Pre-Lodgement - Getting it right at the start
The pre-lodgement stage is the front end of the development assessment process. If you get the front end right you are likely to have a simple development application (DA) process. Giving us an assessment-ready application, with all required information will not ‘guarantee’ approval – however, it will promote an efficient process, saving time and money, for both you and us.
In NSW development applications (DA) are assessed under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. When assessing a DA we must consider all relevant planning laws and controls to ensure growth and development is managed.
This includes the Local Environmental Plan (LEP), Development Control Plans (DCP) and Council policies.
Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013
The Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan (LEP) 2013 sets out the primary planning provisions. Through zoning and development standards, they guide the ways in which land is used and managed.
Development Control Plans and Council Planning Policies
The draft Comprehensive Yass Valley Development Control Plan (YVDCP) 2018 is currently being finalised. The existing DCP’s should continue to be used as development guides until such time as the YVDCP 2018 comes into effect.
State Environmental Planning Policies
In some instances we may also need to consider State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs), which are certain rules which cover development and planning issues across NSW. SEPPs may override our Local Environmental Plan (LEP), Development Control Plans (DCPs) or Council policies.
NSW Planning Portal and Online Mapping
You can use the NSW Department of Planning & Environment’s Planning Portal to assist you in finding planning information about your property.
Through the NSW Planning Portal you can search for your property and find out the most relevant planning layers and controls that are applicable.
Bush Fire Prone Land
Bush fire prone land is land that is likely to be subject to bush fires. Development on bush fire prone land has to comply with Planning for Bushfire Protection 2006.
Development applications for dwellings, commercial uses or subdivision on bush fire prone land will generally need to be accompanied by a bush fire assessment report. The NSW Rural Fire Service has assessment tools that you can use to prepare a bush fire assessment report. For complex developments or sites that are highly bush fire prone, you may need to get a qualified consultant to prepare a detailed report.
You can find out whether a property is bushfire prone by:
- Searching for property information on the NSW Planning Portal. The ‘hazard’ planning layer will show on the map if the land is bush fire prone. The whole property is considered bush fire prone if any part of the property is covered on the map.
- Requesting a Planning Certificate which will provide written confirmation on whether a property is bush fire prone.
We must consider whether a development is compatible with a flood hazard, including the risk to life and property. Flood studies for Yass, Gundaroo and Sutton were adopted in 2016. The flood studies model a number of different flood scenarios, including anticipated levels, velocities and the flood risk category. A Floodplain Risk Management Plan (FPRMP) for Gundaroo and Sutton have also been adopted. It is anticipated that a similar plan will be prepared for Yass upon a successful grant application.
If your land is identified as being subject to flooding in a 1% annual exceedance probability (AEP) flood event (formerly referred to as a 1 in 100 year event), you may be required to address the development controls in the relevant floodplain risk management plan. For complex developments or sites that are highly flood affected, you may need to get a qualified consultant to prepare a flood analysis and assist you in preparing a development which complies with the development controls and is compatible with the flood hazard.
It is also important to be aware that the National Construction Code NCC/Building Code of Australia BCA also contains certain construction standards for development on flood affected land. You can find out whether your land in Yass, Gundaroo or Sutton is likely to be affected by a 1% AEP flood event by:
- Searching for your property on the 1% AEP flood level map in the flood study.
- Requesting your property's flood level by completing our General Development Enquiry form.
If your land is affected by a 1% AEP flood event, it is recommended that you contact us for pre-lodgement advice prior to lodging your development application.
In 2018 the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 came into effect for new development applications. We are required to consider the impact of a development on terrestrial biodiversity, including threatened species. The Act also establishes the Biodiversity Offset Scheme (BOS). The BOS may require an offset for certain developments which cross prescribed thresholds for the clearing of native vegetation (including native grasses) or have a significant impact on threatened species.
The Office of Environment and Heritage’s terrestrial biodiversity page contains more information on the Act and when a development application may trigger entry into the biodiversity offset scheme.
It is important that we preserve our heritage for the future generations. There are special rules that apply for properties which are heritage listed, are in a heritage conservation area, or are known or likely to contain Aboriginal objects or places of significance.
Heritage Listed Properties and Items
Heritage listing a property can be at a national, state or local level. You can find out whether your property is a listed heritage item by:
- Searching for property information on the NSW Planning Portal. The ‘heritage’ planning layer will show on a map if the land includes a heritage item.
- Having a look at Schedule 5 of the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013 which includes the details of all listed heritage items.
If your property is heritage listed, please be aware that special rules apply for development; buildings cannot be demolished or redeveloped without approval from us and trees on the property may also require approval prior to lopping or removal. Detailed plans and reports must be lodged if you want to renovate, build something new or subdivide; showing how you will maintain the heritage values of the property. These rules also impact on what can be built next door to a heritage listed item so as not to detract from its heritage significance.
The draft Yass Valley Development Control Plan (YVDCP) 2018 is currently being finalised and will contain a number of specific controls relating to development for heritage items. We also engage a specialist heritage advisor to assist us in assessing development applications and providing pre-lodgement advice. If your land includes a heritage item, it is recommended that you contact us for pre-lodgement advice prior to lodging your development application. In some circumstances we may suggest that a pre-lodgement meeting with Council’s heritage advisor is arranged.
Heritage Conservation Areas
Binalong, Bowning, Gundaroo and Yass also have areas identified as a ‘heritage conservation area’ under the Yass Valley Local Environmental Plan 2013. The heritage conservation area aims to maintain and enhance the existing character of the area, ensuring that new development is sympathetic to heritage values.
You can determine whether your property is in a heritage conservation area by searching for property information on the NSW Planning Portal. The ‘heritage’ planning layer will show on the map if the land is within a heritage conservation area. The draft Yass Valley Development Control Plan (YVDCP) 2018 is currently being finalised and will contain a number of specific controls relating to development in heritage conservation areas.
If your property is within a heritage conservation area, it will generally be expected that the design of any new development is sympathetic to the heritage values of the area and any nearby heritage items. If your land is within a heritage conservation area, it is recommended that you contact us for pre-lodgement advice prior to lodging your development application. In some circumstances we may suggest that a pre-lodgement meeting with Council’s heritage advisor is arranged.
Aboriginal Cultural Heritage – Due Diligence
We must consider the effect of development on the heritage significance of known or likely Aboriginal objects or places of significance.
The Due Diligence Code of Practice for the Protection of Aboriginal Objects in New South Wales (2010)provides a process to take reasonable and practicable steps to identify and protect Aboriginal objects and places of significance.
For some development applications we may require you to demonstrate how you have followed a due diligence process to determine whether the proposed development or activity may harm an Aboriginal object, particularly for development which involves significant earthworks.
When development occurs, it creates additional demand for infrastructure such as roads, footpaths, parks and community services. These costs alone can’t be met by us and the developer will be required to contribute to the cost of providing this infrastructure. These costs are known as developer contributions. Contributions may be imposed as a condition of consent or approval and may be in the form of payment of monies, dedication of land (such as a new park) or improvements to land. Some development types that may be subject to a development contributions include:
- Secondary dwellings (granny flats), dual occupancies and multi-dwelling development
- Commercial development
- Development involving heavy haulage
- Development involving an increased demand for water or sewage (head work charges)
Contribution plans provide the basis for what infrastructure is needed and how the costs are apportioned over an area. The current contribution rates are also available. Contact us for further information about any relevant developer contributions for your DA. We are also in the process of reviewing Council's Heavy Haulage Contributions Plan.
In preparing your DA you may need an architect or building designer to prepare (and cost) your plans, plus a number of specialists, depending on your site and your proposal (e.g. land surveyor, engineer, town planner, waste water assessor).
You can find experienced people by:
- Talking to friends and neighbours who have done similar work.
- Looking at similar designs locally and asking the owners.
- Searching professional organisation's websites.
As you move to construction you will need a principal certifying authority (Council or private), a principal contractor (builder) and any relevant sub-contractors.
We are here to help!
We realise that the building and planning process can be daunting, but we are here to help.
Complete our online General Development Enquiry Form and your enquiry will be assigned to a member of our planning and development team. The team member will acknowledge receipt of your enquiry within two business days and request any further information they need. We will aim to provide a response to straight forward enquires within 10 business days. It is important to be aware that for complex enquiries we may need to seek advice from other team members (e.g. engineers, heritage advisor) or external agencies. We will aim to provide a response to complex enquiries within 40 days – we’ll keep you informed of the progress along the way.
General Enquiry – Phone or In Person
General planning and development enquiries can also be made over the phone or in person during our opening hours.
If our friendly customer service staff are unable to answer your enquiry, we will ask for your preferred contact details and a description of your enquiry. The enquiry will then be assigned to a member of our planning and development team who will be in contact with you within two business days to discuss the enquiry and how they can be of assistance. We will generally have a member of the planning and development team available to answer simple phone or counter enquiries between the hours of 2:30pm to 4:30pm business days.
Planning and development enquiries can be complex and require specialist input. It is therefore recommend that enquires are made in writing using the general enquiries form in the first instance. This will allow us to determine how best to answer your enquiry and ensure that accurate advice is provided.
A pre-lodgement meeting with a member of the planning and development team is encouraged where the planning rules or process is not clear, you wish to vary planning controls, or there are specific contentious issues (eg. heritage, flooding, stormwater).
Before requesting a pre-lodgement meeting, we kindly ask that you consider whether it is necessary. General enquiries can be made in writing using the General Development Enquiry Form in the first instance. Both our website and the NSW Planning Portal also contain a large amount of helpful information.
If a pre-lodgement meeting is necessary, you will need to complete Form 216 - Pre-Lodgement Meeting Request. We also ask that you provide us with a copy of any relevant plans and an outline of the items you wish to discuss. This will allow us to assign the request to the most relevant members of our planning and development team, as well as allowing us to prepare for the meeting.
A member of our planning and development team will contact you within two business days to arrange a time for a meeting, which we will aim to schedule within 10 business days. Pre-lodgement meetings are allocated for a 30 minute slot, so it is important that we all come prepared. Pre-lodgement meetings will be held at Council’s administrative office, unless the team member specifically requests that it is held on site. Following the pre-lodgement meeting, the team member will follow up on any outstanding queries and send you an email with a brief summary of the items discussed during the meeting.
Building and development can be expensive. You should consider any additional costs which may apply to your development. These could include:
- The DA fee, including the cost of referral to State Government agencies.
- The construction certificate fee and fees incurred in the building process including inspections, engineer’s certificates etc.
- Any development contributions payable.
- Conditions that may be imposed by Council such as bonds to cover damage to roads, environmental clean ups, or dilapidation surveys of attached properties.
- Water and other service connections.
Fees are generally based on the estimated cost of the development. View Council's current fees and charges, which are located below. Contact us for further information about the relevant fees associated with your DA.
When you are preparing your plans think about how it will look from and impact on your direct neighbours and across the street. Once you have a clear idea of your proposal, you should discuss it with your neighbours. Ideally, you should contact them early in the process. Consider issues such as privacy, solar-access, views and visual impacts. In many circumstances your direct neighbours will be notified and provided opportunity to comment once the DA is lodged.