Pre-application Advice

Early discussions with the Council will help you make informed decisions about your development application.

Image of a couple getting adviceIf you are planning a development, subdivision or building that may need development approval or any other consents or permits, we recommend you talk to us before you submit your application. This may help to avoid unnecessary processing delays.

Find out more:


What we can help with

The Council can:

  • help you understand the process
  • confirm what, if any, consents, permits, licenses or approvals you need
  • find out what information you need to help you prepare an application
  • identify any issues that you may need to address in your application.

We understand that where you are in the planning stage will influence when and how you choose to engage with us and what you want to discuss. This will also influence the information we may ask you to provide and what preparation and follow-up you might need to do.


What we offer

We offer the following services:


Free assistance

Face-to-face assistance is available from an urban planner at our main customer service centre.

In addition, we offer free telephone assistance if you are unable to make it to our office. To talk to us, contact the Council’s Urban Planning & Environment Department on 08 8366 4555.


Free heritage advice

The Council's heritage advisor is available for appointments one day a week and can provide advice on heritage related matters prior to lodging a development application. 

The heritage advisor can provide you with design advice regarding buildings and other structures (such as fencing) that are heritage listed or located within a historic (conservation) zone. 

Any such appointment will also be attended by an urban planner, to provide you with general planning advice in addition to heritage advice. 

if you would like to arrange a meeting with the Council’s heritage advisor, please contact the Council’s Urban Planning & Environment Department on 08 8366 4555.


Pre-application meetings

Individually tailored, pre-application meetings allow you to discuss your proposal in more detail with the relevant staff.  

Consider requesting a pre-application meeting if your project involves:

  • the construction of multiple dwellings
  • a land division creating additional allotments
  • any form of non-residential development or a change in land use
  • major alterations and additions
  • outdoor dining
  • liquor licensing.

How to prepare for your pre-application meeting

To help ensure you get the most out of your pre-application meeting and so we can prepare appropriately, it is important to:

  • let us know about the topics or issues that you would like to discuss prior to the meeting, so we can arrange for the appropriate staff to attend
  • provide us with as much detailed information and plans as possible, ideally in advance of the meeting.

If you would like to arrange a pre-application meeting, please contact the Council’s Urban Planning & Environment Department on 08 8366 4555.


On-site meetings

In some circumstances, Council officers will consider meeting on-site to discuss a proposal, prior to the lodgement of a development application. 

Circumstances when this may be appropriate include where there are site specific issues that cannot easily be explained verbally or where there are other factors that could make a meeting at the Council Offices difficult. 

If you would like to request an on-site preliminary meeting, please contact the Council’s Urban Planning & Environment Department on 08 8366 4555.


Detailed written advice

You may wish to obtain detailed written advice regarding your proposed development. 

The Council will provide written advice regarding the development process (e.g. notification, referrals, the relevant authority and timeframes, etc.) and will endeavour to provide you with a general comment regarding the merit of the proposal.

Written advice usually requires a cursory review of the development plan and, in some circumstances, an inspection of the land.  As such, whilst staff will endeavour to provide you with advice in a timely manner, the provision of written advice may take up to two (2) weeks. 

It is important to note that any written advice provided cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of the outcome of any subsequent development application. Whilst we strive to provide you with the most complete and reliable advice possible prior to lodging a formal application, ultimately any decision made on a development application can differ from the advice given prior to lodgment, from time to time.


Please note: Any views expressed by Council staff in or following a pre-application meeting, or in a written preliminary advice, are the preliminary views of those staff, made in good faith based on the information supplied.  

Only following the formal lodgement of a development application and a full assessment of a proposal by the relevant authority, can a decision be made.




Council’s Urban Planning & Environment Department

T: 08 8366 4530