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Planning applications

 135 Byng St, Orange
 02 6393 8000
 [email protected]
Go to the Planning Portal

All planning applications are to be made online

NSW Government Planning Portal

The newest element of the application process is that from 1 July 2021, all planning applications (or associated building approvals) must be lodged online through the NSW Planning Portal.

The same portal is used for people seeking a range of approvals including:

  • Development Applications
  • Construction Certificates (CC)
  • Complying Development Certificates (CDC)
  • Utilities Approvals
  • Road Opening Permits
  • Occupation Certificates
  • Description of Works (S68 Applications)
  • Outdoor dining

While Orange City Council’s role in assessing planning proposals will not change, all applications will have to be lodged online through the  Portal, rather than handing an application over the counter. Council staff are here to help as community members adjust to this change.

This video from the NSW Department of Planning is a good introduction to the application process.

When you visit the NSW Planning Portal for the first time, you will need to log in or create a new account.

How to lodge a planning application

The process of lodging an application can be complex, and will vary depending on the size and scale of the proposal. For example, the information the Council needs to assess a proposal to build a new garage will be very different to this information needed to assess a multi-unit housing development or a whole new subdivision.

The guidelines on this page are designed to provide a simple outline of the types of information needed to lodge an application or seek associated building approvals. It is designed as an introduction for someone lodging an application for the first time.

Asking for help

People who want to lodge an application (or seek building approvals) are strongly encouraged to talk with council staff or seek professional advice. You can also arrange for a formal pre-application meeting with Council staff. These formal meetings are reserved for significant proposals, including:

  • multi-dwelling developments,
  • subdivisions of more than 2 lots,
  • commercial developments,
  • industrial developments,
  • all temporary events requiring development consent or
  • proposals with complex planning considerations.

Although pre-DA meetings are not mandatory, consultation early in the process may prevent delays in processing of your application. Meetings are held each morning at 9.15am by appointment, subject to availability. Please phone Council on 02 6393 8000 to discuss proposed development with the planning department and to book a pre-DA meeting, if required. A planner, building surveyor and development engineer will be available at this meeting.

Council planning staff and building surveyors are available at the Civic Centre in Byng St, 1pm til 4pm Monday to Friday or by appointment to answer specific questions face-to-face or by phone about proposed developments. Contact 6393 8000 to make an appointment.

Guide to lodging an application

Be aware of planning policies

Depending on the size of your proposal, the first step may be to look at other  Council and State Government planning and development policies. This research will show if the proposed development is permitted under Orange’s Local Environmental Plan and Development Control Plans. With larger developments you can also request a formal pre-application discussion meeting.

Prepare plans and drawing

A necessary step in the DA process is preparing your plans and drawings of your proposed development. If your application relates to ancillary development (sheds, swimming pools, retaining walls), see the below sample plans to help you when submitting your site plan.

Prepare all required documents

Depending on your proposal you will need a range of documents which must be included when you lodge your application. There are two checklists which list the required documents for each kind of application.

  • This checklist shows what documents are needed for applications for applications for Single residential and Rural proposals.
  • This checklist shows what documents are needed for applications for Multiple residential, Commercial or Industrial Proposals
  • Once you know what documents you’ll need, the Document Checklist explains what information is required for each document.

Payment options

Council won’t begin to process your application until all fees are paid.

When you talk with a Council staff member, you can also ask for a quote for the fees to be charged to lodge your application.

For your convenience, here is the Quote Request Form.

You can pay Council up-front and then include confirmation that you’ve paid when you lodge your application with the NSW Planning Portal.

After you lodge your application with the NSW Planning Portal, Council staff will assess if all the documents are attached and the application is ready to assess. If it’s ready to be assessed, and you haven’t paid, you will receive an email from the Planning Portal asking you to pay your lodgement fee.

How to pay

Application fees can be paid online, by phone, mail or in person.

Online: Make a direct deposit from your online bank account to the Orange City Council account. Account details are provided on your quote.

Phone: Call 6393 8000 and have your credit card handy. You will be requested to provide the information on your quote.

Mail: Mail a copy of your quote with cheque made payable to Orange City Council to:

  • Orange City Council
  • Po Box 35
  • ORANGE NSW 2800

In person: Bring your quote to the cashier’s counter at the Orange Civic Centre, 135 Byng Street, Orange. Cashier’s hours are 9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday (excluding holidays).

Lodge your application online

From 1 July 2021, all planning applications must be lodged online through the NSW Government’s Planning Portal. The Department has created a Submit a DA Online guide to walk you through registration and lodgement on the Planning Portal. If your application is incomplete, you’ll receive details on what is required via the Planning Portal.

If Council wants to make contact with you, all messages will be sent  through the portal. Your online application won’t be formally lodged until your application fees have been paid in full.

When you visit the portal for the first time, you will need to log in or create a new account on this page.


What happens after I’ve lodged my application?

Usually, Orange City Council will decide applications (be the consent authority). In certain circumstances, Council staff will complete the assessment process and a regional panel or another government agency will act as the consent authority.

  1. Once submitted, your application will be allocated to an assessment officer.
  2. Your application may be placed on public exhibition for community comment or notification to adjoining residences.
  3. If so, the assessment officer will consider all matters raised by the community during this period.

You may be requested to provide additional information during the assessment process.

Applications are assessed in accordance with Section 4.15 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 and on public exhibition in accordance with our Community Participation Plan (CPP).

Can I track the progress of my application?

You can track the status of any application we’re assessing, whether you are the applicant or not.

Applications can be tracked on the Application Tracker by entering the DA number, address, lot number or date lodged.

Applications can also be tracked via the NSW Government Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s Application Tracking Service. Simply browse the map or selecting ‘Orange City Council’ from the drop-down filter menu on the right.

What happens when my application is decided?

Once your application is considered, a decision (determination) will be made.

If permission is granted for your project, you’ll be given a development consent. Your development consent will outline any conditions that must be addressed before, during and after completion of construction or before you begin to use it. Before you start work, you may also have to obtain other certificates (Construction Certificate) or approvals (s68, Road Opening Permits).

If the Council is not in a position to support your proposal, development consent will not be granted. If this occurs, the assessment officer will then contact or meet with you to discuss and explain Council’s position.

Can I ask for my Development Consent to be modified? (Section 4.55 Applications)

After your application has been approved, you may apply to modify your development consent (known as a Section 4.55 Application), provided that the modified development remains substantially the same as the one that was initially approved.  There are three types of modifications:

  • 55(1) Minor Modifications – to correct a minor error, misdescription or miscalculation
    Example: incorrect plan numbers were referenced on the development consent.
  • 55(1a) Minor Modifications – involving minimal environmental impact
    Example:  Changes to an approved landscape plan, or minor changes to the internal configuration of a building.
  • 55(2) Other Modifications – where environmental impact is possible
    Example: Changes to approved hours of operation, changes to the external configuration of a building such as window placement or height.

If you’re not able to satisfy Council that the modified proposal is substantially the same as the one that was initially approved, you will need to lodge a new development application.

Does my project need an application?

You can construct some structures without gaining an approval. Some development and construction work may be classed as exempt development.

Development that:

  • has minimal environmental impacts and
  • fills a specific criteria

is exempt from requiring approval.

Development that has predictable and manageable impacts, and complies with specific criteria may be complying development. If the development is able to be approved with a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) you can apply to either Council or a Private Certifier for approval.

You can check the State Environmental Planning Policy (exempt and complying) to find out if your proposed development requires a consent.

Further information about exempt and complying development can be found here.  If you have any questions regarding the SEPP Exempt provisions please contact Councils Building Surveyors who are available 1pm – 4pm Monday to Friday.

Council strongly suggests that you print the relevant page of the legislation and keep it with any other approvals that you have for your property. All other development requires development consent and if construction or subdivision are involved, it may also require a construction certificate.

What other work might need Council approval?

As the water and sewer authority, Orange City Council must approve any alterations or new connections to water and sewer and stormwater, before work begins (Section 68 of the Local Government Act).

The Checklist lists the documents that are to be provided with your application.

This Document List explains what information is required to compile these documents.

You must prepare and submit your application on the NSW Planning Portal. If Council wants to contact you, all messages will be sent through the portal.

Do I need approval to work in a council-owned road or footpath reserve?

Orange City Council has introduced a new permit system designed to manage any construction work in council-owned road reserves.

The system covers situations where there’s potential damage to a road or footpath, such as where a builder is replacing a driveway at an existing house, or underground communications cables are being installed to a new block of units.

The system, called a Road Opening Permit (ROP), takes its name from the state legislation (Section 138 of the Roads Act 1993) which covers any construction work which disturbs or ‘opens’ the surface of a road.

This online news article includes a simple summary of the new system. This Road Opening Permit Guide contains more information. The Road opening permit form can be downloaded here.

This Checklist indicates the documents that are to be provided with your application.

This Document List explains what information is required to compile these documents.

Do I have to disclose political donations when making a planning application?

Some categories of development applications require the applicant to disclose any political donations made to elected councillors or gifts given to council staff.

More information about these categories can be found here.

More information and resources

Good ideas for residents and developers

With funding support from the NSW Government through Local Government NSW’s ‘Increasing Resilience to Climate Change’ program, Orange City Council has developed easy-to-read resources for residents thinking about building their own home and for developers who work in the property market.

If you’re a resident who’s thinking about building a home in Orange, this Climate Resilient Building- Info for Residents  resource will provide many ideas to talk about with your builder or home designer.

If you’re a property developer, this Climate Resilient Building – Ideas for Developers resource is designed to provide you with idea to think about as you assemble designs for a sustainable new neighbourhood in Orange.