How to object to a DA
To lodge an objection to a Development Application (also known as a DA), you need to write to Council explaining what is wrong with the DA – in your own words. Objections can be as short or as long as you like.
It is acceptable to simply explain how a development is going to make an area less pleasant to live in. (Planners call this ‘amenity’).
The best objections drill into the documents in the Development Application and point out where they are incomplete, or misleading, or plain wrong. All the documents will be online until the close of submissions.
You must respond by the closing date for submissions. You must include your full name and address, the relevant Development Application number and the site address.
If you’re a resident of the City of Sydney, you can email your objection to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can post it to council at “City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW 2001″.
When you send your submission, consider emailing the Councillors – otherwise the objection only goes to Council staff, and Councillors don’t get to see your submission, which makes it harder for them to argue for you.
You also have the option to submit your objection via https://www.planningalerts.org.au/. This has the advantage of letting other people see your objection, and lets you see what other people are saying.
Planningalerts.org can also send you email notifications of future DAs near you. This is well worth doing – Council are only required to notify you of a DA if it within 50m – practically nothing. And if you do see something, make sure to talk to your neighbours, or even letterbox them, because the odds are that otherwise they won’t realise what’s happening until it’s too late to react.
For more information, see http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/development/development-applications/comments-and-objections.
How to object to a Major Project
To lodge an objection to a ‘Major Project’, such as one of the stages of WestConnex, or anything similar, you can visit the Department of Planning’s majorprojects website. You can find individual projects by searching for the name, or the project number.
For example, the M4M5Link is http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=7485.
You then need to provide the requested information, including name, address and of course your submission, which can be typed into the form, or uploaded.
Sometimes, one or another lobby group or political party will set up a website to make it easier for you to make a submission.
For example, https://westconnexactiongroup.good.do/makeyoursubmissiontothewestconnexm4m5eis/Submission-to-WestConnex-New-M4M5/
Your submission does not need to be long or complex. When they count the submissions, each submission counts as one submissions, however long and detailed it is or isn’t. Your opinions, reasons for them and your suggestions are the most important parts of your submission. As much as possible, state how your concerns might be addressed. Where possible, provide references to hard data, such as scientific reports. Use photographs, maps or sketches when appropriate. As best you can, make clear which section or chapter of the EIS your comments apply to.
You should quote the project’s application number and the address of the site (if it has a specific address). You have to provide your name and contact details. You can ask for your contact details to be kept confidential. You should clearly state whether you are supporting or objecting to the proposal. It wouldn’t hurt if you can make clear how you personally will be impacted by the project.
For more information, see https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/understanding-planning/major-projects.