Preparing an Application

Preparing a quality development application and checking it is properly made is key to ensuring it can be fully assessed in a timely manner. If an application is ‘not properly made’ as defined by the Planning Act 2016, it can result in time delays, and the application being unable to be accepted.

Hiring a consultant

A consultant will help ensure your application is properly made. If you are unsure about how to make a development application or the development assessment process, hiring a consultant may be a preferred option.

How to prepare a properly made application

An application that complies with legislative requirements is a properly made application. To make a properly made application you must ensure you application:

  • is lodged in the approved form
  • is accompanied by
    • the documents required under the approved form
    • the required fee
  • includes written consent of the owner of the premises to the application

Your application cannot be progressed by council until it is properly made.


To make a development application, you must use one or both of the following state regulated forms, depending on your proposal:

  • DA Form 1: Use this form to make a development application involving code assessment or impact assessment
  • DA Form 2: Use this form to make a development application involving building work.
  • Planning Act Form 5 - Change application: This form is to be used for a change application made under section 78 of the Planning Act 2016.


The DA form lists what documents are required as a minimum to make the application properly made. These include:

  • supporting information addressing any applicable assessment benchmarks (planning scheme and relevant codes)
  • relevant plans of the development.

For further information see the DA Forms Guide: Relevant Plans


To avoid delays, fees should be paid at the time of lodging. If an application is lodged without being paid for, Council will issue an action notice requiring payment. Applicants have 30 days to pay the application fee before the application is deemed not properly made and returned.

To calculate your application fee, refer to the Planning Services Fees and Charges schedule.

Provide a better application – avoid assessment delays

When an application is well-made with quality supporting information, it can be assessed in most cases without the assessing officer asking for further information due to incomplete or bad quality documents. This means fewer time delays while Council asks you to provide additional reports or information required for the application assessment.

Book a pre-lodgement meeting

When an application does not have the information required to assess it correctly, assessment timeframe delays may occur, and an action notice and/or a request for further information may be issued. If you are unsure about what additional information Council will need to assess the application, it may be beneficial to book a pre-lodgement meeting with Council assessment officers.

Pre-lodgement meetings can be booked online.

Document quality

If you are lodging your application by email or using our Townsville Online Lodgement System (TOLS), it is beneficial to consider the quality of the documents you are providing. The preferred format for development applications is PDF. Council appreciates if the following guidelines are adhered to when lodging documents:

  • no zip files
  • no password protected PDFs
  • no layering: PDFs should be flattened

Supporting documentation often sought by council

In addition to your properly made application, Council recommends you supply the following supporting information, where applicable to your development:

  • traffic report
  • flood impact assessment
  • first principles assessment
  • stormwater management plan
  • on-site water supply report
  • on-site sewerage disposal report
  • conduit assessment
  • geotechnical report
  • groundwater and dewatering management plan
  • dilapidation report
  • hydraulic report
  • noise attenuation report
  • bushfire hazard report.

For more information on required reports and studies, refer to SC6.4 Development Manual Planning Scheme Policy of the Townsville City Plan.

Plan quality

Plans submitted as part of an application should be prepared by a qualified design consultant and are required to be fully legible at A3 size.

Plans are to be fully dimensioned and show heights and setbacks from boundaries. You should include all details required by the approved forms.