Exempt and complying development

Electronic Housing Code (EHC)

The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) is a free-to-use online system that allows you to:

  • Investigate whether you are eligible for exempt and/or complying development based on your site restrictions
  • Print and/or save an Exempt Development Report (this will show that you are eligible for exempt development for the specified site if the pre-determined standards are adhered to; these standards are outlined in the document for the user)
  • Prepare and lodge a Complying Development application online using a standardised application process
  • Track an application as it is processed using the dashboard feature
  • Download a determination (either Complying Development Certificate or a Refusal Notification letter) using the dashboard.

For more information on the Electronic Housing Code project, please go to www.ehc.nsw.gov.au.

Some types of development do not need a Development Application (DA). These fall into two categories:

  • Exempt development – exempt from requiring development consent (although sometimes other approvals or licences may be required)
  • Complying development – requires consent through a Complying Development Certificate before work commences.

Requirements for exempt and complying development are provided for by the Codes SEPP, a State Government planning instrument. The Local Environmental Plan (LEP) that applies to your land may also specify some additional exempt and complying developments that are not covered by the Codes SEPP.

A proposed development will only be considered 'exempt' or 'complying' if it satisfies all of the relevant criteria stipulated in the Codes SEPP or the relevant LEP. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the proposed development satisfies these criteria.

Codes SEPP – State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008

The Codes SEPP is a State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) which came into force on 27 February 2009. It contains the following codes for exempt and complying development:

  • Part 2 – Exempt Development
  • Part 3 – General Housing Code
  • Part 4 – Housing Alterations Code
  • Part 5 – General Commercial and Industrial Code

The Codes SEPP prevail over the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) regarding exempt and complying development. However, the LEP contains some additional exempt and complying developments that are not covered by the Codes SEPP.

Exempt development

Exempt Development is minor development that does not require a development application (although sometimes other approvals or licences may be required.

Examples include pergolas, cubby houses, small outbuildings, and proposals to change the use of buildings in business or light industrial zones.

Although you can carry out exempt development without lodging a formal development application with Council, you must first ensure your proposal meets the criteria of exempt development in the Codes SEPP or the relevant LEP.

The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) is a free-to-use online system that allows you to find out if your proposed development falls under exempt or complying development.

Complying development

The Codes SEPP allows for small scale, low impact development called complying development to follow a fast-tracked approval process. It allows for certain land within the Inner West Council area to be developed for:

  • Residential and commercial development, including single and two storey dwelling houses
  • Ancillary residential development
  • Commercial and retail changes of use
  • Commercial and retail fit-out

A proposed development will only be considered 'complying' if it satisfies all of the relevant criteria stipulated in the Codes SEPP or the relevant LEP. The applicant is responsible for ensuring that the proposed development satisfies these criteria.

The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) is a free-to-use online system that allows you to find out if your proposed development falls under exempt or complying development.

Complying development is subject to the issuing of a Complying Development Certificate from Council or an Accredited Certifier. For further information on how to obtain a Complying Development Certificate from Council, please contact Council's Duty Planner:

  • Ashfield Service Centre: (02) 9716 1800
  • Leichhardt Service Centre: (02) 9367 9222
  • Petersham Service Centre: (02) 9335 2222

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