Who makes decisions about Development Applications?

Development Applications (DAs), Modification applications and Review of Determination applications are all determined by one of three panels:

  • Delegation of Council staff
  • Sutherland Shire Local Planning Panel
  • Sydney South Planning Panel

A right of appeal exists if a DA is not determined within a certain period of time.

Delegation of Council staff

If applications are not determined by the SSLPP or the SSPP, they will be determined by a delegation of Council staff.

Most developments are determined in this way.

Sutherland Shire Local Planning Panel (SSLPP)

The SSLPP provides an independent hearing forum for applicants and objectors on specific DAs.

Meetings are generally held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.

Panel members are selected from a pool managed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

They are experts in planning, architecture, heritage, urban design, traffic and transport, law, engineering, economics or public administration.

A community representative would also sit on the panel. Councillors are not permitted to sit on panels in their local government areas.

Generally, three panel members and a community representative attend each meeting, along with Council’s Development Assessment Managers.

Applicants and objectors are invited to address the Panel which will determine the relevant application. Registrations to address the Panel must be emailed to sslpp@ssc.nsw.gov.au by the close of business the day before the scheduled meeting.

Council Assessment Officers prepare a full Assessment Report, detailing any submissions and making a recommendation for the Panel's consideration. Before considering the application, the Panel generally visits the development site.

Once Council’s assessment is finalised, the Business Paper (Agenda) is published to Council’s website on the Tuesday prior to the meeting and the completed assessment package is provided to the Local Planning Panel for their review.

Applicants and objectors who have registered to speak will be invited to address the Panel, in the order of the Agenda, during which time questions may be asked by the Panel.

Speakers may elect to have someone represent them at the meeting (such as an architect or planner), and are given a maximum of five minutes. Speakers should be mindful that the Panel has been provided with the Assessment Report and all other relevant information in advance. The Panel will only accept any additional information verbally after publication of the report. All meetings are recorded and published on Council's website.

The final Report of the Meeting, including the Panel's determinations, will be published on Council's website by the Monday following the meeting. Published Reports are available here .

Sydney South Planning Panel (SSPP)

The SSPP decides on regionally significant DAs, some modification applications and certain other planning matters, such as rezoning reviews. It also advises on other planning and development matters, when requested.

The Department of Planning and Environment provides a complete list of relevant development triggers.

View the scheduled meetings for Sutherland Shire’s applications.

Each SSPP consists of three members (including the Chair who is appointed by the Minister) plus two Council members.

At least one Council member is required to have expertise in one or more of the following areas: planning, architecture, heritage, the environment, urban design, land economics, traffic and transport, law, engineering or tourism.

Applications that require determination by the SSPP are generally the subject of two briefing meetings before a final determination meeting is scheduled.

Council officers carry out an assessment and provide a recommendation to the SSPP.

Applicants - and any person who provided a submission during the neighbour notification period - will be given an opportunity to address the SSPP.