Development Approval FAQs

What applications require Council approval?

Development Application

  • New buildings, alterations or additions to existing buildings.
  • Change of use of an existing building or premises. (Note: If you are taking over an existing business, it is recommended that you check with Council, to see if the business has a valid Development Consent).
  • Demolition of dwellings, heritage items or any building within a conservation area.
  • Earthworks, filling and clearing of land.
  • Subdivision of a parcel of land including strata title subdivision of a building, community title subdivisions and boundary adjustments.

Construction Certificate

A Construction Certificate must be obtained before commencing any building and construction work. The certificate assures that the detailed plans & specifications comply with the Building Code of Australia, and associated standards or codes and that your proposal is consistent with your Development Consent.

Advertising Signs

All new advertising structures require consent from Council before their erection. 

Process for a Development Application and or Construction Certificate?

Your application will commence processing from the day it is receipted by Council staff, it will then be registered onto Council's approval register, if required it will be advertised & adjoining neighbours notified for 14 days, assessed by Planning & Environment's Planners & Building Surveyors, report to Council if required, consent issued, plans stamped, reply sent to applicant.

Note: Should additional information be requested your application will be put on hold until such information is received.

What fees are required to be paid?


When considering the fee structure it should be noted that the fees for development (planning) approval and subdivision approval are prescribed fees set by the State Government whereas the fees for Construction Certificates (building approval) have been determined by Council. To calculate the fee for your application you should refer to Council's fee structure

  • Development fee – majority are calculated on the estimated cost of the development – refer to Council's fee structure
  • Fee for the Construction Certificate is calculated on the estimated cost of the building
  • Compliance Certificate fee is calculated on the estimated cost of the development
  • Long Service Levy fee is calculated on the estimated cost, for any development $25,000 and over.
  • Subdivision fee has a base fee depending on the type of subdivision and a fee for each individual lot created
  • Endorsement fee for linen plans depends on how many lots are created - refer to Council's fee structure
  • House numbering is required per torrens title lot - refer to Council's fee structure

What is the process for notification?

Refer to Development Control Plan 37 - Advertising/Notification of Development Applications for approvals which require notification. Council's notification period is usually for 14 days. If a development application is for integrated development then the notification period is 28 days. Applications that require notification will be advertised and published in the Maitland Mercury, either on a Monday or Thursday and any adjoining landowner or property that Council may consider to be effected by your development will be notified. Any person can submit a written submission, which must be received by Council within the notification period.

When is an owner builders permit required and the process involved?

If you are the owner of land and the person carrying out the building construction work, an owner builders permit is to be obtained from the Department of Fair Trading.

You are required to lodge your application with Council, and take a copy of your receipt and plans to the Department of Fair Trading in order to receive your permit. Once you have obtained your permit you must then forward a copy of your owner builders permit and permit number to Council.

When is the Long Service Levy required to be paid?

Long Service Levy is a charge placed on building and construction work in NSW by State Government Legislation. The rate is 0.35% of the cost of the building and construction work costing $25,000 or more.  This however, is a State Government Levy and can change without notice.  Please contact the Long Service Payments Corporation on 13 1441 for further information.

Work which is leviable includes the following classifications: residential; commercial; industrial; civil construction; but generally excludes routine maintenance and repairs to the above. It also includes work requiring approval, via either a Development Consent or a Complying Development Certificate.

The levy must be paid before a Development Consent or a Complying Development Certificate (that would enable the erection of a building), can be issued.

Do plans need to be stamped by the Hunter Water Corporation?

All plans for development, involving construction, within an area covered by Hunter Water Corporation, sewer and/or connection to Hunter Water Corporation mains are required to be stamped by the Hunter Water Corporation prior to submission to Council.

Do plans need to be stamped by the Mine Subsidence Board?

All plans for development within a mine subsidence area are required to be stamped by the Mine Subsidence Board. Your application will be referred to the Mine Subsidence Board by Council.

What is Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund and why is it needed

Your builder is required to take out insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (formerly Home Warranty Insurance) is required for residential works valued in excess of $20,000. This insurance is your safeguard against faulty & incomplete work. Council cannot issue an Occupation Certificate without a copy of this insurance policy. This should be attached to your application for Construction Certificate & Occupation Certificate. For further information on the Home Building Compensation Fund please refer to the NSW Fair Trading website

How long is a consent/approval valid for?

Development Consent & a Construction Certificate is valid for 5 years from the date on the consent.

Are plans required to be at a particular scale?

All plans are to be drawn at a standard scale such as 1:100, 1:200 or 1:500 and the scale is to be nominated on the plan.

My neighbour does not want to replace the fence. What do I do?

Replacement of fences between neighbours is a shared cost as set out in the Dividing Fences Act, 1991.  Up to date information on the Dividing Fences Act, 1991 can be obtained from the Department of Lands website.