Before you undertake any development or building works, you will need to determine what approvals are required.
A Development Application (DA) is required for most development in the local area, however, a DA is not always necessary. You might be able to undertake the development as:
- exempt development, which does not require approval
- complying development, which is a simpler and quicker approval process.
You can do some minor building works in New South Wales without obtaining approval. Exempt development is very low impact development.
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy) sets out the standards that each type of development must meet in order to be exempt and the general requirements that apply to all exempt development, which are in Part 1 of the State Policy.
If your development meets these criteria you can proceed without approval from Council. Contact Council or alternatively for Complying Development Certificates you may also contact a private certifier.
If your development does not satisfy all of the exempt development criteria, you will need to contact Council of Private Certifier (complying development only).
More information about exempt development:
- View examples and general requirements for exempt development on the Department of Planning and Environment's Planning Portal
- Understanding exempt development on the NSW Government Planning & Environment website
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 on the New South Wales Government NSW Legislation website.
A complying development certificate is a type of approval for development that meets all of the relevant standards in the State Policy. It combines the functions of a Development Application and a Construction Certificate and is a simpler and quicker approval process than submitting a Development Application. In most cases, approval under this system is issued within 10 days.
Complying development cannot be undertaken on all land. To determine if a particular site meets the land based requirements under the State Policy, you can apply to Council for a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate.
You can apply to Council or a private certifier to obtain a Complying Development Certificate.
After you lodge your application, the assessment will determine if approval can be granted. If your development is approved, you will be given a certificate which includes conditions which must be complied with.
You may need separate approvals or permits for specific parts of the development or activities before you lodge your Complying Development Certificate application, such as:
- a Bushfire Attack Level Certificate (BAL)
- flood planning certification
- section 138 Roads Act 1993 approval for any works within the road reserve including building any kerb, crossover or driveway
- section 68 activities approval under the Local Government Act 1993 for any: