Exempt and Complying Development

What is meant by Exempt and Complying Development?

Some minor development, which is unlikely to result in adverse environmental impacts or impacts on your neighbours, is called "Exempt Development". With this type of development, as long as the proposal meets the criteria stated, an approval is not required from Council e.g. a retaining wall not over 600mm high which would not interfere with stormwater flow or seepage.

Another type of development which, subject to compliance with various stated measurements is unlikely to result in adverse impacts, is called "Complying Development". Complying Development may be undertaken, subject to you obtaining a Complying Development Certificate. The applicant must provide all relevant information for assessment.

Exempt and Complying developments are listed in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 

State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP's)

The State Government has Planning documents under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 that apply to certain lands or types of development that may be environmentally significant or may cause adverse environmental effects. These include:

  • State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP's) (approved by the Minister and must be consistent with EP&A Act Objectives) make sure that government policies are carried out uniformly, deal with important state-wide issues, such as protecting important rainforest and encouraging sustainable development that creates jobs, set general guidelines for regional environmental plans and local environmental plans and plan important projects in specific locations.   There are over 70 SEPP's such as:
    • SEPP 5 (Housing for the Aged)
    • SEPP 11 (Traffic Generating Developments)
    • SEPP 14 (Coastal Wetlands)
    • SEPP 71 (Coastal Protection)
  • State Environmental Planning Policies (NSW Planning & Environment) 
  • Regional Environment Plans (REPs) (approved by the Minister and must be consistent with SEPP's) deal with issues that go beyond the local area - protecting river catchments, for example, or providing public transport systems REPs give council a framework for detailed local planning. The North Coast Regional Environment Plan 1988, which includes matters that must be included in LEP's and when considering Development Applications, is an example of a REPs.

Further information relating to SEPP's and REP's can be obtained from the Planning Centre in Sydney. Phone 02 9762 8044 or email information@planning.nsw.gov.au

A number relating to SEPP's and REP's can be obtained from the Planning Centre in Sydney. Phone 02 9762 8044 or email information@planning.nsw.gov.au