• Draft Climate Change Policy to go on public exhibition
    In an effort to address the changing climate affecting the Cessnock Local Government Area, Council has developed a draft Climate Change Policy. The community are encouraged to provide feedback on the Policy during the public exhibition period. The draft Climate Change Policy will be on public exhibition from the 26 February until the 25 March 2020. 
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Building, Development and Certification


Through Local Environmental Plans, Development Control Plans and other policies, councils regulate building and development within the community. Councils Development Services section is responsible for the assessment of most Development Application submitted with council (with the exclusion of dwellings, garages, swimming pools and the like). 

Development Applications can be for land subdivision, commercial, industrial, residential and agricultural land uses. By seeking approval for your development, council is able to assess each development application on its merits, according to planning policies and documents. Through this process, Cessnock City Council:

  • implements environmental and community safety objectives
  • provides the opportunity for community input into decisions
  • provides an independent, impartial and objective framework for decision making
  • acts in the public interest, at arms length from the parties involved.

The development controls largely derive from the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, together with the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Specific planning controls for the Cessnock City area are contained in:

Related Documents


Once your Development Application has been approved, the following steps lead from consent to completion of the development. The Building Team within Council’s City Planning provides Certification, Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) and other statutory services to Council’s customers.

  • Step 1 Construction Certificate
  • Step 2 Appoint a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA), Council or Private Certifier
  • Step 3 Notice of Commencement
  • Step 4 Critical Stage Inspections (As nominated by the PCA)
  • Step 5 Occupation or Interim Occupation Certificates

Construction Certificate

Once you have received your Development Consent you need to obtain a Construction Certificate. A Construction Certificate (CC) must be obtained before commencing any construction or building works. A Construction Certificate is an approval that:

  • Ensures the detailed construction plans and specifications comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and any relevant Australian Standard.
  • Certifies that the detailed construction plans and specifications are not inconsistent with the Development Consent and comply with conditions that have been imposed.
  • Certifies that all required contributions and fees have been paid.

Principal Certifying Authority

A Construction Certificate can be obtained from either Council or a Private Accredited Certifier.

If the Construction Certificate is issued by a Private Accredited Certifier, a copy of the certificate, associated plans and specifications must be forwarded to Council within two (2) days of issue.

What is a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)?

The Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) is chosen by the owner or applicant for an application that:

  • Administers the conditions of consent and progress of the development from commencement to completion and conducts a proper inspection of each required stage of construction.
  • Promptly advises the applicant, after any relevant inspection, of any outstanding work.
  • Issues the applicant with an Occupation Certificate for any building or change of building use when the relevant application has been lodged.
  • Receives and investigates any complaints from the public concerning the development.

Council or a private certifier can act as your Principal Certifying Authority and issue the Construction Certificate and the Occupation Certificate and oversee the construction or subdivision process.  If Council is not the PCA, Council must be notified of who has been appointed at least 2 days prior to building work commencing.

Why choose Cessnock City Council as your Principal Certifying Authority?

  • ‘We will always be there for our customers and the community.’
  • We are able to provide a full range of building approvals, building certification and inspection, and building approval advisory services to our customers.
  • We provide efficient, cost-effective, and quality services.
  • We have a team of professional qualified and experienced building surveyors to provide our services.
  • We will ensure building regulations, construction standards, and development consent requirements are satisfied.
  • We have access to council’s approvals history and council’s planning officer, so we can provide quick advice and assistance on the development application process.
  • We are flexible and will endeavour to meet our customer needs. We can schedule inspections for next day service.

To appoint Cessnock City Council as your PCA, please fill out the appropriate section when you complete your Application for Construction Certificate.