State-wide changes to submitting DAs

From Thursday 1 July all development applications and post consent certificates across NSW must be submitted via the NSW Government’s Planning Portal instead of through local councils.

The NSW Government mandated the change, meaning council planning teams are no longer permitted by law to accept development applications and post consent certificates, however they still must assess them.

Anyone wanting to submit these applications to Eurobodalla Council for assessment from Thursday 1 July will need to head to www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au, create an account and upload digital files, which will then be made available to Council’s planning staff to assess. The NSW Government is also charging a fee for using the portal to lodge an application.

The NSW Government states the move is to “drive the digital transformation of all planning services”, however for councils like Eurobodalla already accepting e-lodgement, it is an added inconvenience for customers and Council staff.

“We’ve been accepting e-lodgement without any additional charges since 2019, so this change is simply adding additional costs and inconvenience to our customers,” Eurobodalla Council’s planning director Lindsay Usher said.

“We know it’s going to be particularly challenging for people who still submit hardcopy DAs – which is still around a third of our customers.

“We lobbied long and hard against this change, however our frustrations went unheard. What we’d like to see is for councils to be able to ‘opt in’ to this service, rather than being forced by the change in legislation.”

Anyone considering submitting a DA is encouraged to get in contact with Council’s Development Help Desk first on 4474 1231 to ensure their application is complete, and all requirements are addressed, prior to lodgement.

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