da or ba

DA [Development Approval] vs BA [Building Approval]

What is the difference between a DA and a BA?

BA stands for Building ApprovalFor BA you might hear other similar terms such as building permit or building certification thrown around.

DA stands for Development Approval. DA may also stand for Development Assessment or Development Application. Other key phrases similar to DA are Development Permit or Council Approval. 

  • A DA – Development Approval is obtained through the regulatory town planning process. The DA – Development Assessment process will determine if your proposal is appropriate in terms of density, use, aesthetics, bulk and scale.
  • A BA – Building Approval is obtained through an assessment against the relevant building codes. When a BA is issued, you will be ready to construct your project. We simplify that a BA ensures that the works are compliant and will (should) not fall down, burn down and is compliant with all the necessary regulations.


When is a development approval or building approval applicable?

Not every building requires a DA. A Development Application is required where:

– There is a change of use

– An increase of dwelling density 

– An overlay triggers assessment

A DA is also required for building work in particular instances, such as undertaking specific renovations on a house in a specific locality. On the other hand, a BA is generally required for all new building and renovation projects with some exceptions.

When do you need a BA or a DA?

If you require a DA – Development Approval this will always be required before you can apply for your BA – Building Approval. 

“DA before BA” is an easy to remember rule of thumb.

See also  Town Planner Fees

Once you have obtained your DA you will then apply for your BA and once obtained you can then start construction.

When you are given your DA, this does not override the need to obtain your BA.

Who to talk to?

If you would like to know if a DA is required and what is involved, please speak to your local Council (they all have a planning desk). Once Council confirmed a DA is required you can then speak with your private town planner to confirm and for further detailed information. If you would like to know if a BA is required and what is involved, please speak to a private building certifier.