DA [Development Approval] vs BA [Building Approval]

What is the difference between a DA and a BA?


DA stands for Development Approval and BA stands for Building Approval. Just to confuse things we interchangeably also use DA to say Development Assessment or Development Application. Other key phrases similar to DA are Development Permit or Council Approval. For BA you might hear other similar terms such as building permit or building certification thrown around.

  • A DA is obtained through a regulatory town planning process to determine if your proposal is appropriate in terms of density, use, aesthetics, bulk and scale.
  • A BA is a determination that you are ready to construct something that will not fall down, burn down and is compliant with all the necessary regulations.


When is it applicable?

Not every building requires a DA. A DA is required for changes of use e.g. when you convert an office into a gym or increase the dwelling density of a site by taking it from 1 house to 8 townhouses. A DA is also required for building work in particular instances, such as undertaking specific renovations on a house in a specific locality. On the other hand, a BA is generally required for all new building and renovation projects with some exceptions.



A DA requirement always comes before the BA. Once you have obtained your DA you will then apply for your BA and once obtained you can then start construction.

When you are given your DA, this does not override the need to obtain your BA.


Who to talk to?

If you would like to know if a DA is required and what is involved, please speak to your local Council (they all have a planning desk) and once confirmed then speak with your private town planner for further detailed information. If you would like to know if a BA is required and what is involved, please speak to a private building certifier.