Development information

What is meant by a Construction Certificate?

As well as obtaining development consent, if you are undertaking any building, structural or subdivision works, you will need to obtain a Construction Certificate. A Construction Certificate essentially certifies that the detailed construction plans and specifications for the development are consistent with development consent, and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and other adopted industry standards. This Certificate is required prior to commencing work.

In order to commence your development sooner, you may apply for a combined Development Application and Construction Certificate at the same time. This is recommended for minor developments such as the erection of a shed, garage and single dwellings.

Codes and Policies you need to check

Council has a range of codes and policies that may apply to various types of development and locations within Kempsey Shire. These include:

  • Kempsey Local Environmental Plan 2013 (KLEP)  (approved by the Planning Minister and must be consistent with Regional Environmental Plans) whether or not types of development are permissible or prohibited in those zones. The Plan includes matters which must be considered when determining Development Applications.
  • The Kempsey Development Control Plan 2013 (KDCP) (approved by Council and must be consistent with KLEP) - relates to specific, more comprehensive guidelines for different types of development, or small sections of the planned area in the Shire.

A number of Codes, Policies and guidelines may also be necessary to reference such as:

  • Building Code of Australia - specifies National building construction standards.
  • Building in a bush fire area - information from the NSW Rural Fire Service covering areas such as Planning for Bush Fire Protection and the National Construction Code and AS3959
  • Guidelines for Erosion and Sediment control - specifies erosion control measures to be installed for all development.
  • Flood Risk Management Policy - specifies development controls relating to development on flood prone land.
  • Parking Code - specifies Council's parking requirements for various types of development, including residential development.
  • Building Alignment Policy - specifies council's minimum front setback requirements inn various areas, including residential development.
  • Height of Buildings Policy - details how council assesses height and the process for considering variations.
  • Tree Preservation Order - specifies Council's requirements for tree removal.
  • Local Housing Strategy - details requirements for various residential buildings from single dwellings to residential flats.

Preparing your Development Application

Firstly you should visit or contact Council's Environmental Services Department and ask our Customer Service Officer to check:

  • Whether a Development Application is required;
  • Whether the proposal is permissible;
  • How Council's codes and policies may affect the proposal. Compliance with relevant codes and policies will greatly reduce processing time.
  • Obtain copies of the information necessary to submit a Development Application. This includes the Development Application form.

Owner builder

For information regarding becoming an owner builder, please contact the Department of Fair Trading on 1300 554 668 or visit the Home Building Service website 

Assessment of Development Applications

Development Applications are assessed taking into account the provisions of Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

In determining an Application, Council takes into consideration such matters as the provisions of the relevant planning instruments and codes, the likely impacts of the development, the suitability of the site, any submissions and the public interests.

The approval of another Government authority may also be required in some cases e.g. Development within 40m of a waterway. In this regard Council must refer a copy of the proposal to the relevant authority and seek its approval. This development is called Integrated Development. Additional plans and fees will be required.

Lodging a Development application

Council's Application form contains a detailed checklist regarding information required.

The checklist is intended to ensure that Council has sufficient information to determine the likely impacts of a proposal, including compliance with relevant codes and policies. Such information may include, but is not limited to:

  1. A completed Development Application form;
  2. 4 copies of plans showing:
  3. An application fee (based on the total estimated cost of the development);
  4. Written authority of all the owners of the land to which the application relates.

With many Development Applications, reference will be made to Section 94 Contributions. These contributions may be levied for:

  • Car Parking - rates vary from area to area e.g. South West Rocks $11790 to Crescent Head $3817 per space.
  • Stormwater Contributions - applies to selected areas.
  • Rural Roads - this particular plan often creates discussion due to the rates applied on rural properties when development or subdivision takes place. The contribution rate can be substantial and in some areas up to or more than $20,000.

Other contributions under the Water Supply Authorities Act are levied for Sewerage and Water supplies.

The objective of a Section 94 Plan (payment) is to ensure that the community is not called upon to meet the additional costs and pressures that may be associated with any development. For example, if a development is unable to provide sufficient on-site parking, then a contribution is required so that Council may utilise funds for the provision of public car parks. Income raised from Section 94 contributions may only be used for the purpose for which they were raised. Funds raised for one purpose cannot be channelled to another. There must also be a link (nexus) between the development being levied and the need for the service or amenity for which the levy is required. Council has, particularly in South West Rocks and Crescent Head, provided public carparking facilities in advance of development occurring, and that expenditure can be recouped from the Section 94 plans as they are received.

When is a development application required?

Before you make any changes to a building or occupy premises, you need to check with Council whether the proposal is permissible and if it is "development", which requires approval.

Development includes the use of land or premises, the change of use of a building, advertising signage, subdivision of land, the erection of a building, the carrying out of a work and the demolition of a building.

If development consent is required under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, you need to lodge a Development Application with Kempsey Shire Council.  Contact Council's Customer First Centre on 6566 3200.

Modifying a development consent

If you have been granted a development consent and wish to modify the plans or the consent in a minor manner, you may make an application under Section 96 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

A Section 96(1) application is made to correct a minor error, misdescription or miscalculation. A Section 96(2) application is made to modify the consent in other ways, such as design changes or deletion of a condition of consent. The development as modified must be substantially the same development.

Fees are applicable and set by Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Neighbour notification

In accordance with Council's Notification Policy some Development Applications are advertised in the local Newspaper and adjoining neighbours are notified by letter of your proposed development. A period of 10 days is allowed for any submissions relating to the proposed development to be forwarded to Council for consideration.

Non-compliance with relevant codes and policies

Where a proposal complies with relevant codes and policies, and no objections are received as a result of neighbour notification, Council's officers have delegation to approve applications. Where objections are received and cannot be resolved, applications will be referred to the Council. This will also apply to non-compliance with Codes and Policies.

You will be advised if the application is to be referred to Council and you may, if you wish, make representation to Council.