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Planning & Development

One of the functions of Cessnock City Council is regulating development within the Council area, in accordance with the requirements of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, and associated policies and directions from the New South Wales State Government.

This involves seeking to find the right balance between protection of the environment, supporting a healthy local economy, minimising conflicts between structures and land uses on adjoining properties, and affordable and effective access to community services and infrastructure.

Development can be allowed without consent, with a straight-forward Complying Development Certificate, or with a Development Consent, usually followed by a Construction Certificate.  The criteria for this is contained in a range of development controls, some of which Council prepares and some by the State Government.  

An overview of the development approval process

Development Application:
approved by Council
  • Preliminary enquiries with Council.
  • Lodge your development application with Council.
  • Council considers the impacts of the proposal.
  • If satisfactory, Council will give you a development consent subject to conditions.
  • You need to check with Council about options for the following stages of the process, including fees payable.

Construction Certificate:
issued by Council or an accredited certifier

  • Apply for your construction certificate either to Council or to a qualified professional in the private sector - an "accredited certifier".
  • Council or an accredited certifier checks that the plans and specifications of your proposal will comply with the relevant conditions of the consent and detailed standards, including the Building Code of Australia.
Applicant Appoints Principal Certifying Authority and notifies Council
  • Before any works start on the site, you must appoint a principal certifying authority (PCA) - this can be either Council or an accredited certifier.
  • Confirm what inspections will be done, the fee, and other requirements.
  • Two days' notice before work begins must be provided to Council (if you have appointed a private PCA).
 Building Work Begins
  • Work begins in accordance with the development consent, including any conditions, and the construction certificate.
  • The PCA determines inspections stages.
  • It is likely that your builder will advise the PCA of stages of work to allow the required inspections to be done.
Occupation Certificate:
Completion of works
  • After the works are concluded satisfactorily and you provide a fire safety certificate, if required, the PCA will issue the occupation certificate.

Customer enquiries

To find out whether you need Development Consent or Complying Development Certificate please visit or call one of our friendly staff at Council’s Customer Service Centre located at 62-78 Vincent Street, Cessnock telephone (02) 4993 4100.  Staff are available to assist with general enquiries and in the lodgement of applications, during business hours 9.00am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday. 

Planning and Building technical staff are available for enquiries if you are considering building or developing in the Cessnock Local Government Area. To speak to an officer please call or visit the Customer Services Centre between 9.00am – 10.00am and 1.00pm – 5.00pm weekdays.  Council also provides a Development Advisory Service at a fee for more complex enquires.

Property Development Tax Obligation

For every property transaction you make, you need to think about tax implications

To help you to determine property related GST obligations, refer to the GST and Property Guide on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Kids ask the Questions about City Planning