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Frequently Asked Questions

I have received a letter from Council about a development, but there are no plans attached to the letter? Application plans and associated documentation is now available to view online via Council's DA Tracker. Please note you will be asked to agree to Council's terms and conditions before you can access the information contained on the DA tracker. Type in the DA number or search by property address to view the plans and documents.

I don't have a computer at home, how can I view plans for a proposed development? Council has a computer available during office hours for viewing application plans and associated documentation online. This computer is located in the foyer of Council's Customer Service Centre at 444-446 Princes Highway, Rockdale. Council officers will monitor usage and if required, you may be asked to move on to enable the shared use of this computer by others interested in the DA process. Please note that Council does provide computers for use by members of the public to browse the Internet. These computers are readily available in our libraries.

Can I get a printout of the plans and documents to do with the development? You may request and pay for an A4 copy of the plans for an application currently on public exhibition by contacting Council's Development Advisory Service. Payment is required to cover printing costs and must be paid for in person at Council's Customer Service Centre at 444-446 Princes Highway, Rockdale. Copies of plans not currently available online may require completion of an Access to Information Request and payment of the associated fees. For further information, please contact Council's Development Advisory Service.

Will my submission to the development application be available to view online? What about my privacy? Council must consider all matters which have been raised within any submission before making a decision regarding development applications. As the reporting process is "open" it is important to note that your submission will be made public. The requirements placed upon Council to publish information are available at the website of the Office of the Information Commissioner.

The supply of personal information is voluntary. If personal information is not provided, Council may be limited in dealing with a submission. Submissions, summaries of submissions, and/or names and addresses of people making submissions may be included in publicly available reports to Council.

Please note that, in accordance with section 18(1)(b) of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW), you are advised that all submissions received by Council in relation to any matter will be placed on the appropriate Council file and may be disclosed to Councillors, Council Officers, consultants to Council or members of the public. Pursuant to section 12 of the Local Government Act 1993 Council is obliged to disclose inspection of its documents, including any submission you may make. This includes the publication of submissions. Any submission received relating to an application lodged will be publicly available on this website.

Why did Council decide to make everything electronically available? From 1 July 2012, Council will require electronic lodgement of plans and supporting documentation from our applicants. This is in line with increasing trends in the development community towards a fully electronic application process, known as eDA. Council is also encouraged in this regard by the identified efficiencies to be gained for Council and Applicants in terms of savings in upfront costs and time taken to process applications. We are taking a staged approach to the introduction of eDA by reviewing all the steps in our current manual assessment process. These steps are based upon meeting legislative obligations and include:

  • Lodgement and Administration (neighbour notification/advertising)
  • Assessment and Inspections (referrals/submissions)
  • Determination and Finalisation

Through our proactive approach to reviewing the assessment process life cycle, we have identified systems and tools to assist us in implementing a complete electronic application assessment process by December 2013.

Can I lodge my development application over the Internet?
No - Council currently does not provide an online lodgement service for development related applications. We will inform our community when Council is ready to move to the next stage of accepting payment as well as lodgement in a fully online environment.

Can I email electronic files of my application to Council?
We undertake a check for completeness of documentation prior to lodgement as it is our experience that issues identified and rectified before lodgement can assist with faster processing times in the assessment stage. After lodgement, Council may require/accept electronic documents via email in relation to an existing development application, in these cases please make reference to the application number to enable Council's electronic document management system to appropriately manage the information.

Can I lodge an application without a USB/CD-ROM containing electronic files of my hard copy application?
No - information identified in the DA Form Application Checklist is required in electronic format for every development related application lodged after 1 July 2012. It is essential that electronic files of all documents and plans accompanying the application at time of lodgement are provided to minimise delays in the assessment process. Council can assist with scanning documentation, however you will be charged as per our Schedule of Fees and Charges. This can be expensive as the charge is related to the cost of the development.

Can I post my development application to Council?
Yes - as long as all the lodgement requirements including fee payment are met and a USB/CD-ROM containing electronic files of the relevant documents, including a paper signed Development Application Form (with owner's consent) are lodged with an application. Please contact Council's Customer Service on 1300 581 299 to obtain a fee quote prior to lodgement.

Can Council scan my application, plans and accompanying documents?
Council can assist with scanning documentation, however you will be charged as per our Schedule of Fees and Charges. This can be expensive as the charge is related to the cost of the development.

If amendments are required after an application is lodged, do I need to lodge electronic files as well?
Yes – all supporting documentation for your application must be lodged with Council on a USB/CD-ROM as per the requirements outlined in Council's electronic documentation guidelines.

What file format should electronic files be?
Council will only accept files in PDF format for development related applications. A PDF file preserves the integrity of documentation across multiple systems. Please observe the following PDF format settings and properties:

  • No security settings are to be applied to the electronic files, this includes passwords
  • PDF documents should also be optimised for 'publishing online and printing'

For further information, please refer to Council's electronic documentation guidelines.

If you have a question or would like further information, please email rcc@rockdale.nsw.gov.au

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