Do you need approval?

Find out what approval you need for your project.

Development categories

Development usually fall into four categories:

Exempt development

These are projects that are usually quite small, with low impact on the environment and surrounds. You do not need our permission to undertake exempt development.

Examples may include:

  • awnings, blinds and canopies
  • balconies, decks, patios, pergolas, terraces and gazebos
  • BBQs and other outdoor cooking structures
  • garden sheds, cabanas, and cubby houses
  • shade structures, privacy screens and screen enclosures
  • carports
  • change of use of premises
  • minor demolition works
  • driveways and hard stand spaces
  • earthworks, retaining walls and structural support
  • landscaping structures and rainwater tanks
  • fences
  • minor building alterations (internal and external)
  • portable swimming pools and spas
  • television aerials and air conditioning units
  • advertising and signage
  • temporary uses and structures
  • home businesses, home industries and home occupations (excluding manufacture of food products or skin penetration procedures).

There are some exceptions. If these apply you may still need to lodge a development application. 

We recommend you seek some advice to help you understand if a project is exempt development.

Note, even if your development is exempt you have a responsibility to comply with state environmental policies. More information:

Complying development

These are projects that are usually larger than exempt developments. 

When applying for complying development, you are submitting a single application that covers both planning and development approval. Approval is granted through a fast-track process by a Council certifier or private certifier.

Examples of complying development may include

  • building a one and two storey home
  • building a granny flat or secondary dwelling
  • building earthworks and structural supports
  • building a fence
  • building a swimming pool
  • building waterway structures
  • carrying out a strata subdivision
  • demolishing a building
  • establishing a home-based enterprise
  • removing and pruning a tree
  • renovating a home
  • temporary uses and structures
  • works to improve fire safety.

There are some exceptions. If these apply you may still need to lodge a development application. It is important you obtain a standard 10.7 Certificate (Part 2) from Council to confirm whether you can apply for complying development. If you choose Council as your Certifier, the fee paid for the standard 10.7 Certificate will be reduced from your Complying Development Certificate fees. 

We recommend you seek some advice to help you understand if a project is a complying development.

Local development requiring consent

Where a development requires consent, you will need to lodge a Development Application.

Some examples of projects that may require consent include:

  • demolition of a building
  • building a residential, commercial or industrial building
  • additions or renovations to your home or commercial premises
  • the subdivision of land
  • strata subdividing a building
  • first use or changing the use of a building.

We recommend you seek some advice to help you understand if a project requires a development application.


Whether a project is small or large, it may require Development Approval if it:

  • is located in a critical habitat of an endangered species, population or ecological community
  • is located in a wilderness area
  • comprises an item that is listed on the State Heritage Register
  • comprises an item of environmental heritage or a heritage item by an environmental planning instrument
  • is located in a environmentally sensitive area
  • is in the 25 or higher ANEF contour
  • is identified as Class 1 or 2 Acid Sulfate Soils
  • is significantly contaminated
  • is flood affected
  • is in a groundwater exclusion zone
  • is shown as excluded on the Botany Bay Exempt Development Land Map or the Botany Bay Complying development Land Map (NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008).

More information

For more information see: