NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Complying development

Complying development is a key part of the planning system, saving applicants significant time and money for low impact developments. However, it is critical that the community feels confident that the development being constructed under this pathway meets the relevant development standards.

Following further consultation with stakeholders, regulations will be made to allow councils to impose a levy on complying development certificates to fund monitoring and enforcement of complying development standards in their area. The regulations will prescribe the amount councils can charge under the levy.

Regulations will also be made to allow councils to stop work for up to seven days on a complying development site to investigate whether the construction is in line with the certificate. From there, the council can take more formal action – such as a development control order. The courts will be able to declare a complying development certificate invalid if it does not meet the relevant standards.

What other actions are being carried to complying development?

The amendments to the Act are focused on strengthening community confidence in complying development. A range of other initiatives are seeking to appropriately expand the complying development pathway, including new housing codes for low rise medium density and greenfield housing, are being carried out through various environmental planning instruments, particularly the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.


The changes to enforcing complying development will begin in stages as they require further consultation with stakeholders including councils and certifiers before regulations and other policy guidance is provided.

To read more about the changes to the Act see Part 4 - State significant development and ending Part 3A.

Page last updated: 04/10/2022