Plannning information and advice

The planning and development application process can be difficult and daunting to navigate, which is why we're here to help.

Talk to us

We encourage you to talk to us about your building or development options early on in your planning. Call our duty planner or building surveyor on 02 4934 9700 (available 8.30am to 12.30pm Monday to Friday at Council's administration building) who will provide advice and help you with what to do next.

Arrange a pre-lodgement meeting

We recommend applicants intending to carry out large to complex development proposals arrange a pre-lodgement meeting with Council's Development Control Unit (DCU).

The DCU meet every second Thursday and conducts advisory sessions between 9.00am and 12.00pm.

On what types of proposal should I seek advice from the Development Control Unit?
  • Any medium density housing development in excess of ten units.
  • Any subdivision involving the construction of a new road (either private or public) but not including a battle-axe handle conforming to the requirement of the Maitland Development Control Plan (DCP).
  • Any subdivision in excess of five lots.
  • Any new building within a heritage conservation area.
  • Any alterations or additions to a building listed as a heritage item or any substantial alterations or additions to a building located within a heritage conservation area.
  • Any application for demolition within a heritage conservation area or involving a listed heritage item.
  • Any new development within a commercial zone.
  • Any proposal for 'designated development'.
  • Any development proposal which may have an impact on threatened flora or fauna or which may have substantial impact on the integrity of an adjoining/nearby watercourse or water body.
  • Non-residential uses in or adjacent to a Residential Zone (excluding home activities).
  • Any industrial development which by nature of the use and/or processes and materials involved requires assessment under SEPP 33.
  • Any industrial development which proposes a building exceeding a floor space of 1,000 square metres.
  • Any proposal where the value of the development exceeds $2 million.
  • Any proposal for a motel, hotel, hostel, boarding house or the like.
  • Any proposal for a place of public assembly or public recreation facility.
  • Any development proposal involving major drainage issues/impacts such as low/flat areas, channels, gullies (major), and drainage easements.
  • Any development which is considered to be of a contentious nature and/or likely to have significant social/economic impacts on the community.
  • Any development which by virtue of its type or processes or activities carried out has the potential to have a significant impact on the environment (water quality, air quality, flora/fauna populations) or the amenity of an area (noise, dust, odour, traffic generation, visual etc)
How will I benefit from consulting with the Development Control Unit?

The DCU has experienced staff in development planning who are able to provide intended applicants with a clear direction in respect to the progression of their development proposal.

This includes providing a broad overview of legislative requirements, planning context and Council policy requirements in relation to the particular activity, development or area of land. They will identify any issues or constraints with the proposed application and provide information on the supporting documentation and plans you will need to supply with the application.

Note: Any advice provided by the DCU should not be construed as granting approval, in principle or otherwise, to any proposed activity or development. The determination of any proposal can only be made once a development application has been lodged with the Council and this application comprehensively assessed against all relevant legislation and Council policy. 

How do I book a pre-lodgement Development Control Unit meeting and what material do I need to provide?

Fill out the DCU pre-lodgement meeting application form and email to with the following accompanying documentation:

  • Floor plans (if relevant)
  • Site plan (if relevant)
  • Elevations (if relevant)
  • Subdivision layout plan (if relevant)
  • A general statement describing the proposal.

Your appointment may be re-scheduled if all the required information is not received. 

Know the planning instruments

When you lodge a development application it is important to understand that the following planning instruments play a significant part in the process.

  • Simply put the Local Environmental Plan 2011 (LEP) details what you can and can't do on your land. It is a legal instrument approved by the State Government and is council's primary land use planning tool.
  • The Development Control Plan 2011 (DCP) is a policy document that provides information and controls relating to the design and planning of developments in conjunction with the LEP. All development applications will be assessed under the DCP.

Understand the types of developments and applications

We recommend you talk to us early on in your planning to provide advice and guidance on what is involved with your type of development, however, our website provides a good explanation as to the various types of developments and types of applications.