Do I need approval?

Most development proposals need to gain consent from Council through the development application (DA) process before they can proceed.

However, some minor developments do not need Council consent or may be eligible for an exemption or a fast-tracked assessment. Find out if your development may fit into one of the categories below.

Development without consent

Not all development requires the Council's consent. This may include home businesses in a residential zone, environmental protection works in an environmental conservation zone, or markets in a public recreation zone.

Such low-impact or routine activities may be listed by the Local Environmental Plan (LEP) and/or State Environmental Planning Policies that apply to the area or activity as 'permitted without consent'. Find the LEP and more planning controls and guidelines.

However, some of these developments (or activities) may still need a licence, permit or other approval from a public authority and may need to undergo an environmental assessment before approval can be given. 

Visit the NSW Planning Portal for more information on development without consent.

Exempt developments

Some small scale and low impact developments (e.g. residential decks, fences, BBQs, pergolas, privacy screens) can be constructed without any planning approval. Your proposal must meet all of the exempt development provisions.

Visit the NSW Planning Portal for more information on exempt development.

Complying development

Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward development that can be determined through a fast-track assessment by an accredited certifier. 

Complying development applies to homes, businesses and industry. Examples include the construction of a new dwelling house, alterations and additions to a house, new industrial buildings, demolition of a building, and changes to a business use.

A proposal must meet all of the relevant development standards and comply with the Building Code of Australia.

Visit the NSW Planning Portal for information on  complying development.