Building in the country

Things to find out before you decide to build

Ensure the property has a building entitlement by discussing the site with a Council Planning officer, in some cases where an entitlement cannot be determined over the phone or counter, a letter will be required detailing what you would like to know, with an enquiry fee applicable. Making sure the property you own or are going to buy has building entitlement is absolutely essential, nobody wants you to be stuck with land you can’t build on, this may be the most important money you will ever spend!

Find out if the property has legal access and where it’s located. Your application will need to detail the proposed access to the site, whether it’s existing or proposed. Access will most definitely be an issue for new dwellings wanting access off an RTA owned road such as the Great Western Highway , Jenolan Caves Road , Castlereagh Highway or Chifley Road . And, accesses should always be flood and bushfire free, so if your potential access traverses a creek or a large section of bush you really should find out what is going to be required to bring it up to standard.

Contact the electricity and telephone providers to determine the availability of electricity and telephone to your proposed house site. Extending a service can be quite costly, so the position of these services will often determine where a house can be situated.

Designing your new home

Determine if bushfire is considered to be an issue at your proposed house site. In the event that it is the Planning for Bushfire Protection guidelines established by the Rural Fire Service 2006, will need to be incorporated into the design of your building site, and in some cases, the design of your dwelling. Council recommends that you visit the following website: www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare

Ensure you take BASIX into consideration when designing your new home. BASIX is a new planning requirement that affects anyone building a new home or dual occupancy in NSW. It is being introduced across NSW to improve energy and water efficiencies in homes. All applications for new dwellings will require a BASIX certificate. For further information visit www.basix.nsw.gov.au/information/new_to_basix.jsp

The design of your house and garden can greatly reduce the running cost of your house. In order to find out more regarding the principles of passive solar design, thermal mass and energy and water efficient appliances Council recommends you visit the following website: www.seda.nsw.gov.au

Things to organise prior to submitting your application

Make sure your proposed application includes any other buildings you may wish to build, such as sheds and garages. By leaving them off the initial application you may be costing yourself more in the long run by having to submit extra applications.

Find out if contributions will be applicable to your development, and how much they will cost, you may be able to include this amount in any loan you might have to obtain to build your dwelling.

In areas where sewer is not available a geotechnical report will be required to be submitted with the application. A major portion of the Lithgow City Council area is within the Sydney Catchment Area. New dwellings within this area will require their application to be referred to the Sydney Catchment Authority for comment. Effluent disposal systems proposed within the Sydney Catchment cannot be located within 150 metres of the Cox’s river, 100 metres of any creek or 40 metres from a drainage depression. Effluent disposal systems proposed outside the Sydney Catchment Area will be assessed on merit.

Things to be submitted with your application

Building Plans

Any application for building to Council should include a site plan with details of distances to boundaries, elevations, section plans and floor plans. Please do not include your floor plan on your site plan, so in the event that the application is on display, your site plan can be shown to the public without the internal configuration of the house being public information.

Detailed specifications

These should detail the proposed building works, including structural details as required. All building plans and specifications must comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Geotechnical Report

All dwellings proposed where sewer is unavailable are required to submit a geotechnical report with their development application for any proposed effluent disposal system. Applications within the Sydney Catchment Area may need to be referred to Water NSW  for comment; effluent disposal systems outside this area will be assessed on merit.

Applications within the Sydney Catchment Area will require a Neutral or Beneficial Effect Assessment please refer to Water NSW website for more information: https://www.waternsw.com.au/water-quality/catchment

Bushfire Assessment (if required)

Dwellings proposed within a bushfire prone area are required to submit a report detailing how the development complies with Planning for Bushfire Protection 2019 guidelines.

Solid Fuel Heaters

Details on any proposed solid fuel heaters should be submitted with your development application.

Termite Barriers

Details on any proposed termite barriers should be submitted with your development application.

Septic Tank Application

A septic Tank application can be submitted at a later stage once a plumber/drainer has been contracted. However this application must be approved prior to work commencing on the site.

BASIX Certificate

Must be lodged with the Development Application and can be obtained online at https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/basix