What is Development?

Download our document submission guide here(PDF, 929KB)

When you make a change to your land, you are undertaking development. This may involve:

  • Changing the way your land is used.
  • Subdividing your land. 
  • Constructing a new building on your land. 
  • Demolishing a building on your land.
  • Carrying out works or an activity on your land.

In the Yass Valley, there are generally three types of development.


Some small scale and low impact developments such as decks, fences, bbqs and pergolas may not need Council approval if your proposal meets specified criteria. You do not need to lodge an application, however, you can still contact us to discuss and confirm.


If your development complies with certain pre-determined development standards, your approval can be “fast tracked”. You will need to lodge an application with us (or a Private Certifier) and a combined planning and construction approval can be issued. Learn more about complying development here.


Your development doesn’t meet requirements to be exempt or complying, so the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 applies. You will (most likely) need to lodge a Development Application (DA) with us.

The type of development you are going to undertake determines whether or not you need an approval.

Step 1. Research

Firstly, you will need some basic information about your land, including:

  • Zone. 
  • Environmental constraints.
  • Is it bushfire prone? 
  • The heritage status of your land and buildings.
  • Other restrictions.

Most of this information (and more!) can be found by using the NSW Planning Portal


Step 2. Check

Using the information you have found on the Planning Portal, check out the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 to find out if your development is exempt or complying.

If you’re having trouble locating the information you’re after, check out our common application types page to find more specific information about your development. 

Step 3. Proceed

If your development is…