Exempt and Complying Development

This page contains the most up to date information about changes to Exempt and Complying Development. General information is still available on the NSW Housing Code website.

On 19 December 2013, the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure announced a range of changes to the streamlined development approvals system, which:

  • Give more home owners and businesses access to streamlined approvals for low impact development, like building or renovating a home, or a new commercial or industrial premises 
  • Give greater flexibility to councils to vary statewide rules to reflect local circumstances
  • Provide additional requirements for neighbours to be informed about proposals
  • Strengthen rules relating to privacy, protection of significant trees and earthworks to minimise impacts on neighbours and the environment

Media release - 19 December 2013

The changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy will be notified on the NSW Legislation website on Friday 20 December 2013.

The changes will commence on 22 February 2014. The Exempt and Complying Development Policy brings together the majority of development types that can be undertaken as exempt or complying development: 

  • There are now around 80 categories of exempt development – when minor building additions or alterations do not require approval, as long as they meet straightforward building standards and are not on environmentally sensitive or heritage-listed land. 
  • The range of complying development has been significantly expanded. Complying development refers to building works that, as long as it complies with specific building standards, can be routinely approved without delay.

These changes apply across all types of development – residential, commercial and industrial.

If your council participates in the Electronic Housing Code you can access this online system to check if your proposal development is exempt or complying development, and what standards must be met.




Last Updated 24-Dec-2013

 Enquiries: Ph. 1300 305 695 during business hours or email codes@planning.nsw.gov.au