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NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
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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.


Exempt development allows for minor and low impact building works or home renovations to be carried out without needing planning or building approval.


Complying development is a fast-tracked approval for straightforward development that complies with the standards in the Codes SEPP. It includes new homes, home renovations, new industrial buildings and changes to shops and commercial buildings. 


Recently finalised amendments

Low Rise Housing Diversity Code

Minor amendments were made on 1 July 2020 to the Low Rise Housing Diversity Code (Code). The Code, formally known as the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code was introduced in July 2018. The minor amendments were made in response to feedback from stakeholders including applicants, certifiers, councils, industry and the community.


Standard Affected Housing Type Amendment
Name Change Whole Code The name of the Code and the Design Guide has been updated 
Minimum lot size Manor Houses and terraces Reflect changes to LEPs that introduce a minimum lot size for manor houses and multi dwelling housing (terraces)
Landscaping Dual occupancies and Terraces Clarification of the intent of the landscaping standards 
Development that is not complying development under this code Whole Code

Additional types of development that cannot be complying development includes:

  • development that is in-fill affordable housing within the meaning of Division 1 of Part 2 of State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009,
  • development on unsewered land, and
  • development on land identified as being susceptible to landslide risk in any relevant environmental planning instrument relating to the land.
Lot requirements Dual occupancies Clarification that the minimum width of a lot for the development of a dual occupancy is 15m, except where the lot is only accessible from a secondary road, parallel road or lane, then its 12m.
Part 6, Subdivision Dual occupancies (subdivision of) Removal of 60% rule to ensure that minimum lot sizes for subdivision are maintained in accordance with council LEPs
New terms Whole Code The introduction of new terms “parent lot” and “resulting lot” to clarify which area the development standard shall be applied.
Diagrams Whole Code Some diagrams have been updated and new diagrams added to provide further explanatory details.


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Page last updated: 23/12/2020