Complying Development

Some residential, commercial and industrial development can be approved as complying development.  A Complying Development Certificate can be issued by a council or private certifier without the need for a full development application, providing the application meets specific criteria.

Complying Development rules are generally set out by a State Policy - State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. This policy allows for the following types of development:

  • Alterations and additions to dwelling houses
  • Garages
  • New dwelling houses
  • Swimming Pools and Spas
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation
  • Home businesses involving food manufacture
  • Temporary structures (such as marquees) for community events
  • Waterways structures
  • Commercial and industrial alterations
  • New commercial and industrial buildings
  • Container recyling facilities
  • Change of use and fitout of commercial and industrial uses
  • Strata subdivision
  • Demolition
  • Fire safety

There are other state policies (SEPPs) that allow for complying development, such as for affordable housing and infrastructure.  More information about these SEPPs and complying development in general is available from the NSW Planning & Environment or contact council's certifiers.

Is my development Complying Development?

To qualify for complying development, you must comply with Building Code of Australia (BCA) standards and satisfy all development standards and land requirements specified in the relevant policy. Complying development is unable to be used on some types of land, such as environmentally sensitive land, land containing a heritage item and foreshore areas.

The NSW Exempt and Complying Development Codes allow users to determine whether proposed works fall under exempt or complying development. They also provide the controls you must meet.

You can also engage private certifiers or council's certifiers for assistance with your complying development assessment.

Complying development under Council's LEP

The Council's LEP allows for complying development in Zone E4 Environmental Living. This applies to:

  • New dwellings houses
  • Alterations and additions to dwelling houses
  • Ancillary development such as balconies, carports, fences and retaining walls

Application process

If your development proposal satisfies the requirements of the SEPP or LEP, you can lodge an application for a complying development certificate.

Approval in 20 days or less

This process aims for a decision within 20 days with approved developments receiving a complying development certificate.

What if I can’t meet all the criteria?

If your development does not satisfy all the controls, or is proposed on land which is excluded from the state policy, complying development cannot be approved. A development application must be lodged for this development.



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More information



Complying Development Certificate

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