Rural Dual Occupancy development application guide

Ballina Shire receives numerous Development Applications (DAs) each year for the construction of dual occupancies in our rural areas. Straightforward applications can be approved relatively quickly. However, assessment of zoning, building design, setbacks and location, access and parking arrangements, potential land use conflicts, and natural hazards or environmental issues needs to be considered. The Ballina Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and Development Control Plan (DCP) reflect Council’s vision and strategic intent for new development in the Shire. Council wants applications for rural dual occupancies to satisfy all planning requirements so they can be determined without delay.

Potential issues for rural dual occupancy development applications include:

  • Attached or Detached Dual Occupancy – the Ballina Shire has two local environmental plans that apply to rural lands with detached dual occupancies only being permitted within the RU1 or RU2 zoned lands under the Ballina LEP 2012. It is important to check your zone to determine which form of dual occupancy is available to you.
  • Bushfire hazard - much of the Shire is mapped as bushfire prone land.
  • Impact on native animals and plants - the Ballina Shire has one of the highest rates of biodiversity in NSW. The conservation and enhancement of local biodiversity is important to residents of Ballina Shire.
  • On-site sewage management systems - the adequacy of on-site sewage management systems is important to ensure the health and quality of local waterways and groundwater supplies.
  • Land use conflict - the right to farm vs a resident’s rural lifestyle amenity can be a source of conflict. Taking into consideration established and potential surrounding land uses and maximising separation distances is important in the early planning and site selection process for rural dwelling houses.
  • Archaeology/Aboriginal heritage - the Shire is rich in first inhabitant’s history. Due diligence assessments, including an AHIMS search, is an important initial step to take in selecting a suitable building location.
  • Land contamination – previous agricultural land uses and activities (e.g. spraying of pesticides) and existing and previous buildings on the land (e.g. asbestos, lead paint) may have resulted in the contamination of soil. A preliminary site investigation may be required to determine the likelihood of contamination of the site of the new dwelling house.
  • Flooding - large areas of the Shire are subject to flooding. There is a need to ensure new rural dwelling houses (and the land surrounding the dwelling) can be built above the required minimum fill and floor areas identified in Council’s Development Control Plan (DCP)

Follow these steps to provide all relevant information when you lodge your development application for a rural dual occupancy:

  • Complete the online DA form on the NSW planning portal website 
  • Complete Council’s Land Owner Details form Note: The details of all owners needs to be provided.  
  • Complete Council’s Estimated Cost of Development form 
  • Include a set of plans at a scale of 1:50, 1:100 or 1:200. The set of plans must include a site plan, floor plan, elevation and sections, plus details of external finishes and colours where available.

You will need to complete a written Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) document.

Division 1 of Part 6 and Schedule 1 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 sets out the information requirements to accompany a DA. You will need to provide answers to the following questions in your written (SEE) document:

  • What is the intended use of the building? (residential use vs short term tourist and visitor accommodation use)
  • Will occupation involve a commercial, industrial or residential use requiring a separate consent?
  • What is the floor area, number of bedrooms and building height? (if not marked on submitted plans)
  • How will vehicles access the property? (include details of on site car parking and driveways)
  • Are any excavation or earthworks or vegetation removal required?
  • What provisions are there for drinking water and On Site Sewage Management (OSSM) systems? refer to
  • Is the new dual occupancy attached or detached from the existing house?

You will also need to provide answers to the following questions in your written Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) document:

  • Which LEP applies and what is the zoning of the land?
  • Is the site in an escarpment or water catchment zone, bushfire prone or close to a main road? (refer to
  • Are there any relevant State Planning Policies? (e.g. Remediation of Land, Koalas, Coastal Land, refer to
  • Are there any relevant Ballina LEP clauses? (e.g. building height, acid sulfate soils, flood planning etc.)
  • Are there any clauses of the Ballina LEP that you are not complying with? If so, you will need to include additional details or justification about why the proposal is not compliant and why the proposal should be approved. We recommend you discuss this with Council’s Duty Planner prior to submitting your application.

The written Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE) document needs to provide information relating to the following Chapters of the Ballina Shire DCP 2012:

Answer these questions to help you identify any other matters to address in the written (SEE) document:

  • Have you spoken to the neighbours about any potential concerns or impacts?
  • If you are not clear about any LEP or DCP clauses that apply to your proposal, have you sought advice from Council’s Duty Planners?
  • If there are any proposed variations to the controls, difficult issues to resolve or prior development history, do you need a consultant to assist?
Related Pages

The DA process

Information and steps to guide you through the development application process.

Rural Dwelling development application guide

Use this guide to planning requirements for your rural dwelling development application

Rural Sheds development application guide

Use this guide to planning requirements for your rural shed/s development application

Urban Dual Occupancy development application guide

Use this guide to planning requirements for your urban dual occupancy development application

Connect with us

Postal Address

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

View more contacts

40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


Opening Hours

8:15am - 4:30pm

Monday to Friday