Development applications

If you are building or renovating in the ACT you may need to submit a development application (DA) for approval.

You can find an industry practitioner such as an architect, draftsperson or building certifier to help you.

What developments require approval?

The type of work you’re planning, its complexity, and how your land is zoned determines whether you need to submit at DA.

Some developments are exempt from a DA if they meet certain requirements.

There are also some prohibited developments.

How do I work out what I can do on my land?

All land in the ACT is zoned for different uses.

Use ACTmapi to find:

Applications for developments on unleased land (nature strips or verges in front of property) require other approvals.

What is a DA track?

The ACT has a track-based system for assessing proposals that need approval:

Once you know your zoning you can find the applicable development code, which lists elements such as:

The development code, type of development, potential impacts of the development and any exemptions will determine the track for your DA.

Do I need to consult with my neighbours about my DA?

If your development is located in an established area you are strongly encouraged to consult with your neighbours during the design stage. This is to make sure the development proposal considers all the issues that might arise.

Even though neighbour consultation is not mandatory it is encouraged and should occur before a DA is lodged.

Developers of significant projects need to engage the community with pre-DA consultation.

When is the public notified about a DA?

After a DA has been lodged in the merit track or impact track, we must notify the public.

If your proposal requires:

Review development applications open for public comment.


A representation is a comment on or objection to a DA. A representation will only be considered if it is made during the public notification period.

Representations form part of the public register and are made available to the applicant, unless exemption has been granted.

Anyone who has made a representation during the public notification period is notified in writing of the decision as well as any rights of review of the decision.

Representations submitted for development applications marked - PUBLIC NOTIFICATION PERIOD CLOSED - Representations can no longer be submitted in relation to this DA will not be considered in the assessment of the DA.

How do I lodge a DA?

DAs are lodged online using eDevelopment.

Before you start your application you should:

Find out more about how to lodge your DA.

How are DAs assessed?

Your DA is assessed under the Planning and Development Act 2007 and against:

How long does DA assessment take?

Processing time for an application depends on:

The statutory timeframes are:

The DA is considered lodged once the relevant fees are paid.

Types of decisions

Development applications can be:

In some situations, the Minister may make a decision on a development application if:

What happens when a decision is made?

You will be notified via email with a link to download the notice of decision, together with any associated plans.

Plans that are approved are electronically stamped.

You will need to comply with the conditions of development approval in the notice of decision and will need to consider any other approvals required for construction, including building approval.

People who make a representation are also notified.

There may be an option to review a DA decision in the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

There are also judicial review options available in the Supreme Court.

Amendments of development approvals

Some development approvals can be amended if the proposal remains substantially the same.

More information

Contact us for more information.