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.
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 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.
Before you dig
Even if you don’t need formal approval to build, you always need to check what’s under the ground before you dig. This is to avoid your exempt development getting close to services, which can be costly to you and extremely dangerous, indeed life-threatening, to the digger.
To check Council services (e.g. water and sewer), our online mapping tool can give you an indication, but to be sure you should contact Council’s Technical Officer Water on 02 6648 4000.
To check other services (e.g. telecommunications) you can use the Dial Before you Dig online service.
We also recommend ‘ground truthing’ which is done by qualified pipe and cable locaters.
If you find Council services
If you find Council services while working, you or your contractor should notify Council. We can provide advice on protecting our infrastructure and how to carry out and document any works needed to our required specifications.
For more information see Council’s Construction in the Vicinity of and Protection of Council Underground Assets Policy and Procedure.
Council's Duty Officer
Council offers a free Duty Officer Service for general advice on the planning process.
Call Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 1.00pm on 02 6648 4000
At this point in time Council is not offering duty planning as a face to face service.