DA and BA

DA and BA – Development Approval and Building Approval

“Well firstly you need to go get your DA and then you can focus on getting your BA”.  Have you ever heard your planner or building certifier using this terminology and wondered “huh?”  Well you are most likely not alone.  All industries have little sayings and acronyms which can be extremely confusing if you are not ‘up with the lingo’.

A DA is often used to refer to a Development Application or Approval.  This is your planning approval.  A DA will ensure your proposed development is suitable for your site; the surrounding locality; and will meet all necessary planning requirements.  In most cases a DA is a Material Change of Use application (often referred to as a MCU).  A DA is not always required as some types of development may be exempt from planning assessment, or be able to conform to self-assessable criteria.  For example most dwellings within residential zones do not require a DA.  The only time a dwelling should require a DA is if the property is not appropriately zoned for residential use or is subject to particular Overlays such as flood hazard or steep land hazard.

If you require a DA for your development this must be submitted and approved by the relevant authority prior to submitting and receiving your BA.  It is best to first contact your town planning consultant to discuss if your proposed development will require a DA.


A BA is simply a Building Application or Approval, also often referred to as a building permit.  When you require approval to build a structure you submit a BA (application) to your building certifier, with the intention to receive your building approval.  A BA is an approval which ensures a building is structurally sound; will operate safely; and will comply with the necessary provisions such as fire resistance, disability access, energy efficiency, and even acoustic treatments.  All building work in Queensland is considered assessable development, unless it is determined to be exempt or self-assessable under a regulation.  To learn what you need to submit for a successful BA please follow this link.  Conducting building work without a BA can cause you some serious grief so please consult with a building certifier.

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Candace is a valued past employee of Devcert. Candace started as a student with Devcert in 2010 and obtained a Bachelor Degree in Planning while working with us. Many of the planning articles on The Oil Stone were researched and developed by Candace.