Information for Builders and Developers

Builders and Developers July Newsletter



Edition 1 January 2017
Edition 2  May 2017
Edition 3  July 2017



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Updates to Legislation and Council Processes

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Exempt and Complying Developments Amendments effective 22 February 2014

This week Council received two planning circulars from the NSW Department of Planning (attached) regarding amendments to both the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000 and the Exempt and Complying Development Code which sets the standards for exempt and complying development within the Mid-Western Region .

These amendments are set to take effect on 22 February 2014 and consist of substantial changes to both pieces of legislation.

As listed below, Council has endeavoured to provide a short summary of the new provisions in the interests of keeping you up to date. This information however should not be relied upon in the assessment or lodgement of a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) application and any legal clarification should be sort from the NSW Department of Planning.


Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation amendments effective from 22 February 2014

  1. All neighbours within 20m of the boundary of the proposed development site are to be notified for a period of 14 days prior to the approval of a CDC relating to;
  • New dwellings
  • Alterations and additions
  • Demolition of a building
  • Secondary dwellings and group homes

In the case where Council is not the Certifying Authority, a copy of the notification letter is to be provided to Council.

As a result of the above, the allowable approval time for CDC’s relating to this type of development has increased from 10 days to 20 days. CDC applications for all other forms of development are still required to be assessed within 10 days.

  1. The regulation now includes a requirement that the Applicant inform all neighbours within 20m of the development site of their intent to commence works a minimum 7 days prior to starting. This requirement does not however apply to new residential subdivisions. In these areas the Applicant is required to inform the neighbours a minimum 2 days prior to commencing work.
  2. Development proposals involving either a change of use or alterations and additions to an existing building involving an area of more than 500m² will require a building upgrade report. This report must be prepared by an accredited certifier who is not assessing the CDC application. The intent of the report is to identify matters relating to compliance with the Building Code of Australia and to recommend work that would improve fire safety.

Exempt and Complying Development Code amendments effective from 22 February 2014

  1. The complying development section of this code has been increased to include development standards for both commercial and industrial development. This means that where it was previously only possible to lodge Development Applications with Council for this form of development, the applicant can now choose to seek approval through a Complying Development Application as long as the proposal meets all relevant criteria.
  2. A fire safety section has also been added to the complying development section of the code allowing fire safety upgrades of buildings to be approved as complying development provided the proposal meets all relevant criteria.
  3. There are several amendments to the complying development section for dwellings and ancillary development which relate to;
  • Increased requirements for privacy screens
  • Basements with a depth of up to 3m can be included under a dwelling
  • Detached studios are now allowed in connection with a house up to 35m²
  • Existing maximum floor area standards have been amended to specify that calculations include the area of the dwelling, secondary dwelling, detached studio and/or basement that is located on the lot.
  1. Strata subdivision of certain developments consisting of several dwellings at ground level can now be considered as complying development.
  2. Provisions for fences, pathways/paving, hardstand areas and earthworks have been amended in the exempt development section of the code to achieve more appropriate outcomes through;
  • Provisions that are easier to understand
  • More stringent requirements requiring drainage, soil erosion and runoff, and
  • Protection of adjoining sites for earthworks and retaining walls.

There are several other amendments proposed as part of this legislation review which can be viewed on the attached planning circulars.

For further information, please go to or contact one of Council’s Health & Building Surveyors on (02) 6378 2850.

Exempt and Complying Development Amendments - Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulations 2000

 Exempt and Complying Development Amendments - State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development)