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Developer and Practitioner Resources

How-to or quick reference guides and other resources designed to assist developers and practitioners using the NSW Planning Portal.

To help developers, building practitioners and appropriate practitioners to use the NSW Planning Portal we have compiled a comprehensive collection of resources. 

From 1 July 2021, it is a requirement under the Design and Building Practitioner Act 2020 for developments that have not started building work to complete an Intention to commence building work.

If you have any queries about the broader building industry reforms in NSW, please visit NSW Fair Trading.

Before you begin

We have prepared a series of quick reference guides to help first-time users and those wishing to gain access to the NSW Planning Portal.

If you do not have a NSW Planning Portal account, or are having problems registering, then this quick reference guide will help you through the process.

QRG: Registering for the NSW Planning Portal

If you already have a NSW Planning Portal account but need help to navigate the Portal’s dashboard, then this guide will provide the guidance you need.

QRG: Navigating the NSW Planning Portal Dashboard

Additional information may be requested by council prior to your application being lodged or at any time during the assessment process. This guide will show you how to provide additional information.

QRG: Providing Additional Information


Class 2 Residential developments

Important changes

From 1 July 2021, there are new obligations for Design and Building Practitioners undertaking design and building work on class 2 buildings in NSW. The details of these changes can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.

For developers preparing applications for Class 2 residential developments, or developments where part of the building is Class 2, there are a few specific requirements that you need to be aware of.

We have prepared some resources to help you through these processes.

Construction certificates

You can apply online for a Construction Certificate via the NSW Planning Portal when lodging a development application. Here are some useful resources to help you through the process when your application is a Class 2 residential development, or part of the development is Class 2.

QRG: Nominating Practitioners for Class 2 Developments

QRG: Submitting an Application for a Construction Certificate (Not specific to Class 2)

Complying Development Certificates (CDC)

It’s always best to check with your individual council before you begin a Complying Development certificate application for its requirements, but here are some resources to help you navigate the NSW Planning Portal for this application type.

QRG: Nominating Practitioners for Class 2 Developments

QRG: Submitting a Complying Development Certificate Application (Not specific to Class 2)

FAQs: Complying Development Certificates

Intention to commence building work

Developers and Building Practitioners have a requirement under the EPA Act to notify the Council at least two days before building work commences.

Using the Intention to commence building work functionality on the NSW Planning Portal, developers can notify NSW Fair Trading when building work is expected to commence.

QRG:  Providing Intention to Commence Building Work

From 1 July 2021, this is a requirement under the Design and Building Practitioner Act 2020 for developments that have not started building work.

Where approvals for Complying Development Certificates and Construction Certificates were received before 1 July 2021, a developer is required to inform the Secretary of a Building Works Commencement date. The following guide shows how to do this on the NSW Planning Portal

QRG:  Providing Intention to Commence Building Work (for work approved before 1 July 2021)

Important: Building Practitioners or their nominated Appropriate Practitioner must lodge a set of declared construction issued regulated designs prior to the commencement of building work.

Fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

Intention to Seek Occupation Certificate (ITSOC)

There are three important components to the Intent to Seek Occupation Certificate. These are:

  • Expected Completion Notice

From 1 September 2020, you are required to notify the Secretary (Department of Customer Service) of your expected completion notice before applying for an occupation certificate. For everything you need to know about timeframes, requirements and your obligations to notify the Secretary of your expected completion notice under the Residential Apartment Building Act 2020, please visit NSW Fair Trading.

Note: If you have submitted an Expected Completion Notice on the NSW Fair Trading website form, you will still need to resubmit using the NSW Planning Portal.

  • Eligibility for the strata building bond

You will be asked eligibility questions to determine if a strata building bond is payable. If you are required to pay a building bond, the system will allow you to start uploading documents which will accompany your application.

  • Upload and lodge your final set of construction issued regulated designs  

A set of final construction issued regulated designs need to be provided through the NSW Planning Portal. These are the set of design documents that reflect what was built. These documents will be used for your building bond application and be made available to the NSW Fair Trading Occupation Certificate Auditors. The OC Auditors may request additional documents not listed in the Regulated Designs Guidelines.

Note: Your building practitioner must upload and lodge the regulated designs.

Remember that you cannot apply for an occupation certificate until you have met all you legal requirements. The below quick reference guide outlines key elements to completing an Intent to Seek Occupation Certificate on the NSW Planning Portal.

QRG: Declaring As-Built (Final Set) Documents

QRG: Lodging an Intent to Seek OC

Lodging a Strata Bond

Before you lodge the building bond you will need to provide some basic information about your project, including the related determined approval and construction certificate, and contact information for the developer and builder, as well as relevant documents e.g. contract agreements and construction issued regulated designs. We recommend that you have this information on hand when completing your application.

We have compiled a series of quick reference guides to help you with this process, these can be found on our Strata Building Bond lodgement page.

 
The declaration and lodgement process

From 1 July 2021, compliance declarations are required at several points through the construction process. These declarations must be provided by a registered Design Practitioner, Principal Design Practitioner or Building Practitioner via the NSW Planning Portal.

Certain declarations must be lodged: before building work commences, as variations arise, before the application for an OC, and 90 days after the OC is issued (if applicable). These declarations can only be made by a registered practitioner.

Ensure you have the standard title block on every declared regulated design lodged into the NSW Planning Portal.

Our quick reference guides will provide guidance for interacting with the NSW Planning Portal through this process.

QRG: Uploading, Declaring and Lodging ‘Construction-Issued Regulated Design’ documents 

QRG:  Building Works Commencement Date Document Management

Here is a look at the declaration and lodgement workflow for practitioners.

Before building works start
Prepare regulated designs

Regulated designs are designs prepared for performance solutions or specific building elements, as defined by the Act e.g. fire safety systems, load-bearing components, waterproofing, building enclosures, and mechanical, plumbing and electrical services.

Regulated designs can only be prepared or varied by registered design practitioners in the type of work that they are authorised to carry out, i.e. practitioners who are registered on the Compliance Declaration Scheme as a Design Practitioner.

Important: A list of the recommended regulated designs can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website below.

NSW Fair Trading: Regulated Design Guidance Material

Making and lodging a design compliance declaration

The design practitioner needs to declare that the regulated design complies with the Building Code of Australia and other standards, codes or requirements.

A building practitioner needs to lodge ‘construction-issued regulated designs’ on the NSW Planning Portal before construction starts.

The building practitioner can delegate to an ‘appropriate practitioner’ to lodge documents at this stage. The appropriate practitioner role is a nominated individual who is either a registered design practitioner or principal design practitioner, if there is one appointed.

The documents that need to be lodged at this stage include:

a) a copy of each construction-issued regulated design for building work
b) a copy of each design compliance declaration for regulated designs
c) a principal compliance declaration (if there is a principal appointed).

The building practitioner must give the principal design practitioner, if there is one, 14 days’ written notice before building work starts. This gives the principal design practitioner time to collate and complete the principal compliance declaration.

Design Compliance Declarations and Principal Compliance Declaration can be downloaded from the NSW Fair Trading website, below.

If a Principal Design Practitioner is the appropriate practitioner, you can complete your declaration online on the NSW PLanning Portal after you have lodged the declared regulated construction issued designs.

NSW Fair Trading: Compliance Declaration Forms

After building works start
Declaring variations

A registered building practitioner or appropriate practitioner will need to declare and lodge any variations to declared regulated designs within one day of any building works commencing.

Work may need to stop so that the varied design can be prepared and declared in time to meet this timeframe.

Documents lodged at this stage:

a) a copy of each varied regulated design
b) a copy of the regulated design for a new building element or performance solution
c) a copy of each design compliance declaration for the above designs.

Design Compliance Declarations can be downloaded from the NSW Fair Trading website.

NSW Fair Trading: Design Compliance Declarations

Before applying for an Occupation Certificate (OC)
Lodge expected completion notice

A developer with building work that is approaching completion must give notice of the date they plan to apply for an Occupation Certificate.

Notice is to be given at least six months before the application for an occupation certificate is made, and no more than 12 months before the application for an Occupation Certificate is made.

Further details can be found on the NSW Fair Trading website.

NSW Fair Trading: Notice of intended completion of building work

Making a building compliance declaration

A registered building practitioner needs to make the building compliance declaration on the NSW Planning Portal, and lodge other documents, before applying for an OC as part of the lodgement process.

Documents that will need to be lodged at this stage include:

a) the online building compliance declaration
b) a contractor document*
c) a copy of each variation statement required for building work*
d) a copy of any other regulated design that contains additional details not in the construction-issued regulated design, but are not variations
e) a principal compliance declaration, if one had been appointed.*

*Downloadable templates are available on the Fair Trading website.

A building practitioner needs to give the principal design practitioner, if there is one, 14 days’ written notice before making a building compliance declaration. This gives the principal design practitioner time to collate and complete the principal compliance declaration.

NSW Fair Trading: Forms and templates

Applying for Occupation Certificate

When a property developer applies for an Occupation Certificate, the principal certifier will be able to access the completed compliance declarations and declared regulated designs on the NSW Planning Portal.

A certifier will only issue Occupation Certificate if they have all compliance declarations.

NSW Planning Portal: Occupation Certificates

After the issue of an Occupation Certificate
Lodging variations to documents, designs or declarations

Any variations to building work made after this stage will need to be declared.

A registered building practitioner needs to lodge regulated designs showing any variations to building work within 90 days of an OC being issued or confirm online that no variations have been made.

Documents that need to be lodged at this stage include:

a) a building compliance declaration
b) a contractor document*
c) a copy of each variation statement required for building work*
d) a copy of any other regulated design that contains additional details not in the construction-issued regulated design, but are not variations
e) a principal compliance declaration, if one had been appointed.*

*Downloadable templates are available on the Fair Trading website.

NSW Fair Trading: Forms and templates


    Portal fees

    In accordance with the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000, applicants are required to pay a digital application processing fee for certain planning applications and certificates.

    A full list of fees can be found on the NSW Planning Portal Service Fees page.


    Useful tools and resources

    Administration Management

    If you are an administrator for your organisation and you are looking to improve the workflow within your organisation, or add users to certain workgroups, then we have compiled a collection of guides to help you with these processes.

    Adding and Managing an Organisation’s Users

    Adding a Service to a Workgroup

    Adding an Administrator to an Organisation

    Adding Users to a Service in a Workgroup

    Updating and Editing Organisation Address Details

    Spatial Viewer

    The NSW Planning Portal Spatial Viewer is an enhanced digital mapping service that provides easy-to-use, information-rich maps for every address and lot in NSW.

    QRG: Using and navigating the ePlanning Spatial Viewer 

    FAQs: ePlanning Spatial Viewer

    Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020

    The Design and Building Practitioners Act was developed through consultation with the public and industry stakeholders. The Act ensures NSW has a leading system of design and building regulations that delivers well-constructed buildings into the future. It implements key reforms that will strengthen accountability in the design, building and construction sector. 

    Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020

    Frequently Asked Questions

    The answers to frequently asked questions about the NSW Planning Portal can be found on our FAQ page. For more specific questions about designing and building in NSW, see the Design and Building Practitioners frequently asked questions.

    Design and Building Practitioners FAQs

    NSW Planning Portal FAQs


    Further assistance

    If you require assistance using the NSW Planning Portal, and you were unable to find the answer on these pages, please contact ServiceNSW for assistance.

    Call 1300 305 695 or email [email protected].