Section 5

Development Application (DA)

In some cases large events will require a Development Application (DA). A DA is required where considerable changes to the land use are required as a result of an Event. Some of the things that will determine if you require a Development Application include the type, size and location of temporary infrastructure such as tents, marquees and stages.

If a DA is required it will need to be submitted to Council well in advance of the event to ensure sufficient time for the application to be assessed and approved.  You can download the Coffs Harbour City Council Development Application form here.

For annual events that are proposing to remain the same from year to year, a multi-year approval can be provided. However it should be noted that where there are proposed changes, in any particular year (e.g. number or position of temporary infrastructures) a new DA or a DA modification may be required.

Temporary Infrastructure

The number of, and total size/floor space occupied by Temporary Infrastructure on the event site, such as Marquees and Staging, will help to determine whether a Development Application is required.

If your event is likely to exceed any one of the following, a DA Application must be lodged:

  • Total floor space for all tents & marquees exceeds 300m2. (for example a 10m x 30m large marquee or 30 x 10m2 tents)
  • Staging erected at ground level, exceeds 50m2 (for example 10m x 5m stage) and exceeds 2m in height.


The noise that your event creates will need to be planned for in a way that limits the level being emitted to residential areas. Careful selection of your venue or location is a critical factor.

When planning your site layout, develop your plans in a way that minimizes noise emissions (for example position speakers away from residential areas). Also remember to provide hearing protection for Event Staff where necessary and if you’re not sure of the noise being emitted, it is recommended that you engage someone to monitor the emissions.

Events that are Exempt from requiring a DA

Certain smaller events with minimal impact are considered exempt from Development Application and require no approval from Council providing they meet a number of requirements some of which include:
  • Written approval from the owner of the land
  • Land is zoned appropriately for the Event
  • Insurances in place ($20 million cover for events on Council controlled land).
  • Total floor space for all tents & marquees does not exceed 300m2.
  • Staging erected at ground level, does not exceed 50m2-LxW and 2m-H.
  • The event takes place during the following times:
    • 07.30 am to 11.00 pm on Monday through to Thursday,
    • 07.30 am to midnight on Friday or Saturday,
    • 08.00 am to 8.00 pm on Sunday

For further information on exempt development criteria it is recommended that you refer to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 on the NSW legislation website or contact Council for advice on whether your event will require a Development Application.