The complying development process
Complying development is a form of planning and building approval that can be issued by an Accredited Certifier, or Council, in the form of a Complying Development Certificate (CDC). This certificate combines approval for use of the land and the building construction works. In other words, it combines the functions of a Development Application (DA) and a Construction Certificate (CC), and is a simpler and quicker approval process than submitting a DA. In most cases, approval under this system is issued within 20 days.
A CDC can only be issued if the proposed development complies with the specific requirements and criteria for complying development, as outlined in the 'Codes SEPP'.
Important to note: prior approval may also be required for your development.
A CDC can be issued by either Council or a private Accredited Certifier and must be obtained before commencing any demolition, excavation or building work or other development.
Some types of work that may be undertaken as complying development are:
- demolition of certain buildings
- construction of a swimming pool and spa
- construction of a new dwelling
- construction of a secondary dwelling
- carports, garages and car spaces
- shade structures, awnings and pergolas
- alterations and additions to an existing dwelling
- street awnings
- fences and retaining walls
- temporary structures and marquees
- certain changes of use
- business signs
- internal alterations (fit-outs) of commercial buildings
- fit-out of a food shop.
The following flowchart shows the major steps in the CDC process:
The flowchart is a general guide only and does not cover every scenario.
Below you will find useful information about the complying development application process, requirements and assessment timeframes:
Step 1: research and pre-application consultation
Complying development relates to specific small-scale, low-impact development, which complies with set criteria detailed in a State policy or Local Environmental Plan (LEP).
A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) can only be issued if:
- the proposed development complies with the specific requirements and criteria for complying development, as outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, also known as the 'Codes SEPP'
- the proposal complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979.
You will need to research whether your proposed development complies with the above. If your development does not meet the criteria, a Development Application (DA) must be submitted to and approved by Council, and a Construction Certificate (CC) must also be obtained for any building works. You can refer to our 'Development process' page for information about this process.
If you are unsure whether your development complies with the requirements above, you can request a pre-lodgement meeting with one of our Development Help Desk staff.
You can also read about whether your development may qualify as complying development on the Department of Planning and Environment's Planning Portal:
Step 2: separate approvals/permits
You may need separate approvals or permits for certain parts of your development or activities before you lodge your CDC application, such as:
- Bushfire Attack Level Certificate (BAL) - required prior to lodgement of a CDC application if the proposed development is within a bushfire prone area. You can check if you are on bushfire prone land on the NSW Government's Planning Portal:
- flood certificate - required for complying development work, if your property is on flood prone land. You can check if you are on flood prone land on the NSW Government's Planning Portal:
- consent for removal/pruning of trees - where consent is required
- section 138 approval under the Roads Act 1993 - required for any works within the road reserve, including building any kerb, crossover or driveway
- section 68 activities approval under the Local Government Act 1993 - required for any: water, sewer or stormwater works; onsite sewerage management system; meter connection.
- Bushfire Attack Level Certificate (371.0 KB)
- Application to Remove or Prune Trees (737.2 KB)
- Application for Approval Under Section 138 Roads Act 1993 (37.4 KB)
- Activities Approval Application Under Section 68 Local Government Act 1993 (458.2 KB)
- Activities Approval Checklist for Sewer, Water and Stormwater (436.4 KB)
Step 3: preparing and lodging your CDC application
Complying development requires plans and specifications to be prepared (eg, by a building designer and/or professional engineer), and an application for a CDC is to be made. You will need to submit with your application:
- details of the work proposed
- specifications of the work proposed
- plans detailing the work proposed, including a site plan, elevations, floor plans, parking arrangements, loading facilities, ground levels to be modified and drainage information
- demolition plan (where applicable)
- existing and proposed fire safety measures (for change of use of a commercial building).
Refer to the following Codes SEPP for details:
If your renovation or build is complying development (or requires a DA through Council), you will also need to apply for a BASIX Certificate. You can read about BASIX Certificates on the NSW Government Planning and Environment website:
Complying development cannot be carried out on all land. Before lodging your CDC application, you must first find out whether your proposal complies with any planning controls that apply to your land and to the development type. You can apply to Council for a Section 149 Planning Certificate to establish what planning controls apply to your land.
You can then apply to Council for a CDC:
- Lodge your CDC application and checklist with Council's Development Help Desk staff in person:
- at the customer service centre, corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, between 8.30am and 4pm. Note: please make sure you have your completed application form, checklist and required copies of plans and documents with you. You will also need to pay your application fees at the time of lodgement.
- You can also email your application to Council's Development Help Desk staff at:
- If you are mailing your application, contact us first to get a fee quote and include your payment with your application to avoid delay in lodgement. You can mail your application to:
- Development Help Desk, Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99, MORUYA NSW 2537.
After you submit your application, Council will determine if approval can be given. If your development is approved, Council will provide you with a consent letter that includes the conditions of consent.
Please note: The NSW Government's Codes SEPP allows you to carry out development as 'complying development', subject to meeting the requirements in the SEPP. You will need to check the specific standards in the Codes SEPP when you are lodging your application to make sure they are still relevant.
Council does not accept any liability for the checklists on this website, and it is your responsibility to check the controls at the time of lodgement of your application. This is because the Codes SEPP can be amended and is controlled by the NSW Government.
Step 4: public notification
In some cases, residents of adjoining or nearby properties are required to be notified of your proposed development to encourage consultation between neighbours and resolution of any concerns that may be raised. It is a good idea to talk with your neighbours at the earliest opportunity, and before you submit your application to Council.
Your neighbours, however, have no objection rights to a complying development proposal because it meets minimum impact criteria on surrounding properties.
Neighbour notification must be in writing; the notice may be given in person through a letterbox or via the post. If a lot has an apartment building or is a dual occupancy, the occupier of each individual home/apartment must be notified. Neighbours can request to see the plans of your development, however, you do not have to make these available.
Once your CDC has been issued, you must notify neighbours within 20 metres from the boundary of the development lot before starting any work - this is called pre-construction notification. This notice is for your neighbours' information only.
You must give your neighbours two days' notice. It is your responsibility, as applicant, to notify your neighbours before any work begins and this must be done in writing.
Most CDC applications can be assessed within 20 days, however, surrounding neighbours may be notified about your development before a certificate can be issued and therefore, your application could take longer to assess.
Step 5: assessment of your application
Once lodged, your CDC application goes through an initial review and is then allocated to an Accredited Certifier, who will carry out a site inspection before assessing and/or issuing your CDC.
Council will then check that your CDC application:
- complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
- is consistent with appropriate complying development controls
- complies with BASIX requirements
- complies with other complying development submission requirements
- is consistent with the site conditions (site inspection).
Most CDC applications can be assessed within 20 days, however, surrounding neighbours may need to be notified about your development before a certificate can be issued and therefore, your application could take longer to assess.
Step 6: prior to issue of CDC
The following is required before your CDC can be issued:
- The builder's name, address and NSW licence number for all residential work exceeding $10,000 must be provided to Council.
Home Building Compensation Fund
- All residential work exceeding $20,000 must have a certificate of insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund, and you are required to provide Council with a copy of this certificate. Certificates must show the correct property details and include all work covered under the building contract, eg, dwelling and swimming pool.
- If you choose to complete the building work as an owner-builder, an Owner-Builder Permit should be obtained from NSW Fair Trading, and a copy sent to Council for all residential building work exceeding $5,000. You can read information about becoming an owner-builder and the permit requirements on the NSW Government Fair Trading website at:
- For any enquiries relating to the issue of an Owner-Builder permit, please phone NSW Fair Trading on 13 32 20, or visit their website above.
Section 94 and 64 contributions
- Development contributions are payments made by developers to Council for the provision of public infrastructure. The contributions allow Council to provide public amenities and services to meet the increased demands created by the new development. These can include shared pathways, libraries or roads. For more information relating to contributions and how they are calculated, you can refer to the Development contributions page on this website.
Long service levy
- The NSW Government has put a levy on all building and construction work valued at $25,000 or more (incl. GST). This levy rate is calculated at 0.35% of the total cost of the work. Council is an agent for the collection of long service levy payments and you will need to pay the levy when lodging your CDC.
Step 7: determination and notice
You will be sent formal determination and a CDC, together with stamped approved plans and specifications.
Council will also provide you with details of the critical stage inspections required.
You will need to notify Council of your intention to commence building works at least two days before any building works start. This must be a formal, written notification that includes details of the date on which you intend to start the building works.
A CDC lapses after five years, unless physical work has commenced, or where the approved use has been acted upon.
Step 8: building works start
Before any building work begins you must:
- ensure that a CDC has been issued to you and that you read the consent carefully and comply with the relevant conditions
- make sure you have appointed a Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). A PCA is the authority (Council), or other accredited person, appointed to carry out inspections and issue Occupation Certificates. NOTE: Only Council is authorised to carry out plumbing and drainage inspections
- ensure that you notify Council of your intention to commence building works at least two days before any building works start. This must be a formal, written notification that includes details of the date on which the work is intended to start
- obtain all relevant approvals and permits that may be needed
- ensure that the required signage has been provided to identify the site (eg, builder's information, PCA)
- make sure all environmental controls are in place eg, sediment fence, hoardings, dust control
- ensure provisions have been made for construction waste
- tell the neighbours at least two days before starting your building work.
How do I book an inspection?
Either the builder, or owner-builder, can request inspections from Council by contacting us at least 24 hours before an inspection is required:
- by phone 02 4474 7444, or
- by using Council's online booking request system.
For both of these methods, you will need to provide the following information:
- the CDC approval number
- the development site address
- the owner's name
- the type of inspection required, eg, footing, frame, wet area
- the date the inspection is required
- the site contact name and number.
Please note that we cannot guarantee any inspection time preferences at the time of booking. Should a specific time or morning inspection be required, please phone on the morning of the scheduled inspection and ask to speak to the Accredited Certifier directly regarding your time preference.
If you have appointed a private Accredited Certifier as your PCA, you will need to contact your Accredited Certifier to confirm when and how to book your critical stage inspections. NOTE: Council is still required to undertake all plumbing inspections.
Please ensure that you continue to monitor the conditions of your consent during the various stages of construction.
Step 9: issue of Occupation Certificate
An Occupation Certificate is required prior to the occupation or use of any building and must be issued by the PCA. The Occupation Certificate certifies that the building is suitable for occupation or use in accordance with its classification under the Building Code of Australia and consent conditions.
You will need to contact Council to arrange a final inspection of your building works before an Occupation Certificate can be issued. However, you must first ensure that all critical stage inspections (including a satisfactory final plumbing and drainage) have been carried out before you book your final inspection.
You can request a final inspection from Council by contacting us at least 24 hours before the inspection is required, as follows:
- by phone 02 4474 7444
- by using Council's online booking request system.
An Interim Occupation Certificate can be issued if the building is fit for occupation, but there are still outstanding matters that need to be addressed. These matters must be addressed within six months of the date of occupation of the building, and then an application for a Final Occupation Certificate must be made to Council.
You can apply for a Final Occupation Certificate by completing the following application:
You can email your application to Council's Development Admin staff at:
Or you can mail your application to:
- Development Admin, Eurobodalla Shire Council, PO Box 99 MORUYA NSW 2537.
Please note that it is an offence to occupy (or use) a building without an Occupation Certificate.
We can help you
If you would like more information about complying development, contact Council's Development Help Desk:
- T: 02 4474 1231
- E: Council's Development Help Desk
- visit our customer service centre at the corner of Vulcan Street and Campbell Street, Moruya, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 4.30pm.