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.