NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Business and industrial complying development reforms

The NSW Government has introduced a suite of reforms to deliver a better planning system for NSW, accelerate the delivery of projects, create jobs, and keep the economy moving.

Complying development pathways offer straight forward development and faster approvals. This means projects that meet strict planning and building development standards may be approved faster by council or an accredited certifier.

The complying development reforms:

  • provide a streamlined assessment pathway for job-creating development, where the environmental impacts are well understood and managed through development standards
  • expand the complying development pathways provisions in employment zones to support existing and emerging business, so that more activities can be undertaken without the need for a development application
  • ensure planning and building standards are signed off by council or an accredited certifier
  • support emerging and local business.

The reforms support greater innovation by better tailoring assessment processes, reducing project delays, and making it easier to navigate the planning system.

Building business back better

Using the complying development pathway to support businesses across NSW

To support business across NSW we implemented reforms to build a faster, simpler planning system.

We’ve made it easier for businesses to build back better by allowing them to do more work without the need for a development application as long as they meet the criteria and development standards.

We’ve made it easier for businesses to operate and innovate.

As long as businesses meet the rules, they can continue to extend their operating and trading hours, set up a click and collect bay in the car park, or change their business altogether.

What are the changes that have been made?

The changes to the complying development pathway allow businesses to:

  • quickly adapt their offerings to new market demands for things like entertainment facilities, indoor recreation facilities and creative industries
  • attract investment with new and larger building allowances
  • carry out site and parking upgrades to accommodate new modes of delivery, parking exclusions for small existing premises, change loading bays and create click and collect facilities
  • stay open for longer in certain areas.

We have prepared a design guide for businesses on complying development in business zones:

We also introduced a new Business Zone Design Guide to support the design of complying development for new buildings and additions located in some business zones. 


Consultation and feedback

We exhibited the changes to the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) from 31 March until 9 May 2021.

To view the Explanation of Intended Effect (EIE) on the proposed complying development changes to employment lands visit the Planning Portal.

You can find out more about what we heard and how we responded to feedback by reading the submissions report summary (PDF, 2.7 MB).

For more information about the program email codes@planning.nsw.gov.au