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Wollongong City Council

Development on Public Land

Public land is land that’s owned or managed by Council or the NSW Government.

If you’re thinking of applying for development approval on public land, the process is similar to any other type of development application (DA).

Information about some of the extra things you will need to consider is shown below.

You should always talk to us before you apply for development approval on any public land.

What you’re proposing will need to match what's allowed for the land’s zone under our Local Environmental Plan.

Public land managed by Council will have a Plan of Management (for Community Land) or Trust Purpose (for Crown Land managed by Council). These documents explain what’s allowed on the land, in addition to planning rules. You can view current plans on our Community Land page.

Many parcels of public land have constraints due to flood and bushfire risk, or have other items on the land that need to be protected. This can include things like heritage items, significant trees and public buildings.

For some types of activity, we may also have to go through a public competitive process and invite other people to express interest in using the land as well.

Talk to us before you start your application to confirm what conditions will apply in your case.

As with all development applications, you need to get the owner’s consent in writing. Contact us to confirm who owns the land, and what consent will be needed.

Depending on what you want to do, there may be existing permissions in place that you can use instead of going through the development application (DA) process.

For example, we have pre-existing DAs for events at eight popular locations, and at various foreshore sites for commercial fitness trainers. Council can often licence these existing permissions to other people.

Talk to us to check if there is an existing permission you can use for your activity.

Pre-lodgement meetings are compulsory for any development on public land.