1300 366 766

What is Complying Development?

Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for development that meets pre-determined development standards. Determination of a complying development certificate (CDC) relies on a code-based assessment. The local council or a private accredited certifier can issue a CDC. Where an application for complying development meets the specified development standards in the Codes SEPP (or council’s complying development controls) it must be determined within 10 days of lodgement. If an applicant chooses to work beyond the development standards contained in the Codes SEPP (eg 3 car Garage), they will need to lodge a DA with the relevant local council in accordance with the merit-based rules, for consideration.

Who came up with CDC compliance

The NSW Government is streamlining the development approval processes for low impact and routine development proposals, freeing up the merit based system for more complex and sensitive developments.
Under the NSW planning system, a development consent is required in most instances. There are generally three pathways for development:

  • exempt development, covers certain types of minor work where no application for planning or construction approval is required, however there are standards which must be met
  • complying development, covers work that meets certain pre-determined development standards and can be assessed and approved by a certifying authority (council or private accredited certifier), in 10 days or
  • merit based assessment which requires a DA to be submitted to a consent authority (usually council) for assessment and results in a development consent, if approved.
  • The principal aim of the Codes SEPP is to remove unnecessary complexity and red tape for home owners constructing single or two storey dwelling houses or embarking on low impact renovations or improvements to their homes.

What you need before we can start CDC

Prior to determining whether using the Codes SEPP is right for your project, there are some useful pieces of information you may need.

Section 149(2) Certificate

Councils in NSW are able to issue a planning certificate as to whether or not complying development under the Codes SEPP can be carried out for a particular lot of land. This is the easiest way to find out whether the Codes SEPP can be used on your land.
It is compulsory that applicants obtain the full Section 149 (2) certificate. This will provide a comprehensive list of planning matters and constraints affecting the subject lot.

Certificate of title and DP plan

A certificate of title including 88b instrument & copy of DP plan that indicates the size of the lot and any easements or notations that may affect the lot. A certificate of title is available from www.lpma.nsw.gov.au or your solicitor.
You will need to provide an authority signed by the owners of the land allowing the builder to lodge plans on their behalf.

Who can issue a complying development certificate (CDC)

An application for a CDC can be lodged with either the local council or a private accredited certifier. A CDC must be issued by the certifying authority prior to building work commencing.

Other legislative requirements

In addition to a CDC, there may be other legislative requirements for approvals, licenses, and permits that authorities may also require. For example if a new driveway is proposed, a road opening permit from council will be required prior to a CDC being issued.

How do I find out more?

For a wealth of information and resources log on to the Department of Planning website at www.planning.nsw.gov.au/housingcode or contact the Department’s Information Centre on 1300 305 695 or contact codes@planning.nsw.gov.au.