DA (Development Application) –  refers to the development of an existing property or land that needs to be declared to the local council and approved by the local authority to ensure that the development and changes are within the local plan. It is important that planning permission is granted by the local council, such as house plans, elevations etc., to ensure that the development and changes you want to make are within the local zoning. Generally speaking for residential properties, if your property is in Acid Sulfate Soils (class 1 or 2), Bush Fire Zone, Heritage Conservation Area, Waterfront Housing ( Foreshore Area or Foreshore Building Line), or if your home is two stories or more, you need to apply for a DA when you want to build an addition or development to your existing land or home. The outcome of a DA submitted to the council will depend largely on the quality of the plans and applications submitted. It is vital that planning controls and building controls are taken into account when preparing documents and that any supporting reports are provided by suitably qualified consultants. Once planning permission has been applied for that means you have to notify all your neighbours for at least 14 days and if you receive any objections from your neighbours within 14 days you need to enter into mediation, for example by changing your plans. Certainly the council will first review the reasonableness of these objections and on the other hand it is important to maintain neighbourly relations, which greatly affects the speed of approval. It is a delicate balance between controlling costs for the client and ensuring that the Council has sufficient information to approve the application. With our vast knowledge base in planning and building control, we will be able to advise you on what is allowable, but importantly, we ensure that you do not spend money on unnecessary reports and that a carefully worded Environmental Impact Statement from one of our qualified planners is usually sufficient.