have appointed a private certifier, Council must be advised in writing of who has been appointed.

All developments, regardless of who is appointed the PC, must give seven days notice in writing of their intention to start demolition work and two days notice in writing of their intention to start construction work. This includes demolition applications where there is no Construction Certificate or PCA appointed.

To find out more about the PCA and the role of Council view the Fact Sheet(PDF, 48KB).

What if I want to change my approved plans?

There is a mechanism in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act that allows development consent to be modified, as long as the development is substantially the same. You can lodge a modification application through the Planning Portal.

If Council is not convinced that the modifications applied for will result in substantially the same development as was originally approved, a new development application will need to be submitted for assessment.

Any changes that arise as a result of the ongoing construction or before the construction has commenced must be approved before the modifications/changes are made on site. Even if the changes mean that the construction will have a better design outcome, approval must be granted from Council before the changes can be made. Therefore Council strongly recommends that prior to any changes being made on site, that the applicant consult with Council.

Examples of changes that need to be approved before the works are commenced include (but are not limited to):

  • Window and door location and size changes
  • Roof pitch and roof material changes
  • An increase or decrease in the floor area of the development
  • Additional excavation (i.e. creation of a sub-basement level)
  • Changes to pool location and/or capacity
  • Facade changes.

A Section 4.55 - Application to Modify Development Consent application should not be lodged for works or amendments already carried out. In some circumstances this may be permitted in conjunction with a building certificate. The applicant will need to contact the Building and Development Advisory Service.

What do I have to do if I am building in a bushfire prone area?

You will have to engage a Bushfire Consultant to prepare a Bushfire Assessment Report to accompany your application. Visit the Bushfire Prone Areas page.

What does it mean if my application is classified as integrated development?

Integrated development is development that in order for it to be carried out, requires development consent from one or more of the State Government agencies. 

Council must refer integrated developments to the relevant government agency, e.g. RMS, RFS, Department of Land and Water Conservation or Heritage Office. The comments of the agency are binding on Council:

  • If the agency objects, the application must be refused
  • If the agency requests conditions of consent be included in the consent, Council must include those conditions of consent.

Council may refuse an application even though the state government agency does not object. 

The applicant is required to pay an additional fee to Council. A separate fee may be charged by the respective agency once the referrals are made.

What happens to my comments on DAs?

All written comments received by Council must be considered before a decision can be made about the application. Your comments in relation to rezoning and DAs will be publicly accessible.

What are the issues that Council look at when making a decision on a DA?

This depends on the proposal. Council must take into account state and local planning instruments and policies such as:

  • Ryde Local Environmental Plan
  • State Planning Policies
  • NSW Local Government Act
  • NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act
  • Building Code of Australia
  • Development Control Plans.

A decision must also take into account other factors such as:

  • Case law precedents
  • Traffic and highway safety issues
  • Layout and design of proposed developments
  • Potential noise and smells
  • Trees and landscaping proposals
  • The amenity of neighbours.

The State Government and the Courts have ruled that the Council must not allow certain issues to influence its decision. These include:

  • Loss of property value
  • Loss of view over other private land
  • Boundary or access disputes
  • The applicant’s motives
  • Possible future proposals
  • Matters covered by other laws
  • Personal circumstances.

Who determines if a DA is approved or refused?

There are three levels in which a DA can be determined:

Council Staff – Delegated Authority

Council officers have powers given to them by the elected Council to decide certain applications. The majority of applications are approved or refused under this delegated authority. Applicants would be advised in writing if their application is to be decided under delegated authority. 

Local Planning Panel (LPP)

If an application is not to be decided by an officer, then an assessment report is written for the Planning and Environment Committee. The assessment report will include a recommendation from the assessing officer to either approve or refuse the application. The Committee can choose to disregard the officer’s recommendation.

Sydney North Planning Panel

NSW law requires other bodies to determine Development Applications if the Capital Investment Value of the development exceeds $30 million for private developments and over $5 million development by Council or a public authority that requires Development consent.

Please note: Other major developments may be determined by the NSW Independent Planning Commission or the Minister for Planning. These my be state significant developments.

What are the rights and responsibilities of the applicants?

It is the applicant's responsibility to:

  • Prepare a development application in accordance with council standards
  • Obtain copies and read all relevant codes and policies
  • Make the development proposal as clear as possible for the council and community to understand the possible impacts (e.g. colour plans, drawing, photomontage, models)
  • Provide all necessary copies of documents and plans
  • Consider the impacts on the environment and people living in the vicinity of the development
  • Ascertain whether the development is an integrated development
  • Fully complete all forms
  • Ensure that all information provided is correct
  • Seek their own legal advice
  • Be concise when appearing at a committee of council to present their case in a reasoned and sound manner without attacking individuals, such as councillors, staff, or objectors.

Applicants have the right to:

  • Have their applications assessed in an impartial unbiased manner
  • Have their applications assessed in a reasonable period of time
  • Have the receipt of the application acknowledged
  • Be kept informed of the progress of the assessment
  • Appeal to the Land and Environment Court if they are unhappy with the decision
  • Receive clear and understandable decisions of Council
  • View submissions and comment on those submissions view Plans, Codes and Policies.

What are the rights and responsibilities of those who make submissions?

It is the submitter's responsibility to:

  • Make the submission in writing
  • Make clear the grounds of the submission and the application to which the submission relates (e.g. including LDA number and property address)
  • Ensure that submissions are based on facts and not the persons involved
  • Become informed of the application by viewing the plans and supporting information
  • Lodge the submission with Council within the period specified in the notice or advertisement
  • When making a verbal submission to the Committee, to be concise and not merely repeat the content of the written submission, and to be respectful of the Councillors, other submitters and the applicant.

Submitters have the right to:

  • Make a written submission and have that submission considered by Council if it is received by Council before it makes the decision
  • View the application during office hours and obtain copies of the application form and any notification plans (subject to the payment of the required fee)
  • View any other submission made about the application and obtain a copy of the submission (subject to the payment of the required fee)
  • Request the opportunity to address the relevant Council Committee when and if it considers that application.

What are the rights and responsibilities of the Council?

It is Council's responsibility to:

  • Assess DAs for which it is the Consent Authority
  • Enforce State Laws (e.g. EP & A Act, State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP), State Regional Environmental Policies (SREP) even when it disagrees with the intent of the law
  • Enforce its own local laws, e.g. the Ryde Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and related Development Control Plans (DCPs)
  • Provide accurate advice about its own laws
  • Make a balanced assessment of an application without regard to the particular persons involved
  • Ensure that its decisions and the reasons for its decisions are clear and understandable
  • Acknowledge applications and refer them to relevant authorities as quickly as possible
  • Notify people that Council believes may be affected by a development proposed by an applicant
  • Decide an application by either, approving it with or without conditions, or refusing it
  • Advise applicants and submitters as soon as possible after it makes its decision
  • Advise the applicant and submitters of their rights and responsibilities
  • Maintain a record of approvals, which are publicly available to view free of charge
  • Make a decision about an application as quickly as possible, but without undue haste
  • Acknowledge receipt of submissions and answer questions raised in submissions
  • Take reasonable steps to keep applicants informed of the progress of their applications
  • Ensure that people who have an interest can view an application any time during office hours up to when the application is decided
  • Consider every submission in the assessment of a development application, which is received up to the time, the application is decided
  • Decide applications in accordance with the advice of referral authorities in relation to Integrated Development Applications and the concurrence authority in relation to a concurrence application.

Council has the right to:

  • Reject applications, which are unclear or incomplete
  • Request further information
  • Request additional copies of supporting information when copies need to be sent to other authorities
  • Request amendments to development applications so that they comply with local environmental standards
  • Require submitters and the applicant to attend a mediation meeting prior to deciding the application.

Does Council provide any assistance or advice?

Information on how to use the Planning Portal to lodge your application is available on the Planning Portal’s Help and Support Section of the website. If you require assistance using the Planning Portal, and you were unable to find the answer within the Help and Support section, contact ServiceNSW for assistance via telephone 1300 305 695 or email info@service.nsw.gov.au. You can seek further information on DA lodgement matters by contacting Council’s Customer Services Centre on telephone 9952 8222.

Council’s Duty Town Planners will be available for minor enquiries via phone only to discuss your development and lodgement related matters. You can contact the Duty Planner through our Customer Service Centre on 9952 8222 from 9.00am to 1.00pm, Monday to Friday.

For more information, go to the Building and Development Advisory Service page.

Where do I find out about DAs that are currently on public exhibition?

Go to the DAs on Exhibition page.

How do I find out about the progress of my DA?

Go to the DA Tracking page. Progress may also be tracked via the NSW Planning Portal if your application was lodged via the Portal.

How and when do I get my bond/deposit back?

All refunds come in the form of a cheque that is sent in the mail. It will be issued to the payee and address that is on the original receipt it was paid on. Most refunds follow similar steps during processing, so the guide below applies to the majority of refunds:

  • Notes of the infrastructure (driveway / footpath / naturestrip / gutter crossing) inspection prior to works are located
  • An infrastructure (driveway / footpath / naturestrip / gutter crossing) inspection post-works is then carried out and notes are taken
  • A comparison of notes is undertaken
  • A report is created and is referred to the manager of the department
  • The manager signs off the report
  • A memo is sent to Council’s Finance department to create the cheque
  • The Finance Department issues the cheque. (Please note: Council’s cheque run happens once a week)

Please Note: This is an indicative guide only, and that these steps do not necessarily occur consecutively. 

If damage has been done to Council’s infrastructure (driveway/footpath/naturestrip/gutter crossing), the amount less restoration costs will be refunded. We will contact you to determine if you or Council will be doing the restoration work. 

The restoration costs will only be refunded when construction has finished and you have carried out the restoration work to Council’s standards. 

The refund process is triggered by an action at a certain point in time of development as per below: 

Demolition Deposit

When: Demolition is completed
Action: Call Ryde Planning and Business Centre on 9952 8222 and book a post demolition inspection. 

Damage Deposit

When: All works have been completed
Action: Lodge a final occupation certificate with Council.

Stormwater Deposit

When: The positive covenant has been lodged with the Department of Lands.
Action: Lodge document with the Registration Notice / Dealing Number from property of lands with Council.

Tree Deposit

When: The final occupation certificate has been lodged with Council
Action: Send a letter requesting the refund of the tree deposit.