2022 0415 Beagle Dispaly Banner - Emergency Services Precinct.png

Council Development Application drawbacks delay deliberations

Eurobodalla Council is urging anyone considering lodging a development application or who is working to progress an existing one to first ensure the information they are submitting is complete and correct.

The strong housing market means Council’s development assessment team is inundated with DAs and queries on top of an increased workload due to the NSW Government’s new Planning Portal requirements.

Council’s development services manager Gary Bruce said the increased demand meant DA processing was taking longer than they’d like, which is why it was critical anyone dealing with Council spent the time reviewing documentation before lodgement.

“We are seeing a lot of plans coming into Council that are either deficient or straight out incorrect, and this adds to the delays,” Mr Bruce said.

Mr Bruce said the strong real estate market meant Council was receiving firm interest from developers – including for some larger projects in Batemans Bay and Narooma.

“We’re fielding increased phone calls and emails and holding more pre-lodgement meetings - all during a pandemic,” he said.

“We’re hoping the community can be patient with us as we work through these and many other challenges.”

Not helping the cause is the NSW Government’s ruling that all DAs must be submitted through the NSW Planning Portal from 1 July 2021 rather than directly to local councils.

“The NSW Planning Portal has meant a significant administrative burden for Council where we are currently updating our own system and the NSW Planning Portal,” Mr Bruce said.

“Prior to the portal mandate, Council had an e-planning solution where applicants could lodge applications direct with Council from their home or business. The duplication and added complexity of working from two systems has meant that accepting a DA can take much longer than we would like.”

Council’s development help desk can help ensure DAs are complete prior to lodgement and answer development queries – give them a call on 4474 1231 or email development@esc.nsw.gov.au

Comprehensive information about the DA process is also online at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/property