What is Exempt Development?

Exempt development is governed by State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) 2008, also known as the “Codes SEPP”.

Exempt development is low impact, minor development for which no approval is necessary as long as the standards set out in the legislation are met.

Exempt development generally covers small-scale additions to existing homes, such as garden sheds, decks and awnings.

Do I Need Development Approval?

You can find out whether your proposed works are exempt development by following these steps:

  1. Visit the Housing Code website and check the list of works that are classed as exempt development. If your development is listed, click on it to see the development standards that you must meet.
  2. Check the exclusions listed in section 1.4 and division 2 of the Codes SEPP to make sure that your land isn’t in one of the excluded areas.
  3. Your proposed development may have restrictions, for example if your property is on bushfire prone land or is heritage listed. There are a number of ways to check what restrictions apply to your land. You can check the online mapping tools on your local council’s website, or call them directly. Alternatively, any restrictions on your property will be listed on your s149 certificate, if you have one. You can check if your property is heritage listed by searching the NSW State Heritage Inventory.

If your proposed works are listed as exempt development, your property is not located in an excluded area, and your proposed works meet all of the development standards, your works are exempt development and can be carried out without approval.

If your project isn’t classed as exempt development, you may be able to get approval through Complying Development or a Development Application.

Contact us if you need help with exempt development. We’re always happy to provide free advice for small projects. If your project is larger or more complicated, we can provide a range of planning services at competitive rates.

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