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Submitting an application

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I submit an application to any NSW council through the NSW Planning Portal, for any service?

It is mandatory to submit most planning applications (including development applications, complying development certificate and post-consent certificate applications) via the NSW Planning Portal (the Portal).

For other services submitting applications via the Portal is optional, dependent on the service the local council provides. At the bottom of each service page you can find information about which councils are using the services via the Portal, but the best advice is to contact your local council directly.

Note: When you enter the site address in the application form, you will be unable to continue if the service is unavailable for the related local government area.

Can I select multiple development types?

Yes. You can select multiple development types within the same or different categories by selecting the checkbox beside the relevant development types.

Are the development types standard across NSW or tailored to individual council areas?

The development types are standard across all NSW Local Government Areas. This reflects the requirements of the Standard Instrument Local Environmental Plan and other relevant legislation.

BASIX service 

What is the difference between a BASIX report and a BASIX certificate?

The BASIX report contains similar information to the BASIX certificate. However, the BASIX certificate is the legal document.

There is no fee payable to obtain a BASIX report, it is for information purposes only. It is a useful document to show to your builder, client, or architect to see whether intended commitments are suitable before generating a BASIX certificate.

How do I create a BASIX certificate?

To generate a BASIX certificate, you need to complete an online sustainability assessment using the BASIX assessment tool. The tool checks elements of a proposed design against sustainability targets for energy, thermal performance and water efficiency. Once the assessment is complete and you have paid the relevant fee, a BASIX certificate will be issued.

To generate a BASIX certificate:

  1. Log into the NSW Planning Portal. Note: You will require a NSW Planning Portal account. For step-by-step instructions on how to create an account, please refer to the How to register for the NSW Planning Portal quick reference guide.
  2. Select “BASIX certificate” from the new application drop-down list on your dashboard, alternatively select BASIX from the “New” menu at the top left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Input the required information and calculate your scores.
  4. Pay the required BASIX certificate fee.
  5. Generate the BASIX certificate.

For further instructions, please refer to the relevant Quick Reference Guide on how to create a BASIX certificate.

How do I generate a BASIX report?

A report, unlike a BASIX certificate, can be generated at any stage whilst answering questions within the BASIX tool. There is no certificate fee payable to generate a report.

To generate a report within the BASIX Tool:

  1. Log into the NSW Planning Portal. Note: You will require a NSW Planning Portal account. For step-by-step instructions on how to create an account, please refer to the How to register for the NSW Planning Portal quick reference guide. 
  2. Select “BASIX certificate” from the new application drop-down list on your dashboard, alternatively select BASIX from the “New” menu at the top left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Input all of the required information to complete the application and calculate your scores.
  4. Proceed through the application to the summary screen.
  5. Once in the summary screen, select the Generate BASIX Report button to obtain the report.

How do I edit an “in progress” BASIX application (project)?

To edit an ‘in progress’ BASIX application, you must be the applicant (owner of the project): 

  1. Log into the NSW Planning Portal. 
  2. Select the relevant BASIX application reference number from the Active Work tab on your dashboard.
  3. The application will open in edit mode. Navigate to the relevant section of the application and amend the information as needed.

Note: If you are not the applicant, the current owner and yourself will need to complete and submit the Authorisation to transfer BASIX project files form.

How do I enter a project address?

The BASIX service now has address verification for the project. To enter a project address:

  1. Enter the site address or the lot number/section number/plan number. As you type, the system will auto-suggest an address or lot/section/plan number based on the information entered. 
  2. Select the correct address or lot/section/plan number from the list.

Note: For unregistered addresses, there is no auto-populate feature.  Select the “address did not display?” tick-box and enter the address, the lot/section/plan number and the local government area name manually.

  1. Click the tick-boxes to indicate the primary address for this application, the lot/section/plan number, and if there is proposed work to be carried out on the land adjacent to the selected lot(s).

You can delete the address by clicking on the ‘bin’ icon.  

Note: You must select both boxes or you will be unable to calculate BASIX scores or create a BASIX certificate.

What is the difference between “Save and Continue”, “Save and Exit” and “Close and Home”?

“Save and Continue”: saves the information you have entered and progresses you to the next section (e.g. from Project details to Water details). You can select this button when you have completed a section or you can save the details regularly.

Note: If you save the item prior to completing the fields in that section, you can use the menu to navigate back to the previous section.

  • “Save and Exit’”: saves the information you have entered and returns you to the NSW Planning Portal dashboard.
  • “Close and Home”: exits the BASIX application (project) without saving the information you have entered.

Note: When you next open the BASIX application, it will ask if you want to reopen the item. Click the OK button to open the application.

What is the difference between the thermal performance method options?

You can assess the thermal performance of the development using the following methods:

  • simulation
  • passive house standard
  • Do-It-Yourself (DIY).

For further information, see https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/basix-thermal-comfort-section.

Do I need a BASIX certificate when I have access to my own water supply, electricity or gas?

The BASIX standards still apply if you have access to your own off-grid water, electricity or gas supply.

If the proposed building does not have mains water supply, it is expected to have sufficient alternative water sources (such as rainwater tanks) connected to satisfy demand. BASIX assesses if these water sources will satisfy the demand without needing excessive top-up of water from off-site. Depending on the location of the building, the BASIX score in the water section needs to achieve a required standard (e.g. 40 in coastal NSW).

If the proposed building is not connected to the electricity grid, other alternative energy sources (such as bottled gas) are required to satisfy domestic demand.

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Last updated: 31/10/2023