Application Information

In most cases, you'll need some form of approval to:

  • construct something on your property
  • make alterations or additions to an existing development
  • change the use of an existing building or premises
  • demolish a structure or building
  • carry out earthworks, fill or clear land
  • remove vegetation
  • install a sign
  • operate, install or alter an onsite sewage management system
  • operate a mobile business
  • subdivide land
  • adjust property boundaries

It can be daunting to try and determine what approval you need and how to obtain it. Here's a few options to assist you:

Customer Service Centre

Our Customer Service Centre is your best option for general enquiries relating to building and development.

Building and Duty Planning Officers

If you need more help, you can speak with one of our Duty Building or Duty Planning Officers, free of charge.

Step 1.By phone

Speak to a Duty Building or Duty Planning Officer by calling 4921 0333 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday

Step 2.Email

Email a Duty Building Officer or Duty Planning Officer

Email now

Step 3.In person

Duty Building and Duty Planning Officer are available from 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday, at our Customer Service Centre

Concept and pre-lodgement meetings

The Duty Building or Duty Planning Officer may recommend booking a pre-lodgement or concept Meeting, if more detailed advice is needed or your development proposal is larger or more complex.

Pre-lodgement meeting

A pre-lodgement meeting is an opportunity for Council staff to provide early feedback on your proposal and specific investigations. It also give us a chance to highlight any concerns or issues that you'll need to address prior to lodging your application. A fee is payable upon request of your meeting.

Concept meeting

A concept meeting gives you the opportunity to meet with a Development Assessment Officer for a preliminary discussion about the broad concepts and site constraints relating to your proposed development. It is an informal meeting with no fixed agenda, but you may bring plans if you have them. Key discussion points are documented and distributed to attendees after the meeting. A fee is payable upon request of your meeting.

Request a pre-lodgement of concept meeting

Engage a consultant

Depending on the type of development you are proposing, you may wish to engage the services of a specialist consultant, such as a town planner, surveyor or architect, to provide planning and development advice and assist you in preparing your application.

What happens after I lodge?

Initial assessment and notification

Council will:

  • advise you of the planner assessing your application
  • review the information provided and request any additional information needed to assess your application
  • notify neighbouring landowners by letter (where applicable)
  • send external referrals to the relevant departments (if not already done so via the NSW Planning Portal)
  • undertake internal Council referrals

You are able to keep updated with the application process via Application Enquiry


During the assessment process:

  • a site inspection will be carried out
  • submissions from the public and internal/external referrals will be received
  • a complete formal assessment against all relevant legislation will be carried out
  • a report with recommendations for approval (with conditions) or refusal (with reasons) will be prepared


A decision will be made by either:

A delegated Council Officer

Council Officers have delegation from from the Chief Executive Officer and the elected Council (Councillors) to determine certain applications on behalf of Council.

Councillors at a formal Council meeting

The elected Council determines applications that are of a controversial nature, have attracted a large number of objections or where the assessing officer's delegation is withdrawn.

A Regional Planning Panel

Regionally significant development applications (DAs) and certain other DAs are determined by a Regional Planning Panel. The Panel is an independent body and their determination is not subject to the direction of the Planning Minister.

Once a decision is made, the applicant will be given a Notice of Determination and Stamped Plans, and written notice will also be provided to those who have made submissions.

If dissatisfied, the applicant may seek:

  • A Review of Determination
  • Modification of Consent
  • Appeal to the Land and Environment Court

Development commencement

If you do not require any other forms of approval, you can commence development in accordance with the conditions of consent.

A Notice of Commencement must be lodged with Council at least two days prior to commencement of works.

If your proposal involves building or structural work you will normally require a Construction Certificate (CC) as well as a Development Application (DA) before you can commence work. You can apply for a CC at the same time as your DA, or apply after lodging your DA.

Once a Construction Certificate/Complying Development Certificate is issued, you must notify Council of your choice of principle certifying authority (PCA). The role of a PCA is to ensure that the construction is in accordance with the Building Code of Australia and other relevant Australian Standards. Our Lakemac Planning and Building Services team can be your PCA.

Development occupation/use

Mandatory inspections are undertaken during construction, either by Council or an accredited private certifier.

When construction is completed and considered compliant, a final inspection will be undertaken an an Occupation Certificate issued. The building should not be occupied prior to an Interim or Final Occupation Certificate being issued.

Enquire about an application

Using our Application Enquiry tool, you can:

  • submit your support or objection to a Development Application during the notification process
  • track the progress of Development Applications that are under assessment
  • access records of determined applications and certificates submitted since 1980

You can search by property address or application number, or search for a list of applications lodged within a date range.

Application Enquiry

Enquire about a property

Property Enquiry is our tool for viewing information on conditions that apply to land and property, including permitted development and maps.

Property Enquiry

Flood report tool

Lake Macquarie City Council's free Flood Report Tool provides information about the flood hazard for a specified property (lot) in Lake Macquarie City. This information may be useful when assessing risk for building or planning, or for providing evidence to help reduce insurance premiums.

Access the Flood Report Tool

Geotechnical Mapping Tool

Lake Macquarie City Council's Geotechnical Mapping Tool provides information about the Geotechnical zones applicable for a specified property in Lake Macquarie City. This information along with the Geotechnical Guidelines(PDF, 1MB) may be useful when determining what documents are required to be lodged with your development application.

Geotechnical map

What influences the type of approval required?  

Several factors influence what approvals are required for a proposed development. These include:

  • Land zoning – the proposed development must be permitted in the zone where it is to occur
  • Property conditions – the proposed development must be suitable given any flooding, bushfire, heritage, contamination, geotechnical, ecological and other constraints that apply to the property
  • Current approvals – the existing approvals that apply to the property will influence what additional approvals may be required for the proposed development
  • Planning controls – the planning controls applicable to the land and the type of development proposed will affect the type of approval required