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.

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.

To apply for a Complying Development Certificate from Council, please fill out the Complying Development Application Form and submit the relevant documentation to Council with both hard copies and an electronic copy, following the Electronic Lodgement Guidelines. Approval is normally granted within 7-10 days of lodging an application.

From 1 July 2020, Waverley Council will be accepting Complying Development Certificates via the NSW Planning Portal.

All lodgements via the portal must include Waverley Council’s Complying Development Application Form and document requirements and be submitted in accordance with the Waverley Council’s Electronic Lodgement Guidelines, including using the correct naming convention. Once your application has been lodged via the NSW Planning Portal, Council will review the application and then contact you to pay the relevant fee. Council will not begin assessing the application until all the relevant fees are paid.

A computer is available at Council’s Customer Service Centre for you to use the online service, otherwise it can be lodged from your home or office.  If you need assistance using the online service, please view the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment’s How To guides or contact Service NSW on 1300 305 695 for additional support.

Waverley Council will be accepting these applications at the Council's Customer Service Centre at 55 Spring Street, Bondi Junction for a transitional period with mandatory submission via the NSW Planning Portal to be implemented in the future.

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.

Electronic Lodgement Guidelines

Waverley Council requires electronic lodgement of all plans and supporting documentation for all Planning and Building applications in digital form (as PDF documents contained on a CD, USB or similar device). The documents must be submitted in a particular format which is outlined in Council's Electronic Lodgement Guidelines.