Decks & balconies

Council approvals for balconies and decks

Before you begin work, you need to find out what approvals are required.

Exempt Development - If your proposed deck is located behind the front building line, is no more that 1 metre above ground level and is set back at least 900mm from each lot boundary, it may meet the nominated criteria for exempt development listed in the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (The Codes SEPP) 2008.

If your proposed deck meets all of the exempt criteria, it may be constructed without development approval from Council.

Complying Development - The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 also contains criteria for complying development. If your proposal does not meet the exempt criteria, but does meet all of the criteria for complying development, your deck may be constructed as complying development.

If your deck is complying development, you will need to obtain a Complying Development Certificate prior to commencing work.

Development requiring a Development Application - If your deck does not meet all of the exempt or complying criteria, you will need to lodge a development application with Council. If you receive development approval for your deck, you will also need to obtain a construction certificate prior to commencing building works.

The following steps are provided to assist you in preparing and lodging a development application for a deck.

Step 1: Seek information

You should consider the following documents when preparing you DA:

Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012

The Randwick Local Environmental Plan 2012 (RLEP) details planning controls applicable to your site; including whether your site contains a heritage item, is located within a heritage conservation area, or is within a foreshore scenic protection area.

If your site is within the vicinity of a heritage item or is located within a heritage conservation area, you will need to consider whether your proposed development will affect the heritage significance of the heritage item/s or heritage conservation area.

If your site is within a foreshore scenic protection area, clause 6.7 of the RLEP applies.

State Environmental Planning Policy No. 71 (Coastal Protection)

This State Environmental Planning Policy applies to all land within the Coastal zone as defined by the Coastal Protection Act 1979. It aims to protect and manage the natural, cultural, recreational and economic attributes of the NSW coast. If your site is located within a coastal zone, you will need to consider the requirements of SEPP No. 71 when preparing your DA.

Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan

The Randwick Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013 (DCP) is applicable to your development as it contains guidelines about where your deck can be located and how it should be designed.

The key matters that should be considered when designing your deck are:

  • Privacy - Decks should not result in direct overlooking of adjoining sites
  • Setbacks - Decks should be sufficiently setback to ensure that adjoining properties are not adversely impacted.
  • Streetscape - Decks should not compromise the appearance of an existing dwelling or the streetscape. 
  • Views - Decks should allow for fair sharing of views (i.e. not unreasonably block views from neighbouring sites).
  • Solar access - Decks should not result in any unreasonable overshadowing.

The Randwick Comprehensive DCP 2013 contains objectives and controls. Applications are assessed on how well they achieve the objectives and controls of the DCP.

Your statement of environmental effects (refer to step 3) should demonstrate how the objectives and controls are being achieved through your design. Proposals are expected to comply with the numerical controls in this DCP. Any proposed variation from the controls may be considered only where the applicant successfully demonstrates that an alternative solution could result in a more desirable planning and urban design outcome. This ensures that the DCP guidance has sufficient flexibility to recognise that every property has different characteristics based on their unique combination of site conditions, size, aspect and location. The context and site analysis will be critical in demonstrating the need for any variation to the numerical controls.

Council Policies and other site specific considerations

Preservation of Trees and Vegetation - If there are any trees (covered by Council's Preservation of Trees and Vegetation) that may be affected by your proposed works; Council's Landscape Development Officer will inspect the site and determine whether the impact on the tree is acceptable. You may also be asked to prepare an aborist's report to assess the potential impacts of the development.

Flooding - If your site is located in an area that may be subject to flooding, your deck must be designed accordingly. The deck must not obstruct any drainage easements or flow paths. For more information about flooding controls, please refer to Council's Flooding Advice and Flood Related Development Controls Policy, or contact Council's Development Engineers.

Construction near stormwater pipes - If your deck is located near a stormwater line, please contact Councils development Engineers to obtain Council's requirements for construction near stormwater lines.

Construction near sewer lines - If your proposal involves construction over or near a sewer, please refer to the Sydney Water Website to obtain Sydney Water's requirements for construction.

Planning Certificates - A Planning Certificate (issued under Section 149 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act) provides formal advice on land zoning and planning controls applicable to your site.

Step 2: Prepare Plans and Drawings

The following plans may be required:

  • Site Analysis Plan
  • Scaled Plans and ElevationsNotification plans (A4)
  • Survey Plan

Step 3: Prepare a Statement of Environmental Effects

The following headings may be used to provide the framework for your statement of environmental effects (SEE).

  • Details of proposal
  • Assessment against relevant plans and policies
    • Randwick Local Environmental Plan 1998 (Consolidation)
    • Dwellings and Attached Dual Occupancies DCP*
    • Tree preservation order
    • Flooding Advice and Flood Related Development Controls Policy
    • Other (e.g. SEPP No. 71) 
  • Drainage**

**If your deck is covered or impermeable, you must detail where stormwater runoff will be directed

The following supplementary reports/details may also be required:

  • Heritage impact assessment report
  • Flood study   
  • Construction and demolition waste management plan 
  • Schedule of colours and finishes
  • Asbestos survey 

For more information on the supplementary reports, please refer to Supplementary report requirements.

Step 4: Complete an application form

You will need to complete an application form & checklist PDF, 346.16 KB, and a cost summary report PDF, 170.76 KB

The cost summary report must be prepared in accordance with Council's S94A Development Contributions Plan.

The application form must be signed by all land owners and the applicant.

Note: Section 94 or Section 94A Development Contributions may be payable for your development.

Step 5: Lodge the DA with Council 

The development application must be lodged with the applicable DA fee. Please contact us to obtain a fee quote.

You may lodge your DA directly with Council at our administration building or by online services. A Council Officer will use the Development Application checklist form to check your application. Council will only accept a DA with all necessary information.

You are required to submit:

  • One (1) copy of the completed DA form and checklist
  • One (1) copy of the cost summary report
  • Two (2) copies of the A4 Notification plans
  • Three (3) copies of the Survey Plan
  • Six (6) copies of all other plans.
  • Six (6) copies of the SEE and other supporting documentation

Additional sets of plans and SEE's will be required if your application requires referral to any external agencies (e.g. Roads and Maritime Services, Heritage Office, Police, etc)

Last Updated: 25 October 2022
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