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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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The State Policy for exempt and complying development is contained within the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

 

Exempt development

Did you know that you can do some minor building works to your house, shop or business without a development application? This is called exempt development. This means that renovations and low impact works not requiring a full merit assessment by council can be done faster and quicker.

 

Provided the proposed works are low impact and meet all relevant development standards (identified in the State Policy) a planning or building approval may not be needed.

 

For more information about exempt development, visit our Planning Portal.

 

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 certifier. Complying development applies to homes, businesses and industry.

 

Routine works that comply with the relevant development standards in the State Policy can save homeowners and businesses time and money. Approvals under the fast-track complying development pathway can be issued in as little as 20 days.

 

For more detailed information about complying development, visit our Planning Portal.

 

What's happening now?

Miscellaneous amendments to the State Policy

Minor amendments were made on 29 January 2021 to various provisions across the State Policy to clarify their intended policy intention and improve the readability of the instrument as a whole.

 

For more details on the key changes, visit our Housekeeping amendments to the Codes SEPP webpage.

 

Neighbourhood Centres

Neighbourhood and local centres provide for a range of retail, business, entertainment and community uses for the people who live, work or visit the area.

 

The department is currently undertaking a reform program which focuses on educating and engaging communities in the current planning pathways using the State Policy.

 

Find out more about how you can use exempt and complying development pathways at our Neighbourhood Centres webpage.

 

Commonwealth HomeBuilder grants

In September 2020, the Commonwealth Government announced HomeBuilder, a new time-limited grant program to help the residential construction market bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Eligible owner-occupiers (including first home buyers) will receive a grant of $25,000 to help them build a new home or substantially renovate an existing home where the contract is signed between 4 June 2020 and 31 December 2020. Construction must commence within three months of the contract date.

 

The eligibility requirements and further information on the HomeBuilder grants can be found on the Commonwealth Government’s HomeBuilder webpage.

 

The types of development you may be able to undertake include:

  • a new house on vacant land, such as a new house and land package
  • internal renovations, such as new bathrooms or kitchens
  • external renovation works, such as replacing the roof or restumping a house
  • extensions to an existing house
  • demolition of an existing building to be replaced with a new house.

 

You can find out more about complying development on the NSW Planning Portal.

 

More information

Neighbourhood Centres

Find out how you can use exempt and complying development pathways for your neighbourhood centre.
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Housekeeping amendments to the Codes SEPP

We continuously review the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) to ensure it is effectively reducing red tape, costs and delays for exempt and complying development.
A completed house in a suburban street in a complying development neighbourhood. Photo by: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment / Salty Dingo

Compliance Levies

The NSW Government is undertaking a review into compliance levies to create a more certain, consistent and transparent system for funding building compliance across councils.
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The Housing Code

The Housing Code sets out clear planning rules for complying development including one and two storey homes, renovations and extensions.

A family walking in a complying development neighbourhood. Photo by: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment / Salty Dingo