2 - Prepare Plans and Drawings

The following is a general guide to the types of plans you may need to prepare.  

  • Site analysis plan - required for all applications that involve external building work, except minor additions and outbuildings.
  • Scaled plans and elevations - generally required for all applications.
  • A4 sized plans and elevations - required for all applications for the purpose of public exhibition.
  • Survey Plan - required for new buildings, major alterations and first floor additions to existing buildings (particularly on steeply sloping sites), swimming pools over 500 mm above ground, earth works, landscaping and subdivisions.
  • Landscape plan - required for all new single dwellings, multi-unit housing, commercial and industrial development.
  • Drainage Plan - required for all new buildings as well as alterations and additions that involve changes to stormwater drainage.
  • Construction Management Details - required for all development involving construction or other work.
  • Subdivision Plan - required for all subdivision.
  • Shadow Diagrams - required for all new buildings & additions that are two or more storeys in height.
  • Waste Management Plan - required for demolition and building work proposals and any use that generates household, commercial or industrial wastes. 

Check the required information listed in specific development applications.    

Information needed on plans

The following general checklist will guide you on the information that is needed on your plans.  Be sure you show all the details that are relevant to your proposal.

Title Block

Include a title block on every plan showing:

  • Name of architect or designer.
  • Plan number and date.
  • Amendment number and date (if relevant).
  • Applicant's name.
  • Location and description of property.


Include a north point on every plan.  This will help us relate your plans to the site.


Show the scale on every plan.


Your plans and elevations must show relevant information such as contours, ground levels, roof levels, etc.  Levels and contours should be shown relative to Australian Height Datum (AHD). Where an assumed datum is used, sufficient details must be provided to accurately interpret your levels.  

List of existing and proposed fire safety measures

This is only applicable for change of use applications in buildings other than domestic situations. 

The Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation requires:

  • A list of fire safety measures already installed in the building (not just the part of the building you are going to occupy).
  • A list of any proposed fire safety measures to be installed.

These lists must be included with the development application where there is no building work proposed, that is, only a change of use.

Building Code of Australia compliance report

To help with the assessment of your development application, applications for some types of buildings should include a BCA compliance report. A BCA report will minimise delays and the possibility of modifications being needed to the development consent during future assessment of a construction certificate.  The following categories of buildings need a BCA report:

  • Residential buildings, including mixed uses (other than single dwellings and town-house/villa type developments).
  • Commercial buildings (other than minor shop fit-outs), including entertainment venues.
  • Industrial development.
  • Special use buildings, eg. schools, aged care, child care facilities.
  • Public buildings.
  • Changes of use applications.
  • Temporary structures.
  • Child care centres.

It is essential that a building consultant who is suitably qualified in this field prepares this report otherwise council may not accept it.

The report is to:

  • Identify the classification of the building.
  • Identify the rise in storeys.
  • Identify the type of construction.
  • Confirm that the development will comply with the deemed to satisfy provisions of the Building Code of Australia, or alternatively, whether it will rely on an alternate solution based assessment.
  • Address Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation clauses 93 and 94.

How many copies of plans?

Generally we need one electronic copy of all plans and supporting documents.

Site analysis plan

Site analysis is an important part of the design process.  A site analysis plan considers the characteristics and constraints of the site, which in turn are used to direct a development’s design.  It will also help us to consider the impacts of your proposal.

A site analysis needs to be lodged with a development application and should indicate (where relevant) in relation to the site:

  1. Contours - at 1 metre intervals and related to Australian Height Datum.
  2. Existing vegetation - in particular major trees on the site and street trees, identified by size and botanical names or common names.
  3. Buildings - location and uses of existing buildings.
  4. Views to and from the site.
  5. Location of utility services and stormwater drainage lines and street crossings.
  6. Orientation, microclimate and noise sources.
  7. Any contaminated soils and filled areas.
  8. Fences, boundaries and easements.
  9. Any other significant site features eg rock outcrops.
  10. Where relevant, the location of foreshore building lines.

And in relation to the surrounding area:

  1. Location, use and height of adjacent buildings - locating window openings facing the site boundary, private open space and shadows cast on development site.
  2. Views and solar access enjoyed by adjacent residents.
  3. Major trees on adjacent properties.
  4. The built form and character of adjacent and nearby development.
  5. The difference in levels between the site and adjacent properties.

The site analysis can be hand drawn but must be to scale.  A written statement should also be prepared explaining how the development design has responded to the site analysis and should include an assessment of the bush fire hazard on the site and/or on the adjoining site.

Site Analysis Plan example
An example site analysis plan to be lodged with development applications.

Plans and elevations

These drawings will clearly document the proposed building/s and works.  Draw plans, elevations and sections at standard scales as requested in the required information section of the relevant application form, and include the following details:


  • North point (true north).
  • Scale (show ratio).
  • All property boundaries.
  • Location of proposed new buildings, alterations or works (show setback distances from boundaries and adjoining buildings).
  • Existing buildings (show outline only) room layout, partitioning, location of windows and doors, room dimensions, areas and proposed uses.
  • Courtyard dimensions and areas.
  • Walls and fences.
  • Total floor area and floor space ratio.
  • Disabled persons access (does not apply to dwelling houses).
  • Vehicle entrance and exit driveways.
  • Car parking and loading areas (show dimensions).
  • Waste bin storage and collection areas.

Elevations and sections

Draw an elevation viewed from each direction as well as longitudinal and cross sections of each proposed building.  These must show:

  • The compass direction from which the elevation is viewed.
  • Existing buildings (show outline only).
  • Building facade, windows, roof profile.
  • External finishes (eg, wall, roof, window, door and fence materials, paint colours, etc).
  • Finished ground levels, floor levels, ceiling levels, roofline levels and driveway grade.
  • Chimneys. flues, exhaust vents and ducts (show height in relation to adjoining roof levels).
  • Retaining walls and fences (indicate height).
  • Extent of excavation or filling of the site.

A4 sized plans and elevations

This drawing illustrates the site location, height and external configuration of the proposal on A4 sheets and these drawings must be legible.  We are required to provide copies of this drawing to anyone who may be affected by the development.  The plan should show:

  • North point (true north).
  • All property boundaries.
  • The footprint of existing and proposed buildings and works, but not the internal layout.
  • In relation to boundaries and adjoining buildings, show setback distances from boundaries and adjoining buildings.  Indicate all access ways and parking areas.
  • Elevations viewed from each direction.
  • A dimension showing maximum building height (from the top of the roof the ground directly below).

This example of a A4 size notification plans example may help. 
These notification plans will be copied for distribution purposes, so any colour must be visible in greyscale.  The new works need to be easily identifiable by means of shading or outlining.  Photo-reduction of large-scale plans is usually unacceptable because they lack clarity and legibility.

Survey plan

This plan must be prepared by a Registered Surveyor and show the exact location of buildings and other features, at the same scale as the plans and elevations.  The plan should show:

  • North point (true north).
  • Scale (show ratio).
  • All property boundaries.
  • Position of existing structures, including on adjoining land.
  • Edge of road pavement adjacent to your site.
  • Spot levels and contours at 0.5 metre intervals related to AHD.
  • Benchmark details.
  • Levels at 0.5 metre intervals along all development site boundaries.
  • Position of existing trees over 5 metres high or with a canopy spread greater than 4 metres.
  • Reduced level of the base of such trees, and their height and canopy spread.

Landscape plan

This plan should be prepared by a qualified Landscape Architect (except for single dwellings) and illustrate the proposed landscaping.  The plan must demonstrate an understanding of the site and its context.

Draw your landscape plan to the same scale as the plans, elevations and survey plan and show the following details:

  • Name of landscape designer or company, address and telephone number, professional qualifications, date and plan number.
  • North point (true north).
  • Scale (show ratio).
  • Location of easements, rights of way, underground service lines, street trees, sewerage and stormwater drains.
  • Location, height, spread of canopy, condition and species name (botanical and common) of all existing trees on the site.  Indicate existing and proposed spot levels at the base of all trees and which ones are proposed to be removed/retained / relocated or pruned.
  • All trees on Council’s land and adjacent properties and that are affected by your proposal must be shown.
  • Details of proposed design, including hard and soft landscaped areas, contours, ground modelling, spot heights, finished levels and areas of cut and fill.
  • Details of species selection, showing consideration of adjoining development and location of significant trees or buildings proposed surface treatments and restoration (eg. turf, paving, bank stabilisation, mounds, etc).
  • Proposed driveways, car parking, fences and retaining walls (indicate height and material) basic drainage details, i.e. location of all pits and lines, irrigation, hose cocks, etc.
  • Location of lighting, letterboxes, garbage receptacle and drying areas.
  • Maintenance program.

Drainage plan

This plan illustrates how rainwater will be managed on site.  You should contact council about the drainage requirements that apply to your site before you prepare your drainage plan.  Draw the plan to the same scale as the plans and elevations and show the following details:


  • North point.
  • Scale (show ratio).
  • Existing surface contours (AHD values).
  • Proposed building locations and finished floor levels (AHD values).


  • Infiltration measures such as soakage trenches, swales, landscaping, permeable pavements, etc. Infiltration should not be used in areas where the water table is close to existing/proposed surface levels or in areas where rock is located adjacent to the surface.  Infiltration measures should be supported with appropriate calculations by a qualified geotechnical/hydraulic engineer and should be in accordance with council’s requirements.
  • Stormwater storage or detention systems (for areas likely to require on-site detention). Include details of proposed location of any storm water detention system and the stormwater detention calculations for sizing the system.
  • Notional location and approximate area of any existing onsite detention facilities within the site.
  • Proposed on site detention stored water levels and emergency spillways.
  • Notional locations and levels of proposed stormwater pipes and drainage pits.
  • Location of, and design section through, any sediment/silt arrestor pit or discharge control pit.
  • Subsoil drainage including point of discharge, eg to infiltration, a landscaped area, or to a council controlled stormwater pile (note that subsoil water is not to drain to the kerb/gutter or a table drain).
  • Discharge points to council controlled stormwater.
  • Drainage system (show levels at these locations).
  • Overland flow paths or present flood liable areas.
  • Council controlled pipelines and existing/proposed drainage easements across adjoining land.

Construction management plan

This plan will show how you will minimise the impacts of the development during construction. Draw the construction management plan to the same scale as the building plans and elevations.  Show the following relevant details:

  • Location and types of sediment control fencing.
  • All-weather vehicle egress, including cattle-grid or similar.
  • Hard stand areas for loading and unloading materials, including the location of crane and concrete pumps.
  • Location of material storage on-site.
  • Location of any site sheds.
  • Location of underground services and overhead wires.
  • Location of hoardings and site fences.

Subdivision plan

This plan will clearly show the proposed subdivision layout.  Draw the plan to a standard scale such as 1:100 or 1:200 and show the following details:

  • North point (true north).
  • Scale (show ratio).
  • Existing and proposed boundaries.
  • Lot and deposited plan numbers.
  • Relationship to adjoining roads and subdivision boundaries (show width of roads).
  • Proposed boundary dimensions (metres).
  • Proposed lot areas (square metres).
  • Proposed roads and pathways (indicate width).
  • Proposed easements and rights of way.
  • Proposed public reserves and drainage reserves.
  • Existing and finished levels (contours or spot heights with Australian Height Datum values).
  • Long sections and cross sections of proposed roads/driveways in rights of carriageways.
  • Any environmental constraints.

Shadow diagrams

These plans will clearly show the shadow impacts of your proposed development.  Draw the plans to the same scale as the plans and elevations and show the following details:

  • North point (true north).
  • Scale (show ratio).
  • Position of existing and proposed buildings.
  • Position of buildings on adjoining land.
  • Shadows cast at 9am,12 noon, and 3pm on 21 June, 21 March, 21 September and 21 December.
  • Show change in shadows from existing to proposed development (including boundary fences).
  • If your proposal is likely to overshadow the windows of an adjoining building provide an elevation to show these shadow impacts.  This is especially likely to be the case on east-west oriented land.

Waste management plan

This plan will detail waste management and minimisation activities to be carried out during demolition, construction and operation of premises.  The plan should:

  • Specify wastes by type and volume, and nominate reuse and recycling potential.
  • Nominate siting of waste storage and recycling facilities for demolition, construction and final use.
  • Specify how and where residual wastes will be disposed of.
  • Show how ongoing waste management of the site will operate

Design verification for residential flat buildings

Design verification statements must be included with all development applications (and section 96(2) modification applications) lodged for residential apartment buildings that fall under the control of SEPP 65 – Design Quality of Residential Apartment Development.  These design verifications must be prepared by a registered architect.


Address: ,

More information

Policies and documents

DA Guide Consideration of Development Applications Submitted by Council Policy



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