Customers seeking advice in relation to planning and development matters can utilise the following pathways.
Level one – NSW Planning Portal
The NSW Planning Portal is an initiative of the New South Wales Government which has been designed to provide public access to a range of planning services and associated information contained within the NSW planning database established under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the EP&A Act).
The NSW planning database is an electronic repository of spatial datasets, maps and information that is adopted or incorporated by way of reference to environmental planning instruments, plans or other documents or information relating to the administration of the EP&A Act that are required to be published on the NSW Planning Portal by the regulations or by the Secretary of the Department of Planning and Environment (the Secretary).
The NSW planning database is to be compiled and maintained as determined by the Secretary.
Level two - Development Support Service
The second level of assistance is with Council’s Development Liaison Team, where general enquiries can be answered about your property, such as possible constraints, permissible uses and suitable development types.
This service via phone or face-to-face is available from 8:30am to 5:00pm Monday to Friday, in the Goulburn Civic Centre offices on Bourke Street and is free of charge with no appointment necessary.
Additionally, general enquiries can be emailed to email@example.com where your enquiry will be acknowledged within two working days.
Level three – Property & Development Advice
Should more detailed or technical advice be required, the next level of assistance allows for formal written advice. This is referred to as written planning advice, there is a fee involved in providing this service.
If you require more detailed planning advice in relation to a property or specific development proposal you can request a written response from a Development Assessment Officer, it is recommended that you use this service rather than the Development Liaison Team for complex planning matters. Additionally, this service should be utilised if you require written planning advice before you lodge a development application or purchase a property.
Council will provide you with a detailed written response in respect of the question/s you have asked or advice you are seeking via a letter mailed or emailed to your address. The written planning advice will generally be provided within twenty-one days of receiving your application.
A written Property & Development Advice has an associated minimum fee of $150 per hour with a minimum of one (1) hour charge.
Level four – Formal Pre-lodgement
Technical advice across all Council departments is available in the form of formal pre-lodgement meeting, there is a fee involved in providing this service. If you would like to have a formal pre-lodgement meeting, an email request to firstname.lastname@example.org should be made at least two weeks before the intended meeting date. The pre-lodgement meeting fee is required to be paid at the time of making the request.
Senior Council Officers will attend to discuss your proposal and provide verbal advice. A written response summarising issues identified with the proposal will be provided to you generally within fourteen (14) working days.
Where possible, Council will seek to provide some certainty about the potential of your proposal, however, Council approval cannot be assumed purely based on pre-lodgement advice, as a full assessment and determination of an application can only occur after actual lodgement of the development application.
Level five – Planning Consultant
Preparing a successful design is not a simple process, there are many factors to consider, and coming up with a desirable and complying design solution is not always easy.
Council’s experience in dealing with applications shows that the cost incurred in producing a completed application greatly assists Council in assessing applications and ultimately reduces the overall approval times.
There are professional groups and organisations who you can seek technical advice from in the preparation of your plans and supporting documentation. Depending on the type of development being proposed, this could include:
- an architect;
- a town planning consultant;
- an engineer;
- a heritage consultant.
What are Planning Zones?
The Goulburn Mulwaree Local Environmental Plan 2009 divides the local government area into smaller areas known as land use zones. Each land use zone will have its own particular planning controls and often reflect either the main existing character of the land or its desired future use.
The objectives, uses permitted with and without consent, and prohibited development in each land use zone are detailed within the land use table section of the Goulburn Mulwaree Local Environmental Plan 2009.
How do I find out what Zone my property is located in?
Council staff are unable to provide direct verbal land use zoning advice, however, there are a number of ways you can find out the land use zoning information of a property (Note: zones for rating purposes may be different)
- Go to the NSW Department of Planning & Environment's Planning Portal and search for a property. The NSW Planning Portal also provides details of land constraints that can potentially affect your property, for instance is the land classified as bushfire prone land, potential aboriginal artefacts, biodiversity, flood prone land, crown land, etc.
- If you have recently purchased the property, the current land use zoning information will be detailed on your Section 10.7 Certificate as part of your settlement papers (see Planning Certificates below)
10.7 Planning Certificates
Planning certificates are issued under Section 10.7 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The Certificate provides information in accordance with Schedule 4 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.
When selling land in NSW a 10.7(2) Certificate must be obtained as it forms part of a contract for sale. The 10.7(2) Certificate identifies the land use zoning of a parcel of land, and what development may be carried out, with or without Council consent in that zoning.
A 10.7(5) Certificate contains the 10.7(2) Certificate, and may include the additional information of any Council Consents attached to the land.
A person may, on payment of the prescribed fee, apply to Council for a planning certificate with respect to any land within the area of the Council. Council will, as soon as practicable, issue a planning certificate specifying such matters relating to the land to which the certificate relates as may be prescribed.
It is important for the community, and land-owners to understand that under the current Local Environmental Plan, rural zones are primarily used for rural production and not for the construction of dwellings, unless a dwelling entitlement exists. A dwelling entitlement refers to the potential for Council to approve a dwelling on a certain property.
Not all rural lots attract an entitlement to erect a dwelling house. Dwelling entitlements are dependent upon the land use zoning, the area of the lot or date of subdivision approval. Council cannot provide dwelling entitlement advice verbally, dwelling entitlement advice will be provided in writing following receipt of a completed request and accompanied by the prescribed fee.
Applicable rural zonings that require a dwelling entitlement search, include:
- RU1 - Primary Production
- RU2 - Rural Landscape
- RU3 - Forestry
- RU6 - Transition
- E2 - Environmental Conservation
- E3 - Environmental Management
Please note that dwelling entitlement advice does not constitute development approval. Development consent must still be obtained for the erection of a dwelling house in accordance with the applicable legislation.
Unauthorised development (structures, works or use of land) may cost you in relation to:
- health and safety, especially if there is a fire,
- neighbourhood disputes,
- delays in the provision of services,
- invalidating insurance policies meaning you are potentially uninsured,
- fines and/or legal costs,
- complications with property conveyancing
You may also be penalising the community if the unauthorised development means you should pay additional rates or developer contributions for public infrastructure etc.
It may be possible to resolve unauthorised development by utilising the following options.
Unless the development meets the definition of exempt development under s.4.1 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 then a form of approval is required.
Development standards for various categories of exempt development can be found in:
If your development does not meet the exempt criteria and does not have another form of approval then your development is an illegal development. Depending on the type of unauthorised development it may be possible to obtain retrospective approval by utilising the following legislative mechanisms.
- For development that include building works
Examples include: sheds, carports, building alterations, extensions, new dwellings etc.
Option 1 - Building Certificate and Development Approval
A Building Certificate may be issued by Council under s.6.25 of the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979. A Building Certificate prevents Council from making an Order, under this Act or the Local Government Act 1993, to repair, demolish, alter, add to or rebuild a structure that was erected prior to the issuing of the Certificate within a prescribed time frame.
A Building Certificate application must include a site survey plan prepared by a registered surveyor, plans of the development, structural certification and possibly verification in relation to water supplies and effluent disposal systems.
In addition a development application (see below) will need to be lodged to approve the use of the structure.
The Building Certificate fee is based on the costs of works (development application fee, plus construction certificate fees, plus inspections). The minimum fee for a Building Certificate can therefore, be quite high.
In addition, certain types of development are likely to require payment of Developer Contributions if they receive development consent. This money goes directly towards the provision of public infrastructure in the local government area. Please see Council's Fees and Contributions Plans for details or contact Council to discuss your application
Option 2 - Demolish the structure
You may choose to demolish the unauthorised structure, however, please note that demolition may require lodgement of a development application. You should speak to Council regarding demolition requirements.
Fees for the development application are based on the cost of demolition, plus any inspections that may be required.
- For development involving the use of the land
This typically includes the use of a legal building or land for an unauthorised use for example residential occupation of a garage or shed, use of a shed or garage for residential or business purposes, where no works have occurred.
Option 1 – Apply for development approval
The development application would seek approval to use the land or building for the required purpose. Council may require additional works or information to be provided or completed in order for the use to proceed.
Council’s development application form and development application checklists are available here
Option 2 - Cease use of the structure or land
you may choose to cease use of the structure and or land for the unauthroised use. This may require you to provide Council with satisfactory evidence as necessary demonstrating how the structure or land is being used lawfully.
if you choose this option it would be prudent to write to Council to advise of your intentions to rectify the unauthorised use.
What could happen if I do nothing?
Under the provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 Council can issues fines and/or Orders in relation to the unauthorised use of structures or for unauthorised construction. Council may also take enforcement action through the Court.
- Council can issue Orders under s.9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 for items such as:
- Cease using the structure for a specific purpose,
- Demolish the structure,
- Repair or make structural alterations, or
- To do such things that are necessary to bring into compliance with relevant development standards.
- Council can issue significant monetary fines under s.9.37(1) and s.9.37(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 to individuals or corporations that:
- Erect or use structures without approval,
- Fail to comply with conditions of consent,
- Fail to have the structure appropriately certified,
- Fail to comply with Orders issued under Section 9.34 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, or
- Fail to comply with various other requirements of legislation
- Council may also bring about proceedings in Court against an individual or corporation for a breach of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, including seeking damages and full cost recovery.
Even if Council takes no action against you, you still bear the responsibility and risk from having an unapproved development on your land. This means you are personally responsible in the eyes of the law for any and all consequences that may occur as a result of the unauthorised development.
Major complications can arise during the conveyancing processes where unauthorised development is discovered. The sale of the property can fall through unless a form of ‘legalisation’ of the unauthorised development is put in place, furthermore, the value of the property may also be significantly affected.
Bushfire Prone Area
Development applications on bush fire prone land must include a Bush Fire Assessment Report.
The report must comply with:
- Planning for Bushfire Protection 2006 published by the Rural Fire Service (RFS), and
- The specific objectives and performance criteria for the proposed land use.
For most single dwellings, you can complete the report using the Single Dwelling Application Kit. This along with other important documentation are available from the NSW Rural Fire Service.
Bushfire Attack Level (BAL)
The Bushfire Attack Level, or BAL rating, is a measure of the different levels of bushfire intensity that a home may experience in a bushfire. The BAL rating is determined by applying the method outlined in Addendum Appendix 3 to the RFS publication Planning for Bushfire Protection.
Calculating BAL ratings
The BAL rating is not pre-determined for your property. It is based on a combination of:
- The region where you live,
- The vegetation type around your property,
- The distance from your home to individual vegetation types,
- Slope of the ground under the vegetation,
BAL ratings are different for each property and do not apply to towns or streets
You can obtain an idea about what BAL might apply to your development from the RFS Single Dwelling Application Kit. Alternatively, and on higher bushfire risk levels you may engage an accredited bushfire consultant to issue a BAL Certificate for your development.
Potential Aboriginal Artefacts
The Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area (LGA) is rich in indigenous heritage and archaeology. It is recognised as an important meeting place that was inhabited by numerous language groups.
- BURRA BURRA
It is recognised that these peoples are the traditional owners of Goulburn Mulwaree area, they play a significant and ongoing role in the history of the region. The earliest occupation site near Goulburn Mulwaree Local Government Area (LGA) in the Australian Alps has deposits that have been radiocarbon dated to 21,000 years ago. Most sites in the region date to 3-5,000 years ago.
The Goulburn Mulwaree Development Control Plan (DCP) include details and controls for the protection and management of the Indigenous heritage and archaeology of the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA
A Development or project has the potential to impact upon Aboriginal cultural heritage values if it involves one or more of the following:
- Disturbance to the ground surface or to sediments below the ground surface, except where disturbance will be strictly limited to:
- Existing man-made manufactured surfaces (such as bitumen and concrete).
- Existing deposits of imported land-fill or waste material.
- Extremely disturbed contexts such as quarries or quarried areas (where there is no trace of the original soil and subsoil deposits or of buried former soils and subsoil deposits).
- Disturbance to the roots, trunk or branches of old growth trees up to and more than 130 years old, which are native to the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA;
- Impact or disturbance to the content, or immediate surrounds (up to 100 meters away) of a known or previously recorded Aboriginal site; and
- Occurs within, or in close proximity to, a place of special or high Aboriginal cultural significance (such as an identified cultural landscape, an existing or former ceremonial ground, a burial ground or cemetery, a story place or mythological site, a former Aboriginal reserve or historic encampment, or an archaeological site of high significance).
If one or more of these factors apply, or are likely to apply, to a proposed development or project, then the next step is to determine if an Aboriginal due diligence and/or heritage impact assessment is required.
Note: Where reports include sensitive cultural information, they will be withheld from public exhibition.
Minimum fill and floor heights to Australian Height Datum (AHD) apply to certain parts of the Goulburn Mulwaree Council LGA.
These minimum levels can be obtained from the Council. However, Council will not give existing benchmark or property heights for your particular property. To obtain these you must engage a land surveyor.
All proposed on-site wastewater irrigation fields in non-sewered areas associated with a particular development are to be located within the required filled area.
The Goulburn Mulwaree LGA has many different uses including residential, commercial and industrial land uses.
Although contaminated sites can occur anywhere, they are typically clustered in areas which have been used for heavy industry. Some of these industrial uses can cause land to become contaminated due to generation of waste products and through the use and/or storage of chemicals.
Contaminated land can have major economic, legal and planning implications for the community. Contamination may limit land use potential or increase costs for developers.
The investigation and clean-up of contaminated land is important to protect both human health and the environment.
Section 10.7 planning certificates and Contaminated Land
Section 5 of the land contamination planning guidelines contains information on the use of s.10.7 planning certificates under the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). In summary, s.10.7 (2) planning certificates must record that:
- The land is declared significantly contaminated by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act);
- The land is subject to management order issued by the EPA under the CLM Act;
- A voluntary management proposal for a site has been approved;
- The land is subject to an ongoing maintenance order; and
- The land is the subject of a site audit statement if a copy of such a statement has been provided.
The Environment Protection Authority uses its powers under the Contaminated Land Management Act 1997 (CLM Act) to deal with site contamination that is significant enough to warrant regulation under the CLM Act given the site's current or approved use.
The planning and development control process under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 is important in the management of land contamination. It aims to ensure that land is not allowed to be put to a use that is inappropriate because of the presence of contamination and incorporates mechanisms to ensure that:
- Land remediation is facilitated and controlled through State Environmental Planning Policy 55 - Remediation of Land (SEPP 55);
- Managing Land Contamination: Planning Guidelines: SEPP 55 - Remediation of Land ; and
- NSW EPA website.
Site Auditors are experts who can provide an independent review of the work of a primary consultant conducted for all types of contaminated sites.
If you are not connected to the Goulburn or Marulan sewer network you will need to install an on-site wastewater treatment system on your property.
Wastewater disposal systems are installed in the ground and use bacteria to treat solids, grease and fats that come from the toilet, bathroom, kitchen and laundry. On-site Wastewater Management Systems reduce the volume of solids and prepare sewerage for disposal: they do not purify sewage.
"On-site wastewater management system" is a collective term referring to septic tanks, pump-outs, composting toilets, aerated septic systems and grey water diversion systems.
More information, including applying for approval to install a wastewater treatment system, is available here.
Crown land is land that is owned and managed by State Government. It accounts for over half of all land in New South Wales and includes:
- Crown lands held under lease, licence or permit,
- community managed reserves,
- lands retained in public ownership for environmental purposes,
- lands within the Crown public roads network, and
- other unallocated lands.
Crown lands managed by the NSW Department of Industries should not be confused with other forms of Crown or State owned lands such as National Parks, State Forests, Railcorp property etc.
There are a number of Crown Lands within the Goulburn Mulwaree LGA, some of which includes access points to a small number of rural properties within the LGA.
Any development or road access that is over Crown Land may need permission and/or permits from NSW Department of Industry before any application to Council. More Information can be found on their website https://www.industry.nsw.gov.au/lands.
Goulburn Mulwaree have a number of gas pipelines within its boundaries which include high capacity pipelines. These high-pressure transmission gas pipelines transport gas over long distances at very high pressure, linking sources of gas supply with local gas distribution networks in the Southern Highland and Sydney.
Council does not own or operate the gas pipeline. APA Group manage and operate the gas pipeline.
Because the pipelines are buried, it’s important that you find out what’s below before you dig – both to protect yourself and the essential services below.
The gas pipelines are identifiable by the warning signs located at regular intervals. These markers identify the gas pipeline route but do not indicate the exact location of the buried pipeline.
If a gas pipeline easement is registered on your property title there are conditions associated with the easement including what you can and cannot do in the pipeline corridor area. This will include the requirement to seek prior written approval from APA for activities within the corridor such as:
- Replacing or installing fencing;
- Any earthworks;
- Land levelling or contouring;
- Landscaping and planting trees;
- Storing material or erecting structures;
- Use of explosives;
- Use of vibrating machinery;
- Transporting heavy machinery or loads.
It is important before any development starts within the vicinity of the gas pipeline that APA be contacted before lodgment of a development application with Council.
More information can be found on https://www.apa.com.au/pipeline-corridors/.
Biodiversity is the variety of all life forms on earth and includes plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems of which they are a part of. All of these interact and support each other. Protecting biodiversity is therefore, not simply the protection of individual threatened plant or animal species, but requires the protection of whole ecosystems.
When an application for development is submitted to Council, Council must assess any impacts of your proposed development in accordance with the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 requirements. Development that requires clearing of native vegetation may trigger the NSW Biodiversity Offset Scheme. To see if you development triggers the Biodiversity Offset Scheme under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 or any other pathways, please check the NSW Office of Local Government approvals navigator.
If your development triggers the offsets scheme you will require the preparation of a Biodiversity Development Assessment Report. This must prepared by an accredited person that is trained to the requirements of Office of Environment and Heritage. A list of Accredited Persons can be found here.
More information about Biodiversity Offsetting Scheme, how it works and the requirements for your development can be found on the Office of Environment and Heritage website
If your development does not trigger entry into the Offset scheme but will remove or disturb native habitat (e.g. native grasses, shrubs or trees) then you may still need a Flora and Fauna assessment and Test of Significance to accompany your application.
Approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EP&BC Act) may be required if clearing will impact on matters of national environmental significance such as threatened species listed under the EP&BC Act. The EP&BC Act is Commonwealth Act and operates alongside the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (a NSW Act). Information on species and ecological communities listed under the Australian Government’s EP&BC Act can be found at Australian Government Department of the Environment and Energy.
For further information on clearing for development, please call the Development Liaison Team at Council on (02) 4823 4444.
Development Application Form(PDF, 4MB)
Building Information Certificate Application Form(PDF, 174KB)
Construction Certificate Application Form(PDF, 403KB)
Complying Development Application Form(PDF, 403KB)
Development Application Supplement(PDF, 76KB)
Notice of Commencement of Works(PDF, 30KB)
Damage Bond Application Form(PDF, 121KB)
Dwelling Entitlement Report Application(PDF, 141KB)
Heritage Work Request Minor Work and Maintenance(PDF, 117KB)
Application to Operate an On-Site Sewerage Management Facility(PDF, 90KB)
Install or Alter an On-Site Sewerage Management Facility(PDF, 110KB)
Prelodgement Meeting Request Form 2019-2021(PDF, 146KB)
Political Donations Disclosure Forms(DOCX, 76KB)
Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)(PDF, 403KB)
Property Information Enquiry Form(PDF, 113KB)
S7.12 Contributions Cost Summary Report Template(PDF, 83KB)
S7.12 Contributions Registered Quantity Surveyor’s Detailed Cost Report Template(PDF, 85KB)
Section 68 Approval under the Local Government Act for Water, Sewer, Stormwater, Trade Waste, Effluent Disposal(PDF, 344KB)
Section 138 Approval under the Roads Act(PDF, 410KB)
Statement of Environmental Effects - Guiding Document - Small Scale(DOCX, 110KB)
Statement of Environmental Effects - Guiding Document - Large Scale(DOCX, 84KB)
Statement of Heritage Impact(PDF, 519KB)
Subdivision Certificate Application(PDF, 335KB)
Submission to Development Application Form and Addendum(PDF, 665KB)
Swimming Pool Compliance Check Request(PDF, 272KB)
Waste Management Plan Template(PDF, 151KB)