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:

Low Rise Housing Diversity Code Comes into Effect in Randwick City on 1 July 2020

Temporary deferrals from the Code which have been in place since July 2018 ends on 1 July 2020 and the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code will apply to all councils in NSW from that date.

The Low Rise Housing Diversity Code (the Code) allows dual occupancies, manor homes and terraces (up to 2 stories) to be carried out under a complying development approval will come into effect in Randwick City on 1 July 2020. Introduced by the NSW Government, the Code is a State Environmental Planning Policy which overrides Council’s local planning controls.

Complying Development is a fast-track approval pathway whereby if the application complies with all of the relevant requirements in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, it can be approved by Council or an accredited certifier within 20 days.

The Code will permit the following development types as complying development in the following residential land use zones across Randwick City from 1 July 2020:

R1 General Residential:
Dual Occupancies
Manor Houses
Multi Dwelling Houses (terraces)

R2 Low Density Residential:
Dual Occupancies (attached)

R3 Medium Density Residential:
Dual Occupancies
Manor Houses
Multi Dwelling Houses (terraces)

For further information on the Code visit the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment website or call the Department’s information centre on 13 77 88.

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.

Last Updated: 25 October 2022
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