Exempt Development

Find out if your development is Exempt

Exempt development is development that complies with specified criteria. It is of a minor nature and may be carried out without Council consent subject to Compliance with specific requirements and limitations. Exempt development includes certain:

  • access ramps, animal shelters and aviaries
  • television aerials, air conditioning units and barbeques
  • retaining walls and fences
  • awnings, blinds, pergolas, cabanas, greenhouses, gazebos and garden sheds
  • shade structures, privacy screens and screen enclosures
  • cubby houses and playground equipment
  • driveways, pathways, patios, decks and other paved or sealed areas at ground level
  • non-structural/non-load-bearing internal alterations and renovations
  • repairs, maintenance work and landscaping works
  • re-cladding of walls/roofs and skylights
  • solar-hot water heaters and photo voltaic systems
  • emergency works
  • rainwater tanks
  • changes-of-use of commercial premises
  • advertising and signage
  • filming
  • home businesses
  • special events and temporary structures

For this type of development to be carried out without consent, all of the criteria and requirements specified in the relevant planning instrument must be met, including compliance with the Building Code of Australia.  All types of exempt development have specific requirements and limitations which must be satisfied (e.g. relating to the location, size, height and floor area of the building and boundary setbacks).  If any of the criteria cannot be fully met, a complying development certificate or development consent (and a construction certificate) must be obtained before carrying out the work or development.

If the proposed building work or development meets all of the requirements in the relevant planning instrument (e.g. NSW Codes SEPP) for exempt development, it does not require Council approval or notification.  However, owners are advised to inform their neighbours of any proposed building work to minimise any potential negative impacts during the course of construction or as a result of the proposed structure.

Exempt and complying development policies

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 Exempt or Complying Development.

Council officers are only able to provide general advice about the exempt or complying development provisions.  Should you require more detailed or site specific information about exempt development or 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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