Apply for a development permit

You may need to apply for a development permit if you want to:

  • build something new
  • extend your home
  • change a use
  • subdivide your land.

Check if you need planning approval.

The table below provides a summary of the application process.

For pastoral landholders, read about the different process for subdividing your pastoral lease.


About the application What you need to know
How to apply Submit through the Development Applications Online (DAO) website
Fees Check development application fee

If public exhibition is required, 14 to 28 days. This may include notices through:

  • planning notices online
  • pink signs placed on the land
  • letters to neighbours.
Processing time Approximately 8 weeks
Decision maker

Development Consent Authority (within DCA division areas)

Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (outside of DCA division areas)

Administrating branch Development Assessment Services (DAS)

Before you apply

Before you apply for a development permit, you need to know your assessment category.

You can also speak to a planner from DAS for advice on:

  • whether you need a permit
  • your assessment category
  • what to include in your application
  • what to expect during the assessment process
  • applicable fees and advertising requirements
  • other supporting information you may need.

Supporting information

You must provide the following when you apply for a development permit:

  • your contact details and other beneficiary details
  • owner’s authorisation - if you are not the sole property owner
  • an explanation of the proposed development and why you are requesting it
  • dimensioned plans for the development (which may vary based on the complexity and type). These may include:
    • site plan
    • subdivision plan
    • floor layout plans
    • elevations and sections
  • an image that shows what the development will look like - image requirements are:
    • it must be in landscape orientation
    • it should reflect the proposed development and can include a perspective, an elevation or site plan
    • it must be a JPG or PNG file and be clear when printed in A4 size
    • for subdivisions, changes to use or minor developments, a clear dimensioned plan may be enough
  • an assessment of the proposed development (statement of effect) including:
    • its merits
    • how it will comply with the planning scheme
    • how it will influence the amenity of the area
    • other matters that may be relevant under section 46 of the Planning Act 1999.

If you are seeking a variation to a permitted use in Zone LR, you can use a simplified statement of effect template DOCX (64.3 KB).

For more information about your application requirements, read the guide - submitting a development application PDF (669.5 KB).

If you don't understand the requirements, you can contact a planner.

You may also consider getting a private planning consultant to apply on your behalf.

How to apply

To apply, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Submit your application

Submit a development permit application through the DAO website.

If there is a particular advertising date that you are working towards, you will need to submit by close of business on the Tuesday week before that date (i.e 10 days).

Attach your image

You must submit your application with an image of the proposed development. This image will be displayed:

  • alongside the application details on the DAO website and
  • on your custom sign (if applicable)

If you submit without an image, your application will be returned.

Step 2. Pay the fee

After your application is accepted, you must pay an application fee.

If a public exhibition period is required, you must also pay the advertising fee before advertising can start.

You can either pay:

If you have submitted an application on behalf of someone else, you can send them a link to pay the fee.

All fees are non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful.

After you apply

Read below to find out what happens after you submit your application.

Development applications are usually processed in eight weeks.

However, this can vary depending on:

  • the complexity of the application
  • the length of advertising needed
  • if more information is needed.

Your advertising requirements will depend on the nature and scale of your proposal.

Not all development applications need public advertising.

After your application is accepted, you will get an email about details of your notification type and advertising requirements.

This includes:

  • any fees you have to pay
  • any signs you have to place on the property - read more about signage requirements.

To find out what the requirements might be before you submit an application, talk to a planner.

Receiving submissions

During the public exhibition period, submissions may be received from:

  • the public
  • service authorities
  • the local council.

A submission is a written objection or supporting comment about a development application.

All valid submissions will be sent to you at the end of the exhibition period.

Once the period has ended, your application may be discussed at a public meeting.

If needed, your application will go before a public meeting.

These meetings are held by the Development Consent Authority (DCA).

A report will be prepared and made public three days before the scheduled meeting.

The report will include:

  • the technical assessment by the planner
  • a copy of all public submissions received during the exhibition period
  • a recommendation to the DCA.

You and anyone who made a submission on your proposal will be invited to attend and speak.

Invitations will be sent about 10 days before the meeting date.

For more information, including upcoming DCA meeting dates and agendas, go to the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics website.

In making a decision, the DCA will consider all of the following:

  • the relevant development, subdivision and consolidation requirements
  • any relevant overlay requirements
  • any requested variations
  • the relevant zone and strategic framework depending on the assessment category
  • other matters that may be relevant under the Planning Act 1999 such as:
    • any exhibited changes to the planning scheme
    • the merits of the proposal and if it is in the public interest
    • any issues raised in the submissions, at the hearing and during any other consultation
    • any potential impacts to environmental values protected under environmental laws
    • any potential impacts on heritage values protected under heritage laws
    • potential impacts on the existing and future amenity of the area
    • availability of infrastructure
    • availability of public facilities and public open space
    • if the land can support the development
    • any other matter it thinks are relevant.

If a variation is requested

If a variation is requested, the DCA will consider:

  • whether it is allowed to vary the requirement
  • the purpose of the requirement
  • the purpose and outcomes of the zone
  • any relevant part of the strategic framework (such as an area plan).

Once the DCA has reviewed the planner's report, and considered any matters heard in the public meeting, it will make a decision whether to:

  • issue a development permit
  • alter the development and issue a permit or
  • refuse to issue a permit.

It may also defer making a decision to request further information.

If further information is requested, you will be advised when to provide it.

You and anyone who made a submission will be directly notified of any decision.

The decision will also be made available online within the minutes for the DCA meeting.

To read DCA meeting minutes, go to the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics website.

If you are issued a development permit

If you are issued with a development permit, there are conditions you must meet before, during and after you finish your development.

Read about development permit conditions.

If your development permit is for subdivision or consolidation, read step 2 of applying to subdivide or consolidate land to find out what to do next.

Prove you have met your conditions

To confirm you have met all the conditions of your development permit, you may need a certificate of compliance when you finish.

A building certifier may require you to get a certificate of compliance to complete the building certification process.

You will need a certificate of compliance for subdivision to be able to:

  • submit your survey plan for approval and
  • have the new titles issued.

Read more about subdivision and consolidation approvals and processes.

Request a right of review

You may have a right to request a review of a decision about a development permit if you are:

  • the applicant or
  • a person who made a valid submission.

If you have rights of review under the Planning Act 1999, you may apply to the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NTCAT).

For more information, go to the NTCAT website.

If you are unhappy with the decision or conditions of your permit, you can apply for a review.

Your application must be made within 28 days of being notified of the decision.

If you made a valid submission, you may have third party rights of review in some circumstances.

You must apply within 14 days of being notified of the decision.

Last updated: 24 February 2022

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