Your guide to exempt and complying development

Some types of minor building works can be carried out without approval under exempt development. These developments have minimal impact on the local environment (e.g. a low front fence, barbecue, solar hot water heater or pergola). These are called exempt development.

Some small-scale residential, commercial and industrial development can be carried out as complying development (approval in 10 days or less). This type of development can be approved by Council. To qualify for complying development, you must comply with Building Code of Australia (BCA) standards and satisfy all development standards and land requirements specified in the relevant policy.

You can find out if your works are exempt or complying development by using the Electronic Housing Code or ePlanning Interactive Tools below or via the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Interactive Buildings (exempt) is an interactive feature of within the ePlanning Interactive Tools which simulates a residential, commercial or industrial property and allows you to obtain the relevant development standards. This version of the tool is for minor (exempt) development only.

ePlanning Interactive Tools

The Electronic Housing Code is an online system for the electronic lodgement of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code for lots 200m2 and above. The Electronic Housing Code is a free resource however you must pay fees to Council when you lodge your application.

You can use the Electronic Housing Code to:

  • Investigate your development options for an individual site.
  • Generate an exempt development report.
  • Prepare your complying development application.
  • Lodge your application.
  • Monitor the progress of your application.

It can be helpful to have information ready before using the Code. If you need help with the Electronic Housing Code please go to the Electronic Housing Code Customer Service Portal.