Making a submission

Submissions are a great way for us to find out the community perspective of a proposed development. However, for the community, the process of writing a submission can be confusing and challenging.

Development assessment is governed by legislation, so we have tried to cut through the technical jargon to help you make your submission as effective as possible.

The page includes guidance as to how to write a good submission, what to expect in the submission process, as well as link you through to the developments that are currently open for comment.

Here are some tips to you write an effective submission

While there is no set format for the content of your submission, to ensure it is properly understood you should lay it out in a way that is ordered and easy to read.

It can help to include the following information:


  • Head your submission with the development address and the DA application number. If you don’t know the DA number, this can be found on both the have your say page and the DA tracking tool.
  • Headings within the body of your submission can help ensure you include all the necessary information and that your submission is well understood. Suggested headings are:
  • General position - providing a short summary on whether you support or oppose the development and why, helps us understand the basis for your comments.
  • Impacts - Outline the specific impacts of the proposal. These could be both positive and negative.
  • Recommendations and suggestions - Outline how the development could be changed or enhanced to address the impacts highlighted above.

Personal details

  • Submission must include your name address and preferred contact method. Email correspondence is preferred.
  • Anonymous submissions will not be considered.
  • Please be aware that these details will be publicly available
  • All submissions are publicly available under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52. Effort is made to redact submissions where personal details are included; however, this may not always be possible.

Submissions help us to understand the impact a proposal will have on the community. It also helps us understand the level of support within the community and why that is the case. By considering the following principles, this will help ensure your submission is as well understood and effective as possible:

  • Relevant - Ensure your submission is relevant to the development application. Bringing in issues outside of this dilute the impact of your submission.
  • Clear - Ensure your submission is presented in a logical order and clearly expresses the issues you are wanting to raise. Use simple language. It can be helpful to have someone else read your submission to ensure your position is clearly expressed.
  • Concise - Be direct and succinct. Only include information that is necessary.
  • Accurate - Ensure that the information included in your submission is factually accurate and from your own personal perspective.
  • Objective - By remaining unbiased and basing your comments on real impacts ensures your submission can be considered by us. While we understand proposed developments can bring up emotions, these cannot be used as a basis for the refusal of a development application.

Please be aware that questions included within a submission will not be addressed or included as feedback. Any questions on a development application can be made to the assessing officer prior to making your submission, however, please be aware of the notification timeframe, as late submissions cannot be accepted.

Complaints about a property or existing operation on that site, while relevant to us, are not relevant to the approval of a DA. If you have a complaint or would like to report illegal activity, you need to complete our online complaints form or contact Customer Service on 7955 7777.

  • Additional information necessary if you are making your submission on behalf of an organisation or community group include:

Organisation details

  • A clear statement that the submission is being made on behalf of the organisation or community group you are representing
  • Provide a brief overview of the organisations aims, membership and structure.
  • Ensure members are aware and agree with the items included in your submission.

Community consultation

  • If your organisation has conducted community consultation regarding the proposal, please outline the extent of who you have consulted, how it was conducted, and the feedback received.

Make a submission on a development application

Ready to make a submission on a development application on exhibition? Head over to our Development applications on exhibition page now.

What to expect after you have made a submission

  • An automated response will be generated from the NSW Planning Portal notifying you that it has been received.
  • Submissions are considered to be "open access information" under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 No 52. Even if you state ‘private and confidential’ on the submission, these documents are still publicly available.
  • Only include information you would be happy to be made publicly available. Please refrain from including personal and health information about yourself or other people, defamatory statements or abusive language within submissions.
  • The assessing officer will review your submission against the planning requirements, including development standards, development controls, planning legislation and any additional requirements relevant to that proposal. The issues raised will be considered and where appropriate changes may be recommended to the applicant.
  • A submission does not guarantee that changes will be made to a development. Where a development meets the planning requirements and potential changes, resulting from impacts raised in submissions, are considered unreasonable request for modifications to the development may not be made.
  • Please be aware submissions will not receive an individualised response addressing items raised in their submission.
  • Within the assessment report, the assessing officer will provide a summary of all the submissions made, against common themes, relevant to the planning requirements and how these have been considered.
  • If a development is going to a Council meeting for a decision, anyone who has made a submission will be notified prior to this taking place
  • Where a determination is made by staff, those who have made a submission will be notified of the outcome of the assessment and provided with a copy of the submission’s summary.
  • Not all proposals which receive submissions will go to the elected Council for a decision
  • Assessing officers, under delegated authority can approve or refuse a development application based on the planning requirements for that site and development type.
  • There are a number of reasons why a determination is referred to a Council meeting. Details can be found within the Determination of Applications and Approvals Policy.
  • Where submissions go to a Council meeting, a summary of the submissions, as well as a copy of the submissions will be provided as a part of the Council report