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What is complying development?

Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward development that can be determined through a fast-track assessment by a council or private accredited certifier. Complying development applies to homes, businesses and industry and allows for a range of things like the construction of a new dwelling house, alterations and additions to a house, new industrial buildings, demolition of a building and changes to a business use.


How do I get a fast-track approval?

Did you know approvals under the fast-track complying development pathway can be issued in as little as 20 days? Homeowners can save up to $15,000 when building a house under complying development, with savings up to $2,600 for renovations. 


Watch this video to learn more.

Complying development generally includes larger building works than exempt development. For this reason ‘sign off’ by a building professional (known as a certifying authority) is needed. Complying development is also subject to conditions of approval to protect surrounding uses during the construction period and the life of the complying development.


In 2013-14, the State Policy for exempt and complying development enabled 29 per cent of all development approvals in NSW to be fast-tracked, saving time and money for families and business owners. Fast-tracked complying development approvals can be issued in as little as 20 days. This compares with the average determination time for a full development application of 70 days. More than $4.4 billion of development was delivered by complying development in 2013-2014.



Relevant legislation

The majority of exempt and complying development types and their development standards are found in the State Policy for exempt and complying development. You can view the policy on the NSW Legislation website:


The NSW Planning Portal

The NSW Planning Portal provides access to information to help you prepare, lodge and track complying development applications. The NSW Planning Portal also provides a number of planning tools to improve access to planning information and assist in planning and development decisions.


For questions on exempt and complying development either visit the NSW Planning Portal, call 1300 305 695 or email us.


Learn more about complying development

Other development assessment systems


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Page last updated: 01/08/2017