The role of the Design Review Forum

The Design Review Forum (DRF) assists in improving the design quality of developments for the benefit of occupants and the broader urban environment.

When assessing the merits of a proposal, the DRF considers the design quality principles from State Environmental Planning Policy No. 65.

The DRF is an advisory body and does not determine applications.

The DRF also works with Council’s Development Assessment Team to provide input into new codes and policies and to review the existing codes and policies.

Who sits on the DRF?

Currently, the DRF consists of two external professional architects and a member of Council’s assessment team.

How does the DRF operate?

Meetings of the DRF are not open to the general public. Applicants are invited to attend the meeting to discuss their proposal but do not attend DRF deliberations.

The DRF currently meets fortnightly as required and considers each DA as soon as possible after the conclusion of community consultation. This allows the DRF to provide feedback to the Council Assessment Officer early in the assessment process.

After considering a formal DA, the DRF will provide the Council Assessment Officer with urban design and architectural advice, which is incorporated into the assessment process.

What types of developments will the DRF panel consider?

The DRF provides advice on DAs for:

  • residential flat buildings as defined under State Environmental Planning Policy 65
  • villa and townhouse developments of six units or more
  • significant industrial, commercial, retail, residential and public buildings, dependent on their location, scale and whether they are visually prominent from the public domain, as determined by the Director, Planning and Growth
  • any other development deemed necessary.

We also offer a Pre-DA DRF consulting service for prospective applicants seeking development consent who want advice from the DRF prior to submitting a formal Development Application.