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Development applications are required if a development is considered an assessable development under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (PDF icon 2.6 MB).

To determine if your proposed development is an assessable development, you will need to look at the following planning instruments:

  • the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009, schedule 3
  • your local government's planning scheme.

The types of developments which are assessable development and therefore require a permit vary for each local government area. As a general rule, a development application must be lodged if you are:

  • building any free-standing permanent structure
  • extending or raising an existing structure
  • building a retaining wall over one metre high or a fence over two metres high
  • erecting signs.

You may also be required to lodge a development application if you are:

  • clearing native vegetation
  • demolishing an existing building or structure (in part or in full)
  • changing the use of the land (e.g. a house to a block of units; an office to a retail shop; a wheat farm to a piggery)
  • altering the exterior of a heritage place
  • carrying out significant structural changes to an existing building.

Unless the property is heritage listed, you do not need a development application if you are, for example:

  • painting or redecorating the interior or exterior of a structure
  • remodelling a kitchen or bathroom
  • performing minor internal structural changes to an existing structure.

View more information on New approval processes for houses and duplexes.