Media Releases

New DA withdrawal guidelines for councils to boost housing supply

Paul Scully – Minister for Planning and Public Spaces
Ron Hoenig – Minister for Local Government
Rose Jackson – Minister for Water, Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness, Minister for Mental Health, Minister for Youth, Minister for the North Coast

Tuesday, 10 October 2023

The NSW Government is ramping up its efforts to have fewer Development Applications (DAs) withdrawn and to get more people into homes sooner by releasing new guidelines for councils.

Figures show 95 per cent of DAs move through councils however, 9,040 applications have been withdrawn since July 2021 averaging 70 withdrawals per council.

While some councils had no withdrawals, 15 councils had more than 200 withdrawals.

The new guidelines will help address the State’s housing shortfall and ensure the DA process is not delaying the pipeline of housing projects across NSW.

Under the guidelines councils will be required to accelerate DA assessment timeframes and not request unnecessary information or unnecessarily ask applicants to withdraw DA proposals.

The guidelines also require councils to direct adequate resources to their planning and assessment teams to fast-track DA assessments.

NSW will require approximately 900,000 additional homes by 2041.

National Housing Accord data indicates the State has a projected housing construction shortfall of 376,000 homes over five years.

The Minns Government will monitor the performance of councils in assessing development applications to ensure they are meeting expectations outlined in the new guidelines.

Minister for Planning and Public Spaces Paul Scully said:
“We want to support councils by providing guidelines that make it clearer about when it is appropriate to withdraw a DA and when it is not.
“This clarity is needed to get more homes delivered and to clear what’s approved.”
Minister for Local Government Ron Hoenig said:
“It’s beyond belief that more than 9,000 DAs have been withdrawn since July 2021 and it’s definitely not acceptable in the middle of a housing crisis.
“I’m concerned there may be instances of councils asking applicants to withdraw applications rather than assessing them, in a bid to reduce their DA processing timeframes.
“Council staff should make every effort to resolve issues before asking applicants to withdraw DAs, which can ultimately lead to less housing stock.
“We need to increase our housing supply in NSW, and we need to act now to speed up the DA process.
“Councils have a critical role in the planning process and we need them to work with us to get more people into homes sooner across our state.”

Minister for Housing Rose Jackson said: “The only way we’re going to get people off the housing waitlist is by getting them into homes. We need to do everything we can to expedite the delivery of more housing. “These reforms are a strong step in the right direction to help build a reliable supply of social and affordable housing in NSW.”
For more information visit:

Kate Byrant | Minister Scully | 0455 609 661
Clare Dowswell | Minister Hoenig | 0448 540 073
Skye Tito | Minister Jackson | 0422 630 099

PDF VersionMinisterial Media Release – 10 October 2023