Exempt development

Some low impact development, such as small sheds or carports, do not need approval if it meets certain criteria. It must meet certain development standards as well as zone requirements to be exempt. In certain areas, for example in critical habitat or often on or near heritage items, all development is not exempt.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 provides when development may be exempt. 

1. Meet the general requirements for exempt development. 

2. Check the standards for your development type. The SEPP lists different types of development and the standards to meet to be exempt. 
See the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s website for further details.

Should you meet all of this criteria, the development is exempt. If not, you will need an approval.

All exempt development must still meet the National Construction Code (NCC) as well as the requirements for adjoining owners’ property rights, the applicable common law and other legislative requirements for approvals, licenses, permits and authorities.

Complying development

A complying development certificate, or CDC, can be issued by Council or a private certifier. You do not need a full development application if specific criteria is met. 

Complying development rules are set by the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. 

Complying development only applies in certain land use zones, or when all works are internal to the building.  Check your zone on our interactive maps.

Complying development generally cannot be used on some types of land, like Environmental Living zones, environmentally sensitive land, bushfire prone land with a BAL-40 or BAL-FZ rating, and land containing a heritage item.

All Complying Development must still meet the National Construction Code (NCC) as well as the requirements for adjoining owners’ property rights, the applicable common law and other legislative requirements for approvals, licenses, permits and authorities.

Further information is available on the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s website

Development Application

Development Applications, or DAs, are a formal request for permission to carry out a proposed development. This could include building, subdivision, change of use, landscaping or other works. The NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a guide to the DA process. Use Council's checklist for residential development for documentation requirements for your application. Include this with your development application. If you are still unsure, Council recommends engaging a consultant town planner to help prepare your application. 

A DA assessment is based on its merits. It should comply with the development standards, controls and provisions as set out in Council's Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans.

If your development is approved, Council issues a development consent which includes conditions that need to be met. 

After your DA is approved a Construction Certificate or Subdivision Works Certificate is required prior to works commencing on site. This requires a separate application to be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal. It can be can be issued by Council or a private certifier.