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Development assessment

Learn the basic building blocks of development control from UTS industry experts. Become familiar with the legal framework of development assessment through to planning instruments and policies and insights from the Land and Environment Court.

About this course

Development assessment is one of the most high profile activities in local government – and one of the most resource-heavy. This five-day development course explores assessment, urban design and the role of planning law in order to develop essential knowledge and skills.

Course Structure

Development assessments are complex. Get the basics on strategic planning, development assessment process and practice, and the principles of the Land and Environment Court in this course.

If you’re new to the industry, or an engineer, building surveyor or environmental officer who work with planners and seeks a deeper understanding of the planning system, this course is for you. Get essential knowledge and skills for effective practice. Learn to balance planning law with local strategic outcomes.

Topics covered include;

  • The strategic planning framework
  • The development assessment process framework
  • Development assessment practice
  • Planning principles and the Land and Environment Court 


Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, learners will be able to;

  • Articulate the legal frameworks in which planning decisions are made, and their impacts: History of strategic planning, development and subdivision law in New South Wales as well as national and international law.
  • Analyse planning instruments such as development control policies, LEP’s and DCP’s, merits based and
  • Prescriptive codes and assessment and the outcomes delivered.
  • Apply the application and approvals process from pre-lodgement to post approval stage.
  • Evaluate merit assessment: Heads of consideration, determining key issues and impacts, stakeholder views, weighting key issues, public domain works, applying conditions of consent utilising key examples and worked case studies, considering conflict resolution and negotiation skills.
  • Analyse sources of conflict, approaches for dispute resolution, the role of the Land and Environment Court including procedures, planning principles and case law.


COVID-19 Information

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, as informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this response, some of our short courses may be postponed to a later date.

Please note however, bookings are open for all courses offered by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG). If a course needs to be postponed, participants will have the chance to transfer to a later date, a new course or request a full refund. IPPG will also be offering a range of online or blended learning options facilitated via zoom video conferencing. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact our team at

Who is this course for?

For individuals working in building industry and development assessments such as:

  • Architects
  • Local government officers
  • Planners
  • Building surveyors
  • Environmental officers
  • Engineers



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