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Complying development

Complying development is a form of planning and building approval that can be issued by Council or by a registered certifier, 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 be issued by either Council or a private registered certifier and must be obtained before commencing any demolition, excavation or building work or other development.

Use the NSW Planning Portal from 1 July 2021

From 1 July 2021, applications such as development applications and post-consent certificates must be lodged via the NSW Government's Planning Portal. From 1 July 2021 the NSW Planning Portal is the only way you can lodge these applications.

NSW Planning Portal: frequently asked questions

Find answers to all of your questions about lodging certain planning applications online through the NSW Planning Portal:

Complying development examples

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 complying development process

This flowchart shows the major steps in the CDC process. The flowchart is a general guide only and does not cover every scenario.

The steps on this page outline the complying development application process, requirements and assessment timeframes:

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:

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 also read about whether your development may qualify as complying development on the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's Planning Portal.

Complying development on bushfire-prone land

Complying development is allowed on some bushfire-prone land, ie, low-risk bushfire-prone land - it is not permitted on high-risk bushfire-prone land, ie, where the BAL is identified as 40 or Flame Zone.

To check whether your property is situated on bushfire-prone land:

  • use our GIS mapping tool where you can view Council’s bushfire-prone land maps:
    • insert your property address in the ‘address search’
    • expand the ‘development restrictions’ layer on the left side of the screen
    • tick ‘bushfire-prone land’ to see whether your property is located on bushfire-prone land.
  • or use the Planning Portal:
    • insert your property address
    • click on the ‘hazard’ layer on the left side of the screen and tick the ‘bushfire prone land’ box
    • click on the ‘legends’ tab to view the bushfire-prone land category rating
  • or order a section 10.7 planning certificate.

The risk of bushfire is assessed via an Application for a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) Certificate. Complying development on bushfire-prone land requires a BAL Certificate to accompany the application. You can apply to Council for a BAL Certificate or a suitably qualified bushfire consultant recognised by the NSW RFS. You must apply prior to lodging your CDC application. Once the BAL has been determined, and the certificate issued, you can then proceed to apply for a CDC - refer to step 3 on this page.

After you lodge your CDC 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.

Apply

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 Department of Planning, Industry and Environment's Planning Portal
  • flood certificate - required for complying development work, if your property is on flood-prone land. You can also check if you are on flood-prone land on the 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 sewage management system; meter connection.

Forms

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 10.7 Planning Certificate to establish what planning controls apply to your land.

Under the Building and Development Certifiers Regulation 2020, you must also enter into a Contract for Certification Work when you apply for:

  • Construction-related applications
  • Complying Development Certificate (CDC) application
  • Appointment of Principal Certifier
  • Occupation Certificate
  • Compliance Certificate.

You will need to complete a Contract for Certification Work (Council document) and submit this application to Council by email:

Lodgement

From 1 July 2021, across NSW it is mandatory to lodge certain applications - such as CDCs - on the NSW Planning Portal.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a range of resources and quick reference guides on the NSW Planning Portal to guide you through the lodgement process:

You can also read Eurobodalla Council's answers to frequently asked questions about lodging applications through the NSW Planning Portal specifically for Eurobodalla customers:

Prepare all required documents

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 on the Planning Portal:

  • 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)
  • Owner's Consent Form (1.2 MB).

You can refer to the 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 will need to have your supporting documents prepared, ready to upload with your application on the Planning Portal.

Checklist

You may also need separate approvals/permits and certificates for certain parts of your development or activities before you lodge your CDC application - refer to Steps 1 and 2 on this page. In addition to these supporting documents, you will also need to ensure you have addressed all of the requirements detailed in the checklist, ready to upload with your CDC application:

You will need to prepare all of your supporting documents as separate PDFs.

Before you lodge your CDC it is important that all of your supporting document requirements have been satisfied, as you may be charged another portal service fee if you are required to re-submit your application.

Please note that portal service fees are issued by the NSW Government to support the ongoing maintenance and delivery of the NSW Planning Portal. Fees payable through the ServiceNSW gateway may incur a surcharge depending on the payment method.

If you have any queries about portal service fees, please contact ServiceNSW:

  • T:  1300 305 695.

Lodge your application electronically

Once you have prepared your supporting documents, you can lodge your CDC application on the NSW Planning Portal:

Your application will be reviewed by our Development Assessment Team and you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is accepted, you will be issued with an invoice for the CDC application fee.

Pay your application fee

Once you receive an invoice for the CDC application fee, you will need to pay the fee by following one of the payment options detailed on the invoice.

After you submit your application on the Planning Portal, 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.

More information

For further details about the online lodgement of your CDC application, you can refer to the information sheet at the bottom of the NSW Planning Portal's complying development web page.

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.

Pre-approval 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.

Pre-construction notification

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.

Once lodged, your CDC application goes through an initial review and is then allocated to a registered 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.

Before your CDC is issued, you will need to provide:

Builder's details

  • 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.

Owner-Builder Permit

  • 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.
  • 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.

Section 7.11 (previously 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 about contributions and how they are calculated, refer to our development contributions page.

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.

You will be sent formal determination and a CDCtogether 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.

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 certifier. A principal certifier is the authority (Council), or other private registered certifier, 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 (see step 2 on this page for more information)
  • ensure that the required signage has been provided to identify the site (eg, builder's information, principal certifier)
  • 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:

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 registered certifier directly regarding your time preference.

If you have appointed a private registered certifier as your principal certifier, you will need to contact your certifier to confirm when and how to book your critical stage inspections. However, Council is required to carry out all plumbing inspections.

Please ensure that you continue to monitor the conditions of your consent during the various stages of construction.

An Occupation Certificate is required prior to the occupation or use of any building and must be issued by the principal certifier. The Occupation Certificate certifies that the building is suitable for occupation or use in accordance with its classification under the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and development consent conditions. The Code sets the standards for the design and construction of different classes of buildings to protect health, safety and amenity.

Before issuing an Occupation Certificate your principal certifier will consider the structural adequacy, fire safety and the health, safety and amenity of future occupants of the building. The principal certifier must also ensure that relevant development consent conditions and other regulatory requirements have been complied with.

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:

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.

Please note that it is an offence to occupy (or use) a building without an Occupation Certificate.

Lodgement

From 1 July 2021, across NSW it is mandatory to lodge certain applications, such as Occupation Certificates, on the NSW Planning Portal.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment has a range of resources and quick reference guides on the NSW Planning Portal to guide you through the lodgement process:

You can also read Eurobodalla Council's answers to frequently asked questions about lodging applications through the NSW Planning Portal specifically for Eurobodalla customers:

Prepare all required documents

You will need to lodge an Occupation Certificate Application on the NSW Planning Portal.

In addition to the documents referred to in the checklist on this page, you need to also complete:

Checklist

Make sure you have addressed all of the requirements detailed in the checklist and have your supporting documents ready to upload with your Occupation Certificate Application:

You will need to prepare your supporting documents as separate PDFs.

Before you lodge your Occupation Certificate Application it is important that all of your supporting document requirements have been satisfied, as you may be charged another portal service fee if you are required to re-submit your application.

Please note that portal service fees are issued by the NSW Government to support the ongoing maintenance and delivery of the NSW Planning Portal. Fees payable through the ServiceNSW gateway may incur a surcharge depending on the payment method.

If you have any queries about portal service fees, please contact ServiceNSW:

  • T:  1300 305 695.

Lodge your application electronically

Once you have prepared your supporting documents, you will need to lodge your Occupation Certificate Application on the NSW Planning Portal:

Your application will be reviewed by your principal certifier and you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is accepted, you will be issued with an invoice for the application fee.

Pay your application fee

Once you receive an invoice for the Occupation Certificate application fee, you will need to pay the fee by following one of the payment options detailed on the invoice.

We can help you

For assistance using the NSW Planning Portal please contact Service NSW:

If you would like to discuss the details of your application or supporting documents you need to lodge, please contact Council's Development Help Desk: