Exempt & complying development

Before you start building it is important to determine whether you are going to need planning approval. For some work, there are no approvals required and there are also faster approval paths that are available when development is low scale and low impact

Exempt Development

This is minor work which does not require planning approval and therefore does not require lodgement of a Development Application (DA).

Complying Development

This is small scale, low impact development that does not qualify as Exempt Development and is capable of a faster approval process where a building meets all of the predetermined standards established in either a State or local council planning document. Approval (Complying Development Certificate) is required but can be given by either Council or a Private Certifier.

Approval is normally granted within 7-10 days of lodging an application.

If you are unsure whether you need a DA, please begin with our new online tool Development Enquirer. Simply enter your address and select the type of works you wish to undertake and your next steps will be outlined for you.

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

Also known as the "Codes SEPP", this State legislation 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 & Industrial Code

Visit the Codes SEPP on the NSW Legislation website for more information.

Development requiring approval

Any development that is not either exempt or complying development requires a development application (DA). Visit our development application page for more information.

New DA requirements

From 1 October 2014, all building applications submitted to Council must include a CD / USB that contains all forms, plans and documents in soft copy.

Download the information sheet to find out more.

Need planning advice?

Contact Council's Duty Planner

  • Phone 9083 8484
  • Visit in person at our Customer Service Centre, 55 Spring Street, Bondi Junction

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