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Dwelling entitlement search

When buying a property, especially a vacant site, a very important question to consider is 'can I build a dwelling house on the land?' - not all rural land has a legal right to have a dwelling erected upon the land. You may have seen or heard this referred to as a dwelling entitlement.

A dwelling entitlement refers to the potential for Council to approve a dwelling on a certain property. It is important for the community, and land-owners in particular, to understand that under current Local Environmental Plans (LEPs), rural zones are primarily used for rural production and not the construction of dwellings, unless a dwelling entitlement exists.

Applicable rural zonings that require a dwelling entitlement search, include:

Check the zoning of your land

You can find out what zone applies to your land to determine whether a dwelling entitlement search is required, by accessing the New South Wales Planning and Environment's Planning Portal:

The factors that determine if a property has a dwelling entitlement include: the size of the property, zoning, history of the land holding, and the date of subdivision approval. Advice regarding dwelling entitlements within Eurobodalla Shire will include information such as if a dwelling is permissable within the subject zone, and if the property meets the minimum development standards, as set out in the Eurobodalla Local Environment Plan 2012 and the Eurobodalla Rural Local Environmental Plan 1987.

Please note that dwelling entitlement advice does not constitute development approval being granted. If the land has a dwelling entitlement, you will still need to apply for development consent by lodging a Development Application. In this regard, consent is dependant upon a merit-based assessment under Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The planning regulations for dwelling entitlements do change over time, and the advice you receive from a dwelling entitlement search only applies at the date of issue. If a previous dwelling entitlement search has been carried out, you will need a new search to confirm if this information is still current. Please note that if you are applying for a dwelling entitlement search for multiple adjoining lots under the same ownership, only one application fee will apply.

Note: if there is an existing approved dwelling on your rural land, you will need a building records search instead to find out what approvals exist (if any) for the dwelling on this land.

Applying for a dwelling entitlement search

You can apply for a dwelling entitlement search by sending your written request, including the lot and DP particulars of all relevant parcels of land, paying the relevant fee and completing the payment form:

  • a standard application fee of $337.00
  • for more complex requests, the standard fee will apply to the first two hours, then a fee of $80 per hour will apply thereafter
  • credit card form (833 KB).

Your written request and payment form can be submitted either of the following ways:

  • in person at the customer service centre, corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, between 8.30am and 4.30pm
  • you can email to:
  • you can mail your request to:
    • Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99, MORUYA NSW 2537
  • you will need to pay your application fee at the time of lodgement.

Council will usually process a dwelling entitlement search request within 14 days, and it will be emailed or mailed to you. Complex searches can take longer, and we will contact you to give you an estimated timeframe if this is the case.

Who can apply for a dwelling entitlement search?

Anyone can apply for a dwelling entitlement search, however, conveyancers, solicitors and prospective property owners are the most common applicants.

We can help you

If you need more information about a dwelling entitlement search, please phone our Development Helpdesk:

  • T: 02 4474 1231
  • E: Council's Development Helpdesk
  • visit our customer service centre at the corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.