Planning on building or renovating in the Northern Beaches?
Sydney’s Northern Beaches spans three local councils, which includes Manly, Pittwater, and Warringah. The area is well loved by locals, who have nicknamed it the “Insular Peninsular” because everything you could need is available and you never have to leave.
The councils are protective of the area, so whenever renovations are planned, you may need to submit a DA (development application). Not every project will require a Northern Beaches DA, but if you go ahead without at least finding out, you should expect serious repercussions.
What information is included in a DA?
You will first need to download this form:
[https://files.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/pdf-forms/development-application-da/daformchecklistmarch12018.pdf], which is the same form Northern Beaches Council use for all developments, including industrial, commercial, and residential.
Start with the above form because it contains a checklist of all the information you will have to supply with your application. A few of the items you will find on here include plans, reports, and certificates. When you go through the list and check off everything, you know that you can be confident that your DA will be complete.
Preparing a DA
1. Use a surveyor
A surveyor will complete a survey of your land and produce a report on the site which will include buildings already on the site and the relative levels of the land.
2. Consider all the design issues
A design professional will use planning maps to design your proposal. They will also list site constraints and restrictions including land zones, number of storeys, and setbacks.
You may need the help here of an experienced Northern Beaches architect.
3. Use the Northern Beaches DA checklist
Use the checklist mentioned above to gather all the necessary information you will need to include in your proposal. Your design professional will be able to help you work through the list.
The consultation process
You should discuss your plans with your neighbours and other members of the community, so they are all on-board with what you are about to do to the property. Address any concerns they may have and find compromises if necessary.
Lodging the DA
Following a step-by-step process to lodge your DA will improve its chance for approval:
- Make sure you have addressed all the relevant policies and codes
- If necessary, organise a pre-lodgement meeting with the council, which can be done through the form found here [https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/council/forms/development-application-pre-lodgement-meeting-application]
- Fill out the DA form and provide the land owner’s consent
- Follow all DA lodgement requirements (see checklist above).
Submitting a DA cannot be done online and must be either mailed or delivered in person. You will also need to pay all the fees associated with the application, which are based on the estimated cost of the project. You can call if you are unsure about the charges which are relevant to your DA.
The council will review your proposal. If it’s approved, they will advertise the proposed development and give the community some time to respond. The DA will be assessed to ensure it complies with local legislation and development controls. If anything comes up you will be given the opportunity to withdraw the application and address the issues.
Once the DA is approved, you still have a few steps to go, including obtaining a construction certificate [https://www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/council/forms/construction-certificate] and appointing a PCA (principal certifying authority).
A development application is a long drawn out process and will require the services of many professionals, including architects, surveyors, and builders or even mortgage brokers to help fund your project.
Finding local businesses in the Northern Beaches
Finding quality businesses can be time-consuming, but Tradebusters Connect can help you out in this department. Their Top 3 Business listings covering a wide range of trades and businesses will put you on the fast track to getting your DA approved and ready to go.