Information on Making a Submission on a Proposed Development

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 The adjoining owner is entitled to ask that their 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. There must be some justification for the grounds that you nominate.

Petitions may also be used for submissions providing they meet 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.

Submissions can be made online here

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. 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. Your submission could appear in a document available to the general public.

It is important to note that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. 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

Assessment of development application can happen in four ways: 

Delegated Authority
  • DAs that comply with, or have minor variations to, Council’s Development Control Plans
  • Refusal of applications that have not been submitted with the minimum details/documentation
Development Assessment Unit (DAU)
  • DAs which seek a variation to Council’s Development Control Plans; and/or
  • have attracted submissions; and/or
  • are recommended for refusal
Local Planning Panel (LPP)

 DAs which involve:

  1. a potential conflict of interest. This includes development where the applicant or land owner is that Council, Councillor, Council planning staff member or Member of Parliament and/or
  2. contentious development that has received more than 10 unique submissions and/or
  3. variations to a development standard imposed by an environmental planning instrument by more than 10% and/or
  4. sensitive development:
  • (a) Designated development
  • (b) Development to which State Environment Planning Policy No 65—Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development applies and is 4 or more storeys in height.
  • (c) Development involving the demolition of a heritage item.
  • (d) Development for licenced premises.
  • (e) Development for the purpose of sex services premises and restricted premises.
  • (f) DA for which the developer has offered to enter into a planning agreement.
NSW Government Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP)

 A Regional Panel established by the State Government to determine regionally significant Development Applications. The panel is an independent body comprising three State appointed members and two Council appointed members.

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, 1979. Section 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 2019 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 enquire about progress of their submission by contacting either:

  • the officer who handles the carriage of that application
  • the Customer Service Centre or
  • Planning Services Group

Following receipt of submissions a decision is made on what level of decision making is required. You may be contacted for further clarification. You may be 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. If 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. It 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. The exception are "designated development" applications. 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. It should not be seen as a complete explanation of the issues addressed. More information is available from Council’s Customer Services Centre on 02 9843 0555.