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The construction process

This page outlines the construction process and the steps your Construction Certificate (CC) will go through.

Once Council issues development consent (DA approval), and before any building works start, you must:

  1. have a Construction Certificate (CC)
    and
  2. appoint a Principal Certifier (PC) to carry out critical stage inspections during construction.

A PC is a registered certifier that oversees the construction or subdivision process.

A CC is an approval that certifies:

  • the plans and specifications will comply with the National Construction Code (NCC). This includes relevant associated structural standards and codes
  • the detailed construction plans and specifications are consistent with the development consent
  • you have met all 'prior to issue of CC' conditions of the development consent.

Increase to BASIX standards: From 1 October 2023

BASIX standards have increased to help make our homes more comfortable year-round - and we won't need to rely on heating and cooling technology as much. An average house that meets the higher standards will save $1,070 each year on their energy bill.

Steps in the construction process

Our flowchart shows the major steps in the construction process:

The Department of Planning and Environment also explains the steps required to start building:

Once Council issues your development consent (approval), you need to read the conditions. These conditions outline what you must complete before, during and after construction of the building.

Before you start any building work, you'll need to:

  1. appoint a Principal Certifier (PC),
    and
  2. apply for a Construction Certificate (CC).

A PC is a registered certifier that oversees the construction or subdivision process. They will also carry out critical stage inspections during construction.

A CC is a type of building approval that certifies the proposed work will comply with the:

If you submit a Complying Development Certificate (CDC), you won't need a DA and CC. Complying development is a type of approval that:

Your PC will need to issue a CDC before you start any building works.

Your Principal Certifier will review and assess your Construction Certificate (CC) application to ensure:

  • the CC plans and specifications are consistent with the plans approved under the development consent
  • you have complied with the conditions of development consent
  • the development complies with the National Construction Code (NCC) and all relevant technical standards
  • your application complies with any BASIX commitments and relevant bushfire provisions.

Section 7.11, 7.12 and 64 contributions

You may need to pay development contributions (Section 7.11, 7.12 and 64). These are payments made by developers to Council for the provision of public infrastructure. The contributions allow Council to provide public amenities and services for the new development. These can include shared pathways, libraries or roads.

Long service levy

The NSW Government has placed a levy on all building and construction work valued at $250,000 or more (inclusive of GST). The levy rate is 0.25% of the total cost of the work, determined by the consent/Principal Certifier (PC). You will need to pay the levy online to the Long Service Corporation.

Conditions of consent

It is important that you read your development consent (DA approval). There may be conditions you'll need to address before your PC will issue the Construction Certificate (CC). The conditions will outline the items you need to address, or information required. You will find these conditions in the development consent under the heading 'Prior to the issue of the CC'.

If you've addressed all items in Step 3, your Principal Certifier (PC) will issue a formal determination and Construction Certificate (CC).

Your PC will also send a copy of the stamped approved plans and specifications with your CC.

The CC will lapse with the development consent, unless you physically start building work before the consent lapses.

You must notify your Principal Certifier (PC) of your intention to start works at least two days before any building works.

Before construction starts, you must also provide your PC with:

Builder's details

  • The builder's name, address and NSW licence number for all residential work over $10,000.

Home Building Compensation Fund

  • All residential work over $20,000 must have a certificate of insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund. Certificates should show the correct property details. They should also include all work covered under the building contract, eg, dwelling and swimming pool.
  • Insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund allows you to make a claim for a loss (eg, financial loss or damage) caused by the contractor.

Owner-Builder Permit

Your building works can start once your Principal Certifier (PC) issues your Construction Certificate (CC).

Your PC will need to carry out critical stage inspections during construction. If these inspections are not carried out at the right time, you may not be able to get an Occupation Certificate.

Please contact your PC to confirm when and how to book your critical stage inspections. Council will need to carry out all plumbing inspections. This includes the final plumbing and drainage inspection.

You should continue to check the conditions of your consent during the various stages of construction.

You will need to obtain an Occupation Certificate (OC) before you occupy or use any part of the building. Your Principal Certifier (PC) will issue the OC. The OC authorises the occupation and use of a new building or building section in line with the:

  • relevant National Construction Code (NCC) classification: the NCC sets the standards for the design and construction of different classes of buildings
  • development consent conditions.

Your PC will need to ensure they have:

Inspections required generally include piers, slabs, frames, stormwater and wet areas. Council will need to carry out all plumbing and drainage inspections.

There are two types of OCs:

  • OC: Allows the occupation or use of a new building (including alterations/extensions), or the new use of an existing building resulting from a change in its use.
  • Partial OC: Allows the occupation or use of a partially completed building, or a new use of part of an existing building resulting from a change of use of the building. If your PC issues a partial OC, you'll still need an OC when all building work or the change of use is complete.

OCs are not required for buildings which are exempt development.

Before your PC issues the OC, they will consider the:

  • structural adequacy
  • fire safety,
    and
  • health, safety and amenity of future occupants of the building.

Once all these requirements have been met, your PC can issue the Occupation Certificate.

You can now occupy or use your building.

We can help you

For more information, contact our Development Help Desk:

Disclaimer: This page provides a general overview of the construction approval and inspection process. This information is a guide only and does not cover every scenario. Processes may vary for some developments, based on legislative requirements.