The easy way to your DA

With our suburbs being re-zoned at a rapid rate, it seems more and more people are turning their hand to development as a way to build their nest egg.  But why is it that some people have nightmare stories to tell, while others seem to sail right on through?

Make money on the way in

The main key to ‘development application’ or DA success will always be site selection.  The majority of development problems can be avoided by selecting a block with appropriate zoning, slope, services and orientation, and then acquiring the block for the best price.  While there’s a few exceptions, you’re on the highway to disaster if you think you can purchase a block and then have it zoned to meet your expectations.

If you already own a block you think is suitable for development, your first call should be to your local council for advice on what council expects for the site.  Contrary to popular belief, successful developers know ‘developing’ isn’t all about you – the local area and community come first, and you will avoid many problems if you think in this framework at all stages of your project.

Specific requirements

There’s plenty of information available on the Crave website about site selection, but whether you have a site or not, it pays to understand the DA process relevant to your site.  Note that each Australian State and Territory has specific rules and terminology.  Within the State / Territory planning rules, each council will have its own requirements.

High level

Having said that, at a high level the general process is relatively similar and works as follows.

  1. Survey
  2. Draftsmen / Architects – interpret local council Development Control Plans (DCP) to determine design and draw up plans.
  3. Prepare the development application. This is typically coordinated by the Draftsman or Architect who should also coordinate any specialist reports.  For example in NSW, a BASIX report (   ), Statement of Environmental Effects (SoEE), hydraulic engineering report (for stormwater requirements), and a range of other area and site specific requirement.
  4. After the DA is submitted to the council, your application will be advertisers and your neighbours will have an opportunity to comment on the application.
  5. If all goes smoothly, the DA will be reviewed the council’s planning committee and then you will be notified it has been approved.

Clear steps

For those of you who prefer a visual overview, see below for a flow chart showing Waverley Council’s planning process.



It’s not over yet

As demonstrated in the above image, there are a few more steps before you can start building.  Once again, these steps can be different in each council but usually include the following

  • Construction certificate
  • Occupation certificate
  • Registration of titles and / or strata titling

You will also need to appoint a certifier, a builder, organize your finance, and liaise with local real estate and property managers.  This stage of the development process can also be quite straightforward if managed correctly, and will be covered in a future blog.


Buy smarter = limitless ways to build lifetime income

Crave Property Advisory is a unique property strategy and buyers agent service. As the only independent and unbiased advisory that can help you use any property strategy Australia-wide, Crave’s services extend to home, investment and commercial property.  A highly client focused organization, Crave developed the Modular Investing System (MI System) to provide clients with the ability to use a tailored mix of strategies and efficiently build profitable portfolios that create lifetime income. 

Debra Beck-Mewing is the CEO of Crave Property Advisory, and has more than 20 years’ experience in property investing, Australia-wide. She has used a range of strategies to build her property portfolio including renovating, granny flats, sub-division and development. Debra is skilled in identifying development opportunities, and sourcing properties that have multiple uses and multiple exit strategies. She is a Qualified Property Investment Advisor, licensed real estate agent and also holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Master of Business.

Follow us on for regular updates, or book in for a strategy session to discuss your property questions.

Disclaimer – This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute professional advice.  We strongly recommend you seek your own professional advice in relation to your particular circumstances.


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