Information on Making a Submission on an Exhibition

Who can make a submission?
Any person who feels that the enjoyment of his or her property may be affected by a proposed development may lodge a submission.

The degree to which the submission may impact on an application will depend on a range of matters including the proximity to the site of the application, the content and relevance of this submission.

In making a submission, it is suggested that you take into consideration the following:

  • Property owners are entitled to lodge applications to develop their own land to meet their reasonable requirements.
  • An adjoining owner does not have the right to prevent the approval of the application but is entitled to ask that his/her legitimate interests are considered before a determination is made.
  • The interests of the property owner will be considered in conjunction with submissions from adjoining owners.
  • The lodging of a submission or an objection does not imply that it will automatically be accepted.
  • In consideration of development applications, the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 must be taken into consideration. This Act details those matters to which Council may give consideration in assessing applications.

How do I make a submission?
All submissions must specify the writers' name, address, day and evening phone number and fax number if available. The grounds on which you wish to make a submission must be set out clearly and with some justification for the grounds that you nominate. Petitions may also be used for submissions providing they satisfy the same guidelines mentioned above.

Please note that your submission may be made public as it may form part of a public report. Personal details will not be made public.

As the application relates to a planning or building matter, any submission must relate to these broad areas. Matters associated with the design and consequences that flow from the application are also relevant considerations.

Is the number of submissions important?
Generally, the number of submissions does not have a bearing on the likely outcome of a specific application. Often, any impacts of an application are localised and greater weight is given to submissions where impacts can be clearly substantiated.

What happens after I make a submission?
Your submission will be considered in conjunction with any other submission on the application. These are then addressed collectively. The number of individual submissions are, however, shown together with a plan noting the location of these submissions.

As the reporting process is open it is important to note that your submission will be made public and could appear in a document available to the general public.

It is important to note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed as the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 provides measures for possible access to certain documents. Personal details or affairs, however, will not be made public. It is common practice for representatives of developers to ask for copies of submissions received by Council that either support or oppose the development.
The decision

The Hills Shire Council currently has three levels of decision making. These are:

  • Delegated Authority - specified staff can make decisions on behalf of Council, subject to specific requirements. One of these requirements is that there are no objections to an application.
  • Development Assessment Unit (DAU) - this is a staff committee to deal with applications which attract some concern but generally can be controlled by conditions. The meeting is held on a Tuesday and is not a public meeting. All Councillors receive a copy of the weekly DAU agenda and can have any matter referred to Council for consideration by giving notice by 5pm the following Monday, or after the DAU meeting. Any decisions of the DAU are void if this occurs.
  • Council (including Planning Services Review Committee) - The elected Council considers applications that have regional significance or are of particular interest. Applicants and people making submissions on a matter before Council are notified and may request to be heard before Council if notice is given by 3pm, on the Monday before the meeting.

A decision is reached using a range of criteria. These include:

All development applications (whether for building works, subdivision or development) are assessed in accordance with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979Section 79C contains the relevant assessment criteria. Care, however, must be used in interpretation as cases in the Land and Environment Court have established parameters and benchmarks.

The Hills Local Environmental Plan 2012 establishes what uses are permissible in all the zones of the Shire. Development Control Plans (DCPs) provide specific detail and controls on how development should occur. These controls can be varied, however, any variations must be justified. The documents are also subject to public comment prior to adoption by the Council. It is important to note that State planning legislation and controls override local planning controls through the use of State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) and Regional Environmental Plans (REPs).
Keeping up-to-date with your submission
Any person may contact either the officer who is responsible for the carriage of that application, the Customer Service Centre or Planning Services Group regarding progress of their submission.

Following receipt of submissions a decision is made on what level of decision making is required. You may be contacted for further clarification or advised that the application is being referred to Council.

In all cases the applicant and each person who makes a submission, including petitioners, will be advised of the decision.

How fast will the application be dealt with?
A report will be prepared on the application following the end of the notification period. There is a 40-day period from the date of an application being lodged to decide the application otherwise the applicant may lodge an Appeal with the Land and Environment Court.

While the application may still be determined after this time, if the matter comes before the Court, it then takes the place of the Council and may determine the application on the grounds that it (the Court) thinks appropriate.

Do I have a right of appeal?
There are no rights of appeal for objections to the decision on a building, development or subdivision application, with the exception of a "designated development" application. These forms of development include major industries, extractive industries etc.

This information on this page provides a summary of some of the issues dealing with the development, building and subdivision and it should not be seen as a complete explanation of the issues addressed.

More information is available from Council’s Customer Services Centre on 9843 0555.