Estimating cost of development

Fees applicable to Development Applications (DA), Complying Development Certificates (CDC) and Construction Certificates (CC) are calculated based on the estimated cost of the development.

Cost estimates indicate the level of complexity required in assessing and determining an application. An application with a high cost estimate, will have higher application fees to reflect the requirement to carry out a more extensive assessment.

Estimating the costs of development prior to lodgement

Cost of Development Person responsible for estimating the cost of development
$0 - $100,000 The applicant or a suitably qualified person* can prepare the cost estimate and submit it with the DA, along with the methodology used to calculate the cost.
$100,000 - $3 million A suitably qualified person* should prepare the cost estimate and submit it with the DA, along with the methodology used to calculate the cost.
Over $3 million A detailed cost report prepared by a registered quantity surveyor verifying the cost of the development should be submitted with the DA.

A suitably qualified person is a:

Work that is to be included in calculating a cost estimate

The following is to be included when estimating the cost of a development:

For development involving construction works:

For development involving carrying out other works:, the costs of that work.

For development involving demolition: the costs of carrying out the demolition and the disposal of materials.

The cost estimate also needs to include decks, garages, driveways, retaining walls, landscaping and the like as this will provide a comprehensive estimated cost for the purpose of determining the fee.

Development related application fees

Council determines the fee with regard to the genuine estimate of the cost provided by the applicant on the application form.

The estimated cost of development is intended to reflect the ‘market cost’ of building materials and labour involved in carrying out the development.

If two or more types of development are applicable to a single application (such as an application for demolition and to erect a building), the fee payable for the development is based on the sum of those costs.

Other fixed fees are also applicable, which may include notification, external referral, state levies and Council administrative fees.

Subdivision of Land - Fees

Cost estimates do not apply to development involving subdivision of land. Please contact Council for an application fee estimate.

Reviewing the estimated cost of development

Council will accept the estimate of cost submitted with the DA unless the estimate is considered not genuine or accurate.

If the estimate provided is not considered genuine or accurate, Council will check the costs in accordance with Council’s Guide to Estimating Cost of Works and additional fees may be charged

Please note a person is guilty of an offence if the person makes any statement, knowing it to be false or misleading in an important respect, in or in connection with any document lodged with Council or another certifying authority for the purposes of the EP&A Act orRegulations.

More information

If you have any further questions, please contact our Duty Planner or Duty Building Officer on 02 4921 0333.


This provides a summary of key elements regarding estimating the cost of development. Any person using this document must do so on the basis that, not every scenario and issue can be addressed, and discussion with relevant staff at Council should take place. This information is subject to change without notice.

Page last updated: 23 March 2018