Do I need approval?
Before you undertake any development or building works, you will need to determine what approvals are required.
A Development Application (DA) is required for most development in the local area, however, a DA is not always necessary. You might be able to undertake the development as:
- exempt development, which does not require approval
- complying development, which is a simpler and quicker approval process.
What is exempt and complying development?
What is exempt development?
You can do some minor building works in New South Wales without obtaining approval by either a Complying Development Certificate, Development Application or Construction Certificate. Exempt development is very low impact development that can be done for certain residential, commercial and industrial properties.
The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy) sets out the standards that each type of development must meet in order to be exempt and the general requirements that apply to all exempt development, which are in Part 1 of the State Policy.
If your development meets these criteria you can proceed without approval from Council.
Some types of development that can be exempt development may include, but are not limited to:
- access ramps
- advertising and signage
- awnings, blinds and canopies
- balconies, decks, patios, pergolas, terraces and verandahs
- barbecues and other outdoor cooking structures
- cabanas, cubby houses, ferneries, garden sheds, gazebos and greenhouses
- change of use of premises
- driveways and hard stand spaces
- earthworks, retaining walls and structural support
- farm buildings
- home businesses, home industries and home occupations
- minor building alterations (internal)
- minor building alterations (external)
- pathways and paving
- privacy screens
- rainwater tanks (above ground)
- screen enclosures (of balconies, decks, patios, pergolas, terraces and verandahs)
- shade structures of canvas, fabric, mesh or the like
- skylights, roof windows and ventilators
- swimming pools and spas (portable)
- temporary uses and structures.
If your development does not satisfy all of the exempt development criteria, you will need to:
- get a Complying Development Certificate from Council:
- submit a Development Application to Council for approval:
More information about exempt development
- View examples and general requirements for exempt development on the Department of Planning and Environment's Planning Portal
- Understanding exempt development on the NSW Government Planning & Environment website
- State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 on the New South Wales Government NSW Legislation website.
We recommend that you keep a copy of the State Policy for your records.
What is complying development?
Complying development is a type of approval for development that meets all of the relevant standards in the State Policy. It combines the functions of a Development Application and a Construction Certificate and is a simpler and quicker approval process than submitting a Development Application. In most cases, approval under this system is issued within 10 days.
Complying development cannot be undertaken on all land. To determine if a particular site meets the land based requirements under the State Policy, you can apply to Council for a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate:
You can apply to Council to obtain a Complying Development Certificate (CDC):
After you lodge your application, the certifier will determine if approval is granted. If your development is approved, the certifier will give you a consent letter that includes the conditions of consent.
You may need separate approvals or permits for specific parts of the development or activities before you lodge your CDC application, such as:
- a Bushfire Attack Level Certificate (BAL): refer to Section 3.36B of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
- flood planning certification: refer to Section 3.36C of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
- tree removal application for removing or pruning trees where consent is required
- section 138 Roads Act 1993 approval for any works within the road reserve including building any kerb, crossover or driveway
- section 68 activities approval under the Local Government Act 1993 for any:
- water, sewer or stormwater works
- onsite sewerage management system
- meter connection.
- 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).
You can apply for a Bushfire Attack Level Certificate (BAL), if required:
We can help you
If you would like more information about exempt and complying development, phone 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.