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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?

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Exempt 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:

If your development does not satisfy all of the exempt development criteria, you will need to:


More information about exempt development

We recommend that you keep a copy of the State Policy for your records.

Complying development

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:

You can apply for a Section 138 Roads Act 1993 approval or a Section 68 Local Government Act 1993 activities approval:

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.