Planning and Development

The Northern Territory Government Department of Lands and Planning is responsible for administering the Northern Territory Planning Scheme which covers Darwin Municipality.

Visit the Department‘s web site at  Under Service Sites, click on Lands and Building.  Here you will find the heading NT Lands Group.  This site contains information on a number of Groups within the Department of Lands and Planning. Depending on your needs you can click on Building, Planning, Land Administration and Land Information.


The planning process and Council’s involvement

Step 1. Pre-Application

Developers and owners may take the opportunity to discuss with Council any issues that may arise during the application process.
Areas that can be discussed include;

  • Stormwater connection to City of Darwin's infrastructure
  • Road access
  • Driveways
  • Landscaping within the verge
  • Waste requirements

The subdivision guidelines, policies and standard drawings all provide information on what is required from Council.

Step 2.  The Application

All Development Applications in the Darwin Municipality are processed by and decided upon by, the Development Consent Authority.
Council is invited to submit comment to the Development Consent Authority on all development applications in relation to relevant planning matters. A response letter discussing any possible issues or requirements for the development is sent to the Development Consent Authority.  Any requirement for contribution for carparking or stormwater will also be addressed in this letter and the subsequent Development Permit.

Step 3:  Development Permit (if issued)

Once a Development Permit is approved, notice and a copy is provided to City of Darwin by the Development Consent Authority. It is at this stage that any condition precedents relating to Council need to be addressed with the relevant department. Generally this requires a plan to be submitted, which requires a fee to be paid, for approval.

At any point from this stage any relevant plans can be submitted to Council for approval.  Stormwater, access and waste are the most common plans requiring approval and sorting out any issues early in the development results in fewer delays later. Ensure that you understand what your Development Permit conditions require from Council.

If a Development Permit is not issued please speak to your Certifier about what is required.

Step 4: Construction

Throughout construction Council is available to discuss any issues that arise that may impact on approved plans or relevant conditions. When driveways, footpaths, stormwater or any other works are undertaken in the road reserve a permit is required.  Not obtaining a permit may cause a delay in the final sign-off of a development.

Part 5: Sign-off

Once the development is complete Council needs to be advised that sign-off is required, Council will collate all the approved plans and information and arrange a site visit to ensure that all conditions have been satisfied.  If the final construction has changed from the approved plans then as-constructed drawings must be supplied for approval.
If all conditions within the Development Permit relevant to Council have been

If all conditions within the Development Permit relevant to Council have been met then sign-off will be supplied in writing. The same process applies if a Certifier is requiring sign-off.

If you have any questions about development applications or sign-off please contact City of Darwin on 89300300 or email