Approval you need

Exempt development 

You do not need planning or construction approval for many minor renovations and low-impact works (exempt development).

Council approval is not needed if your project meets specific development standards. The standards you must comply with for most exempt development works are in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

If your proposal does not meet all of the Exempt Development requirements, you will need to get approval via a Complying Development Certificate or Development Application before you can start any work.

The NSW Planning Portal  provides useful information on Exempt Development

Should you have any further questions in relation to Exempt Development, please contact our Duty Building Surveyor on (02) 9839 6000.

Complying development

Some residential, commercial and industrial development can be constructed as complying development.

A proposal must meet all of the relevant development standards nominated (eg: height limits, floor space ratio, distances to boundaries), and comply with the Building Code of Australia.

In some instances, a notice of the proposal is sent to your neighbours.

Complying Development can be approved by a council or a privately accredited certifier.

What can I build ?

View the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) 2009 development standards.

The standards are grouped into individual codes.

  • General Housing Code: for construction of dwelling houses and ancillary development, including swimming pools, garages and fences.

  • Housing Alterations Code: for internal and external alterations and additions to existing dwelling houses.

  • General Development Code: for miscellaneous items.

  • Commercial and Industrial Alterations Code: for internal building alterations, change of use proposals, first use of premises, mechanical ventilation systems, shop front and awnings, and several other types of alterations to commercial and industrial premises.

  • Commercial and Industrial (New Buildings and Additions) Code: for new industrial buildings and additions to commercial and industrial buildings.

  • Subdivisions Code: for strata subdivision of buildings other than dual occupancies.

  • Demolition Code: for demolition of various structures.

  • Fire Safety Code: for fire safety upgrades.

Should you wish to lodge a Complying Development application with us, the CDC application form is available on the Building and Development application forms page.

Development approval 

Development Application (DA) is a formal request for consent to carry out development on a property.

The approval process takes into account all the various local, state and federal planning laws that are in place to manage the social, economic and environmental impacts of a new development.  Not only do these laws protect the overall look of our landscape, they ensure your plans don’t impact negatively on the environment or your neighbours.

Whatever your proposal entails, you’ll need to know whether approval is needed, and what restrictions apply. 

  • There are different types of development that determine whether a DA is needed.

  •  If you do need approval, you'll need to lodge an application with us. 

Before preparing your application, read through our preparing an application page.