Are any approvals required?

Before you undertake any development or building works, you will need to determine if any approvals are required. There are three main types of development under the provisions of the legislation. They are as follows:

  • Exempt development – No approval required, minimal environmental impacts
  • Complying development – Approval required under a Complying Development Certificate (CDC)
  • Local development – Requires Council consent under a Development Application (DA). A merit assessment of the proposal is undertaken by one of Council's Planners against the relevant planning controls.

Exempt development

If your proposal meets all the relevant criteria for exempt development set out in the relevant planning instruments, then consent is not required. This is a self-assessment, and it is up to the person carrying out the works to ensure the relevant criteria are met.

Consent is generally required for developments or works to be carried out on heritage items or within heritage conservation areas. If you are unsure if your property is listed as a heritage item or within a heritage conservation area, you can check using the Department of Planning's free Spatial Viewer, or contact one of our duty planners for further clarification.

A proposed development will only be considered exempt if it satisfies all of the relevant criteria. 

Further clarification on what may be categorised as exempt development in NSW is available on the Department of Planning's website here.

Complying development

If you believe your proposal meets the criteria set out for complying development, you will need to lodge an application and obtain a CDC. An application for a CDC can be lodged with either Council or a private accredited certifier. Council's Building Certification team can assist you should you have any questions in relation to complying development.

Local development

If your development does not meet the requirements for exempt or complying development, you will need to lodge a Development Application (DA) with Council. You may wish to obtain advice from Council whilst your proposal is still a concept. This may enable any issues to be resolved prior to finalising any plans, which may save you time and money. More information is available at the following pages:

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Page last updated: 31 Aug 2023