Exempt Development

Certain minor building renovations or works are categorised as 'exempt development', meaning they do not require planning approval.

Exempt development is very low impact development that can be done for certain residential, commercial and industrial properties.

A few examples of developments that may be classified as exempt development are:

  • decks
  • garden sheds
  • carports
  • fences
  • repairing a window
  • painting a house

As long as the proposed works meet all of the development standards, approval may not be needed, but all exempt developments must still meet the National Construction Code (NCC) as well as the requirements for adjoining owners’ property rights, the applicable common law and other legislative requirements for approvals, licenses, permits and authorities.

How do I tell if my development is exempt?

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (referred to as the 'Codes SEPP') provides definitions for what developments are exempt:

The Shoalhaven Local Environment Plan 2014 (referred to as the 'LEP') contains additional exempt development criteria specific to the Shoalhaven that are not specified in the Codes SEPP:

The NSW Government has more information on exempt development on the NSW Planning Portal.

What if my development isn't exempt?

If the proposal doesn't qualify as exempt development, you may qualify for a 'complying development' certificate, or you may need to lodge a 'Development Application' (DA).

Learn more about complying development
Learn more about development applications

Your guide to the DA process

The NSW Government has developed a step by step breakdown of the DA process, from pre-lodgement (preparing your documents) to organising construction, to obtaining the final occupation certificate (the last step in the formal DA and construction process).

Your guide to the DA process - NSW Planning Portal