NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Inland Code

The new Inland Code has been released to simplify the planning process for home owners and farmers in regional NSW.

The new Code will make it easier, faster and cheaper for property owners in rural and regional inland areas of NSW to get approval for new homes, home renovations and farm buildings. It brings together and simplifies the planning rules for fast-track complying development approvals in one easy-to-read Code.

The new Code and farm building standards will be included in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (State Policy) and aim to:

  • make it easy for new one and two storey homes and home renovations to be approved in rural and residential zones in 20 days or less
  • simplify and tailor development standards to suit development in rural and regional inland NSW
  • increase the use of complying development in inland NSW to help achieve faster housing approvals
  • allow rural landholders to construct a greater range of farm buildings without approval and obtain faster approvals for large farm buildings to support the agricultural use of their land.

New one and two storey homes and home renovations can be undertaken as complying development in inland NSW where the proposal meets all of the relevant development standards in the new Code. These standards have been developed following consultation with the community, councils and industry.

A homeowner can save up to $15,000 for a new home and $2600 for home renovations under complying development.

Benefits of the new Inland Code

The new Inland Code brings together the planning rules for fast-track approvals of one and two storey homes and home renovations for all residential and rural zones in inland NSW, making it easier, faster and cheaper for homeowners to get an approval. 

Infographic captioned' Easier to use: The new code is written in plain English, with explanatory diagrams, making it easier to see if your proposal can be carried out as complying developmentInfographic captioned Saving Time: Fast-tracked development approvals issued under the new Code can be approved within 20 days, compared to an average of 75 days for development applications.Infographic captioned: Saving Money: Homeowners can save up to $15,000 for new homes that are approved as complying development


Expanded complying development standards have also been included in the Inland Code for large farm buildings that are subject to requirements under the Building Code of Australia, including farm sheds.

Read the new Code

View more detail about the new Code on the Planning Portal.

Where does the Inland Code apply?

The Code will apply to 69 local government areas in inland NSW as shown on the Inland Code map.

Consistent with the Housing Code and Rural Housing Code, the proposed development must be allowed under the Council’s Local Environmental Plan to be complying development under the Inland Code.

The Inland Code will not apply to new release areas where the Greenfield Housing Code applies. It will also not apply to:

Expanded farm building standards

Changes have also been made to the General Exempt Development Code to make it easier to build low impact farm buildings.

The changes will mean:

  • larger farm buildings, including sheds, silos, grain storage bunkers and stock holding yards, can be approved without planning or building approval
  • appropriate standards, such as height limits and setbacks, will be introduced for various types of farm buildings.

These changes apply across the State and mean that planning and building approval is not required for farm buildings where the relevant development standards are met.

Existing exempt development restrictions will apply to farm buildings. This means the changes do not apply on land that is:

  • a declared area of outstanding biodiversity value, declared critical habitat or a wilderness area
  • a heritage item or contains a heritage item
  • within 18km of the Siding Spring Observatory
  • excluded under Schedule 4 of the State Policy.

View the new farm building standards.

Implementation of the new Code and farm building standards

The new Inland Code and farm building changes will commence on 1 January 2019. This delayed commencement will provide time for the community and stakeholders to understand the changes and for the Department to provide training sessions.

An education program will be rolled out across NSW to assist the community and stakeholders to learn more about the new Inland Code.

An online e-module about the Inland Code is available below.

Once the Inland Code begins there will be a two-year transitional period. During this time applicants can choose from several codes, depending on the zoning of their land:

At the end of the transitional period, applicants in inland NSW will no longer be able to use the Housing Code or Rural Housing Code.

The transitional period will not apply to the exempt development standards for farm buildings.

The timeline below shows how these Codes can be used.

Complying development codes for inland NSW

Infographic captioned Complying development codes for inland NSW: comparing Transitional, Housing, Rural and Inland Codes

Other codes can also be used in inland NSW, including the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code, Greenfield Housing Code, Housing Alterations Code, General Development Code, Commercial and Industrial Codes and Demolition Code.

Fact Sheet

New eModule: learn more about the Inland Code

The Department’s new eModule is a short online course which provides useful information on the Inland Code, which has been introduced to increase the use of complying development in inland NSW and achieve faster approvals for houses and farm buildings.

Participants can put their learning into practice by answering 10 questions to obtain a Certificate of Completion.

The Module is designed for:

  • Council customer service staff, planners and building surveyors.
  • Homeowners and businesses wanting to learn more about exempt and complying development.
  • Certifiers wishing to take a refresher course.
  • Anyone wanting to explore private certification as a career option.

Access the module

More information 

  • More details about exempt and complying development: NSW Planning Portal.
  • Call on 13 77 88 (Service NSW). If English isn’t your first language, please call 13 14 50. Ask for an interpreter in your language and then request to be connected to our Information Centre on 1300 305 695.
  • Contact us via our online form.

Page last updated: 05/10/2022