Types of Approval

Types of Approval

Certain types of low-impact development may be carried out as Exempt or Complying Development. All other development will require a Development Application to be submitted to Council.

Development Application – most building works require a Development Application to be lodged with Council, unless it undertaken as Exempt or Complying Development. 

A Development Application is a request that you can make to Council to carry out various types of development such as (but not limited to):

  • New buildings
  • Alterations and additions to existing buildings, including swimming pools
  • Most types of change of use of existing buildings or premises
  • Demolition of buildings
  • Subdivision of land
  • Advertising signs
  • Earthworks, filling and clearing

Exempt development – is of a minor nature and may be carried out without development approval. For this type of development to be carried out without approval, all of the criteria and requirements specified in the relevant planning instrument must be met, including compliance with the Building Code of Australia. If any of the criteria cannot be fully met, a complying certificate or development approval must be obtained before carrying out the work or development.

Complying Development – relates to specified small-scale, low-impact development, which complies with pre-set criteria detailed in a State Policy or Local Environmental Plan. This type of development can be determined by either council or private accredited certifier.

To find out whether your proposal is eligible to be exempt or complying development, please refer to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. 

State Significant Development -Some types of development are deemed to have state significance due to the size, economic value or potential impacts. For the purposes of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (the Act), State Significant Development is a development that is declared to be State Significant Development by the State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011 (SRD SEPP), or otherwise called-in by the Minister as State Significant Development.

For further information visit the NSW Department of Planning and Environment website.


Before commencing any works or undertaking development please consult with Council's Planning and Building staff to ensure that all of the requirements and criteria will be satisfied. Please call our Environment and Planning Team on 02 6895 1950 for more information.