Complying Development

Find out more about Complying Development

Complying development relates to specified small-scale, low-impact development, which complies with pre-set criteria detailed in a State Environmental Planning Policy or a Council Local Environmental Plan.

Complying development, is basically, a fast-track single-stage approval process, which requires only a Complying Development Certificate to be obtained from a private sector Accredited Building Certifier or the Council.

Complying development requires detailed plans and specifications to be prepared (e.g. by a architect and/or professional engineer) and an application for a Complying Development Certificate is to be made to an Accredited Building Certifier or Council.

If all of the criteria, requirements and standards relating to the proposed building or other development are satisfied, the Accredited Building Certifier or Council will issue a Complying Development Certificate.

A Complying Development Certificate must be obtained before commencing any demolition, excavation or building work or other development.

Some of the types of development listed as complying development include:

  • internal or external alterations and/or additions to dwelling houses
  • carports, garages and car spaces
  • shade structures, conservatories, awnings and pergolas
  • new dwelling houses
  • fences and retaining walls
  • swimming pools and spas
  • internal alterations to commercial and industrial buildings
  • shop or office fit-outs, shop-fronts and awnings
  • certain types of land and strata subdivision
  • changes of certain commercial and industrial uses
  • demolition of certain buildings
  • temporary structures and marquees
  • fire safety upgrading work

A complying development certificate can usually be issued by the Accredited Building Certifier or Council promptly upon submission of the required plans, specifications and information which demonstrate that the relevant requirements and development standards have been satisfied.

If the proposed development does not meet all of the criteria, a development application must be obtained from Council and a construction certificate must also be obtained from an Accredited Building Certifier or Council before commencing any work or development.

In some cases, residents of adjoining or nearby properties are required to be notified of proposed complying development to dwellings, to encourage consultation between neighbours and resolution of any concerns that may be raised. However, the provisions do not require the owner or Certifier to consider or address any submissions or, to modify the proposal if the relevant requirements are met.

Complying development policies

Various State Environmental Planning Polices (SEPP’s) and Local Environmental Plans (LEP’s) contain provisions relating to complying development, including:

Further deferral of Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code until 1 July 2020

A temporal deferral to the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code (Code) that allows dual occupancies manor homes and terraces (up to two storeys) to be carried out under a fast track complying development approval was granted to 49 Councils in NSW, including Randwick City, until 1 July 2019.

The Minister for Planning and Public Spaces requested an independent review to assess progress on the Code to date, identify impediments to the Code’s delivery in deferred areas, and make recommendations on the appropriate pathway forward to finalise the review. To allow the review to take place, a further extension of the deferral of the Code was granted until 31 October 2019.

The independent review has been conducted and the report is available on the Department of Planning Industry and Environment’s website. The report recommends the temporary deferral of the Code be extended to 1 July 2020. This is to allow councils time to complete their strategic planning, including Local Strategic Planning Statements and Local Housing Strategies and update their LEPs, and identify and map areas of special local character.

Further information regarding the independent review and temporal deferral is available on the NSW Department of Planning and Environment's website.

For further information

Randwick City Council has developed a Guide to Exempt Development & Complying Development which contains a summary of the key provisions and requirements for a number of common types of exempt development and complying development.

The NSW Department of Planning & Environment website contains detailed information about the different types of development or building work which can be carried out as Complying Development.

Council officers are only able to provide general advice about the complying development provisions.  Should you require more detailed or site specific information about complying development, please liaise with your architect, building designer, accredited building certifier or a planning or building consultant.

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