Any alteration or addition made to your property requires a Development Application to be made.  Application forms can be obtained from the District Council office, or by printing off the form here.  Fees are applicable, these are Lodgement, Planning and Building Fees.

Development Application Form

Residential Zones

The objectives and principles of development control apply to the Residential Zone shown on Maps Pet/3 and 4.  These are additional to those expressed for the whole council area.

Peterborough Zone Map


Objective 1:      A residential zone comprising a range of dwelling types.

Objective 2:      Increased dwelling densities in close proximity to centres, public transport routes and public open spaces.

Objective 3:      Development that contributes to the desired character of the zone.

Desired Character

The zone comprises a large portion of the Peterborough township and incorporates most of the residential and some community-related uses such as primary and secondary schools.

Peterborough has retained its low-density development pattern and an attractive historic character, which provides a pleasant living environment for its residents.  Although a variety of housing styles exist in the zone, dwellings in general have remained in good physical condition.  It is preferable that the existing housing stock be maintained and re-used to help preserve the historic residential character of the township.

Some urban size allotments remain vacant in the zone, which should adequately cater for the town’s future need without having to encroach on the adjoining rural land.

It is important that future development is orderly and compact for economic provision of essential services, and easy access to the town’s facilities.

Principles of Development Control

Land Use

1.  The following forms of development are envisaged in the zone:

  • domestic outbuilding in association with a dwelling
  • domestic structure
  • dwelling
  • dwelling addition
  • small scale non-residential uses that serve the local community, for example:
  • child care facilities
  • health and welfare services
  • open space
  • primary and secondary schools
  • recreation areas
  • shops, office or consulting rooms
  • supported accommodation

2.  Development listed as non-complying is generally inappropriate and not acceptable unless it can be demonstrated that it does not undermine the objectives and principles of the Development Plan.

3.  Vacant or underutilised land should be developed in an efficient and co-ordinated manner to increase housing choice by providing dwellings at densities higher than, but compatible in form, scale and design with adjoining residential development.

4.  Non-residential development such as shops, schools and consulting rooms should be of a nature and scale that:

(a)  serves the needs of the local community;

(b)  is consistent with the character of the locality:

(c)  does not detrimentally impact on the amenity of nearby residents;

5.  The use and placement of outbuildings should be ancillary to and in association with a dweling or dwellings.

Form and Character

6.  Development should not be undertaken unless it is consistent with the desired character for the zone.

7.  Dwellings and associated outbuildings that exhibit historic character and integrity should be conserved and any additions to or extensions of such building should incorporate colours, materials and design features characteristic of the period of construction of the building affected.

8.  Garages and carports facing the street (other than an access lane way) should be designed with a maximum width of 6 meters or 50 per cent of the allotment or building site frontage width, whichever is the lesser distance.

9.  Dwellings should be designed within the Council's parameters.

10.  Sheds, garages and similar outbuildings should be designed within the Council's parameters.

11.  A dwelling should have a minimum site area (and in the case of group dwellings and residential flat building, an average site area per dwelling) and a frontage to a public road not less than within Council's parameters.

Land Division

12.  Land division should create allotments with an area not less than 1000 square meters.

Procedural Matters

Complying Development

Complying developments are prescribed in Schedule 4 of the Development Regulations 2008.

  • dwelling
  • carport
  • pergola
  • shed
  • veranda

Non-complying Development

Development (including building work, a change in the use of land, or division of an allotment) for the following is non-complying:

  • Advertisement and/or Advertising Hoarding
  • Amusement Machine Centre
  • Builder’s Yard
  • Consulting Rooms
  • Crematorium
  • Dairy
  • Farming
  • Farm Building
  • Fuel Depot
  • General Industry
  • Hotel
  • Hospital
  • Intensive Animal Keeping
  • Junk Yard
  • Keeping of Horses, Cattle, Sheep and Goats
  • Light Industry
  • Motor Showroom
  • Motor Repair Station
  • Office - except where a) the total floor area is less than 100sq metres, b) the site does not front an arterial road
  • Petrol Filling Station
  • Public Service Depot
  • Restaurant
  • Road Transport Terminal
  • Roadside Stall
  • Service Industry
  • Service Trade Premises
  • Shop - except where a) the gross leasable area is less than 80sq metres, b) the site does not front an arterial road
  • Special Industry
  • Stock Salesyard
  • Store
  • Timber Yard
  • Warehouse
  • Wrecking Yard
  • Waste Reception, Storage, Treatment or Disposal

Public Notification

Categories of public notification are prescribed in Schedule 9 of the Development Regulations 2008.

Development Application Decision Process 

When an application for Development Plan Consent is lodged, a Planner will assess it against the Development Act 1993 and Development Regulations 2008 and the Council Development Plan to determine the category of development. These categories involve Complying Development, Merit Development (Category 1, 2 or 3 notification) and non-Complying Development.

Complying Development

Certain development applications can be 'complying' under the Development Plan and/or the Development Regulations. Although Development Plan Consent is automatic in these cases, you will still need to lodge an application as formal confirmation is necessary. Building Rules Consent may also be required. Complying applications are exempt from public notification.

Merit Development

The Development Plan lists what type of development is allowed or prohibited in each planning zone. If your proposal is not included on either list it means the development is subject to the 'consent' of Council and is to be assessed on its merits. Sometimes adjoining neighbours will need to be notified (Category 2), or in other cases the application will be advertised in local newspaper(s) and land owners within the general locality will be notified (Category 3).

Non-Complying Development

If an application is listed in the Development Plan as inappropriate in a planning zone, the proposal is categorised as 'non-complying'. An applicant must show good reason why the application should be considered in the first instance, and if Council’s Development Assessment Panel agrees the proposal has merit it may proceed; the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission must also agree.

Who makes the decision and when?

Either Council or the State Government’s Development Assessment Commission is the “relevant authority” responsible for assessing your application and issuing an approval. Mostly, it is Council that is responsible for making decisions on a proposal.

Set time limits are specified in the legislation depending on the nature of the development proposed. Applications for routine developments that require a planning assessment can generally be dealt with within six weeks of lodgment, and within two weeks for complying developments.

Where an application has to be referred to a government agency, the time limit can be extended up to 12 weeks (eg. for land division proposals). Wherever possible, The District Council of Peterborough will assess applications in less time than allowed, depending largely on the nature and complexity of the proposal and the issues raised.

How will a decision be made?

Development proposals need to be suitable in terms of the Development Plan policies for the area. The assessment of any proposal must be made on the basis of the planning policies contained in the Plan. The assessment process is guided by the content and substance of the planning policies. However, a ‘Development Plan Consent’ cannot be granted if the relevant authority believes the proposal is seriously at variance with the Plan's policies.

Delegated Decisions

Most applications can be dealt with under delegation (decision by officers) when relevant policy criteria has been met and/or no objections have been received as a result of public notification and an approval can be recommended. However, some applications need to be submitted to the council’s Development Assessment Panel (DAP) for a decision.

About the Development Assessment Panel (DAP)

Certain applications will be referred to the DAP for a decision if policy criteria are not strictly adhered to, objections have been received, or the application is seriously at variance with the Development Plan. Decisions will take into account any submissions arising from public consultation or from agencies, and recommendations by council officers.

The Development Assessment Panel:

  • comprises several members, including an independent Presiding Member;
  • holds meetings in a public forum and the DAP hears representations in respect of submissions, assessing and determining development applications;
  • currently meets as required.

How submissions are heard:

  • matters involving submissions from the public wishing to speak to the DAP will be dealt with in agenda order;
  • objectors will be heard first with the applicant (or their representative) having the right of reply;
  • each person has five (5) minutes or agreed by the Chairman of the DAP to make their presentation;
  • at the conclusion of a submission questions may be asked by the members of the DAP after which the presenter is required to return to the public gallery; and
  • once all the presentations for the particular item are heard, the DAP will debate the matter in an open forum and make a decision (some discussion may be confidential if it relates to legal advice).

Sometimes applicants don't agree with the decision, such as if the proposal was refused outright or conditions attached to a consent are unacceptable to the applicant. Where the type of development has been assessed as Category 2, only the applicant has a right of appeal (within two months) against the Development Assessment Panel’s determination. If the application is Category 3, objectors can also appeal (within 15 working days). You must lodge an appeal with the Environment, Resources and Development Court within the prescribed time if you don't agree with a decision or conditions. No specific appeal rights are available for decisions made in respect of non-complying developments.

Further information about the process

Council’s Development and Regulatory Services department administers the assessment process for all Development Applications (including referrals to government agencies and other sections of council), and is available to assist with the following:

  • an assessment of preliminary proposals and explanation of the application process to avoid delays and problems;
  • advice on how to complete an application form, what fees need to be paid, and what information needs to provided to support your application;
  • whether the Council is required to notify neighbours for their comments about an application (for developments which require consultation prescribed by regulation).