How Does The Development Application Process Work?


When building a custom home, the development application process is an important step which must be completed before construction can begin. While it may seem like a lengthy process after reading this blog, it is a legal requirement which councils regulate to make sure new buildings are up to code. Construction impacts the community, public land and the immediate environment which are other reasons why constructing new buildings requires council consent. A development application for consent is evaluated on a case-by-case basis and takes into consideration building height, size and relationship with surrounding structures and infrastructure. A building development application also considers the safety of a new building and its environmental impact. The six stages of a development application are listed below. 


When you employ UHomes Living, we try to save time on the development application process by pre-lodging forms. We will conduct a detailed site analysis to evaluate the impact of your custom home on the surrounding environment and then compile all the necessary documentation, including: a statement of environmental effects (SEE), site survey and analysis, a BASIX certificate, landscape plans, drainage plans and specific technical reports required by state agencies. 

Application Lodgement 

Once all the documents are in order, they can be lodged at council offices by paying a small lodgement fee. 


The council will assess your development application to determine whether your home can be built. This is an impartial process that considers the following stipulations governed by the EP&A Regulation Act:  

  • all plans and policies that apply to building in your area. 
  • impacts of your proposal on the natural and built environment and the social and economic impacts in the locality . 
  • the suitability of your site for your proposal (e.g. physical characteristics, availability of access and services)  
  • any submissions (from neighbours or other groups). 
  • any comments or agreements/approvals from any NSW Government agency. 
  • the broader public interest.  


Following council assessment of your building site, there are three possible outcomes: Development consent, development application refusal, deferred commencement consent. In the first case, construction may begin after provision of a construction certificate. In the second case, construction has been denied on the site in question. In the third case, construction may commence following remediation of a few issues related to the development application. 

Construction Certificates 

If a development application is approved, a construction certificate shall be issued which permits building to commence. 

Occupation Certificate 

Following construction of the building, an occupation certificate will be issued which permits owners to live in the property or rent it out to other tennants. 

How Long Does A Development Application Take? 

The timeline for a development application is dependent on individual council or developer/estate turnaround times.

Contact UHomes Living Today 

If you are interested in building a life in Melbourne, contact U Homes today for a professional consultation. We have been submitting development applications in Melbourne for more than 10 years now. We offer a wide range of tailor-made solutions for first home buyers looking to enter the market. We are available to speak to you from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. Contact our friendly consultants on 03 9048 5737 today or reach out via our contact page to ask about how we can help you submit a development application for your custom home.