Making a submission

When comments on a draft plan or development application (DA) are provided to Council they are known as a formal submission. A submission outlines the support or concerns that an individual or group has relating to the draft plan or DA. Submissions are  usually made in writing through a letter or email.

Where can I get information about a Development Application (DA) or Draft Plan?

Development proposal information is available for viewing through Council’s DA Online portal If you have specific questions please contact the Council officer whose name appears on the letter. Strategic planning documents on public exhibition are available to download on the Your Say Ballina page. Hardcopy documents are available from Council on request.

Are submissions public documents?

Submissions to documents on public exhibition are public documents and may be viewed by the public and published on Council's website, listed on Council’s DAs Online portal and/or included in Council meeting reports and agendas.

In accordance with the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, submissions made on DAs and applications for modification to a DA are made available to the public for viewing through Council’s DAs Online portal If you do not want your submission to be publicly available, a written request for confidentiality will be required.

Council may also determine a submission is not suitable for public viewing and publication. This could be because it contains personal, private or defamatory material. Further information about how Council manages submissions can be found in the Your Privacy section of this website.

How do I write a good submission?

A good submission should:

  • Include the name of the draft strategic plan or the DA Reference Number and the property address the DA relates to (this information is usually included in the notification material).
  • Clearly state the reasons for objecting or supporting the draft strategic plan or development proposal and why. Give details about how you arrived at your assertions.
  • Be brief and to the point or include a single page summary sheet where the submission is lengthy because a number of issues covered.
  • Be specific to the DA, strategic plan or strategy and avoid generalising.
  • Be well researched and based on facts, not on hearsay. Talk to the Council officer who is dealing with the application prior to writing your submission and make sure that you understand what is proposed.
  • Avoid statements which are defamatory or offensive.
  • Suggest changes that might resolve the problems identified.
  • Include your name and contact details as well as a daytime telephone number, as a Council officer may need to clarify matters you raised in your submission.

Should I sign a petition?

You may find that someone has started a petition to object to a development proposal. Someone may also ask you to sign a pro forma letter. Council will consider petitions and letters received. However, an individual letter about how the proposal will affect you gives Council a much clearer picture of the likely effects.

Where should I send my submission?

Unless otherwise stated on the exhibition material, a submission should be sent:

By email
By post Ballina Shire Council, Customer Service Centre, PO Box 450 BALLINA NSW 2478
In person 40 Cherry Street BALLINA NSW 2478

Your submission must be received at Council offices by the date and time specified in the exhibition notification. If you are sending your submission through the mail, make sure you allow sufficient time for delivery by 4.00pm on the closing date of the submissions. Objections relating to a DA or strategic planning document received after the exhibition period has concluded may not be taken into consideration by Council in the assessment of the DA or finalisation of the draft strategic plan.

If for some reason you cannot meet the submission deadline, talk to the Council officer handling the application before the closing date for submissions.

What happens to my submission?

A letter will be provided to you acknowledging that your submission has been received. Your submission, along with others received, will then be considered as part of an assessment of a DA, preparation of a strategic plan or finalisation of a draft document.
You can continue to track the process of a DA via the DA’s Online portal You can also contact Council to find out the progress of the development application or draft strategic plan after the exhibition period has closed.

Disclosure of Political Donations

A person who lodges or comments on a development application to Council is required to disclose the following reportable political donations and gifts made by any person with a financial interest in the application within the period commencing two years before the application is made and ending when the application is determined:

  • All reportable political donations made to any local Councillor of the Council; and
  • All gifts made to any local Councillor or employee of the Council.

A reference to a reportable political donation made to a local Councillor includes reference to a donation made at the time the person was a candidate for election to the Council. Significant penalties apply for non-disclosure. For more information and to obtain a political donations and gifts disclosure statement, go to the NSW Government Planning and Environment website.

Information on disclosures made by political parties, groups and candidates who contest local government elections is available from NSW Electoral Commission

Will I be notified of a proposed Development?

If notification is required for a DA, Council’s notification methods typically include one or more of the following:

  • Council’s website - Development applications (DAs) are available electronically on the DAs Online portal
  • Letter - Council may send letters (email or post) to adjoining and or surrounding landowners who may be potentially impacted by the development proposal.
  • Site signage - Council staff may provide a sign on the site of the proposed development.

Community participation in planning

Ballina Shire Council is committed to community engagement as a principle of good governance. Community participation in the planning system results in better planning outcomes for our community.

Council's land use planning functions are governed by the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act).

NSW planning authorities, including councils, are required to prepare a Community Participation Plan (CPP) in response to an update of the EP&A Act in early 2018.

Our CPP outlines how and when council will engage with our community when undertaking certain planning activities. These activities include plan making and the assessment of development proposals.

The CPP clarifies how and when the community can participate in the various aspects of land use planning in Ballina Shire. The engagement methods and timeframes enable Council to be transparent in it's planning decisions and involve the community in these decisions.


More information

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Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

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40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


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