Complying Development

What is Complying Development?

Complying Development must meet the predetermined development standards within a planning instrument. A Complying Development application can be determined by Council Certifiers or an Accredited Certifier.

Most Complying Development is contained within State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) (‘The Code SEPP').

Complying Development can be carried out in most parts of the local government area, except for some environmentally sensitive land, national parks and land containing heritage items.

What development is 'Complying Development' under the SEPP?

The SEPP Code contains nine ‘Codes’ with development standards for commercial, industrial and residential development. The types of development contained within each of the Codes are listed below. A development may include criteria from more than one of the Codes e.g. the demolition of a dwelling house (Demolition Code) and the construction of a dwelling house (General Housing Code).

Code Type of development
General Housing Code   New single storey and two storey dwelling houses, Alterations or additions to existing single storey and two storey dwelling houses, Detached studios adjoining lanes, Swimming Pools, Fences and retaining walls, Construction of fences , Outbuildings in heritage conservation areas
Rural Housing Code New single storey and two storey dwelling houses, Alterations or additions to existing single storey and two storey dwelling houses
Housing Alterations Code Internal alterations, External alterations, External alteration to residential accommodation other than dwelling houses, Attic Conversions
General Development Code Bed and breakfast ,Home businesses, Tents, marquees or booths for community events, Stages or platforms for community events, Waterways structures
Commercial and Industrial Alterations Code Building alterations (internal) , Change of use of premises, First use of premises, Mechanical ventilation systems, Shop fronts and awnings, Skylights and roof windows, Projecting wall signs, Freestanding pylon and directory board signs, Development ancillary to the use of land, Earthworks, retaining walls and structural support, Driveways, hard stand spaces, pathways and paving, Fences
Commercial and Industrial Code (new buildings and additions) Code The construction of a building for the purposes of industry (other than heavy industry) or a warehouse or distribution centre , Addition to an existing building that is used for the purpose of industry (other than heavy industry) or a warehouse or distribution centre, The external alteration of an existing building used for the purpose of industry (other than heavy industry) or a warehouse or distribution centre , An addition to the rear of existing commercial premises, other than on a corner lot.
Subdivision Code Strata subdivision of a building, other than a dual occupancy, for which development consent or a complying development certificate was granted
Demolition Code The demolition or removal of :a dwelling, ancillary development, a swimming pool, an industrial building, a commercial building that would be complying development under the Commercial and Industrial Alterations Code and theCommercial and Industrial (New Buildings and Additions) Code) if it were being constructed.
Fire Safety Code Certain Fire Safety Upgrades


Can I use the Electronic Housing Code (EHC) to determine if the development may be Complying Development? 

The EHC can be used to determine the suitability of residential development and demolition (i.e. General Housing Code, Rural Housing Code, Housing Alterations and Demolition Code) as Complying Development. The EHC cannot be used to assess the suitability of industrial or commercial development, with the exception of proposed demolition.

For more information on the EHC, please click here.

If your development is not residential; to determine if it is Complying Development, you will needs to:

  1. Check that land is not excluded from containing complying development are contained within Clause 1.17Clause 1.17A and Clause 1.18 of the SEPP.
  2. Check that the development meets the applicable development standards in the Code.

What if my design does not meet all the standards?

The onus is on the applicant and their designer to be sure the proposal meets all the standards prior to lodgement. You may need to alter your design to meet the standards if you wish apply for a CDC. If you cannot meet the development standards then you will need to apply for a Development Application which is assessed against local design standards.
If your application is lodged but does not meet all the standards it will be refused. If your proposal is refused, you will need to either change the plans to meet the requirements and re-lodge as a CDC, or lodge the application as a Development Application (DA). 

Is complying development notified to neighbours?

No. A CDC is for development expected to have minimal environmental or neighbourhood impact. However, Council must notify neighbours that are within 20 metres of the boundary of the lot on which certain development is to be carried out and under the legislation, any neighbour within 20 metres must be notified in writing two days prior to work beginning on-site.

Who can approve a Complying Development Certificate?

A CDC can be determined by Council Certifiers or Accredited Certifiers. 
Accredited Certifiers are private Certifiers who are authorised and regulated by the Building Professionals Board. Just as Council does, Accredited Certifiers assess a proposal against the Code SEPP and the Building Code of Australia.

How long does it take?

Because complying development is for development expected to have minimal impact and that adheres to set Development Standards, approvals and be given within ten days. 

How much will it cost?

The cost of a CDC depends on the commercial value of proposed works. Please refer to Council's Fees and Charges or contact Council for a written quote. Please note that the cost of works is the commercial value and does not account for volunteer labour or recycled materials.

What can I change on a property without any planning approval?

To learn what you can change on a property without any planning approval, simply input address on the following State Government link Interactive Buildings

This site will tell you what building controls need to be met for a particular type of development. It covers fences, flag poles, rainwater tanks, carports, building alterations, sheds, etc.  If you cannot meet all of the building controls listed, you will need to submit a relevant application to Council. If you need more advice, please contact Council's Environmental Services team.