A NSW Government website

Exempt development

Some minor building renovations or works don’t need any planning or building approval. This is called exempt development. Exempt development is very low impact development that can be done for certain residential, commercial and industrial properties.

A few examples of development that can be exempt development are: decks, garden sheds, carports, fences, repairing a window or painting a house. More information is available in the Understanding exempt development fact sheet (PDF, 222 KB).

Read the fact sheet

As long as the proposed works meet all of the development standards (identified in the State Policy for exempt and complying development), approval may not be needed.

The majority of exempt and complying development types and their development standards are found in the State Policy for exempt and complying development. You can view the policy on the NSW legislation website:

Air-conditioning units

Did you know you can install an air-conditioning unit without planning approval?

Balconies, decks and patios

Did you know you may be able to build a balcony, deck, patio, pergola, terrace or veranda without planning approval?


Did you know you can build a fence without planning approval?


Go to the NSW Planning Portal:

For more information about exempt development: