Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Exempt & complying development

Planning & Development / Enquire / Exempt/complying development

Exempt & complying development

What is Exempt Development?

Exempt development is development that will have minimal environmental impact (such as garden sheds, antennas, barbeques).  If your proposed development complies with the requirements for each development type, you do not need approval from Council.

What is Complying Development?

Complying development is development that is considered to be predictable in its environmental impact and therefore of minor consequence. If your proposed development satisfies the subject requirements, you can apply for a complying development certificate from the Council or a qualified professional in the private sector (known as a Private Certifying Authority) and these certificates are required to be issued within ten days.

Fast-track development

Not all development has to be approved, or needs to go through a complicated application and consent process. If your development is low impact it may be an exempt development which does not require planning or construction approval.  Even if it doesn’t fit into this category it may still meet the criteria for a complying development, which has a faster approval process than a traditional development application.

In general complying development is routine development, for example some dwellings, alterations and additions to buildings and certain changes of use. Complying development seeks to streamline the application process by providing a single approval that covers pre-defined development conditions as well as meeting the standards required by the Building Code of Australia. Complying development is required to be determined within ten days.

Find out if you have an exempt or complying development 

Find out if your site is suitable for a complying development

Not all sites are suitable for complying developments. Some sites such as those containing heritage items or Class 1 or 2 acid sulphate soils are unable to have complying developments on them. There are two ways to determine whether your site meets the requirements for a complying development.

What else do I need to do?

  • Fill out the application form.  BVSC uses one form for all types of applications. You simply need to tick the Complying Development box at the top of the form.  A principal certifying authority will still need to be appointed (either Council or private sector professionals) and at the end of the process an Occupation Certificate will need to be presented. Please see Council’s Building and Certification web page for more details.
  • Read Council’s Application Guidelines in conjunction with the Application form
  • Complying development applications are not notified to adjoining property owners, however once a Complying Development Certificate is issued it is the responsibility of the applicant to notify adjoining owners two days prior to the start of work. If Council is chosen as the principal certifying authority then the Complying Development Certificate will also include details of the inspections required.

Removing red tape

The Codes SEPP is a policy initiative put in place by the NSW Government to remove red tape for low risk and low impact development. It benefits home-owners and small business by reducing costs and the time it takes to process the development. It has also been designed to provide a reasonable and consistent set of state-wide standards. These standards are included detailed in the Codes SEPP.

How it works

Exempt and complying development comes under several legislative frameworks, including the Codes SEPP. Which framework used will depend on the type of work proposed, the land, and the legal requirements outlined.

For Complying development

SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008  (the Codes SEPP) covers:

  • The General Housing Code
  • The Rural Housing Code
  • The Housing Alterations Code
  • The Subdivisions Code
  • The General Development Code
  • The General Commercial and Industrial Code
  • The Demolitions Code

There are also some specific development types that can be exempt or complying development that fall under separate legislation, such as small wind turbines, solar energy systems, telecommunications facilities, health facilities and educational establishments. 

For further exempt development go to:

For further Complying development go to:


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