About Complying Development Notification

Complying development is an assessment process for straightforward development proposals. If the proposal complies with all the pre-determined development standards, the development must be approved. The rules for complying development differ to those for a development application. The main difference is that, since complying development must meet pre-determined development standards, the applicant is under no obligation to make changes if a neighbour does not agree with what is proposed.


The Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 requires a 14 day notification period for certain complying development applications. The notice is for information only and aims to encourage neighbours to discuss the development before the certificate is issued. The applicant is however under no obligation to discuss the proposal with neighbours, but is encouraged to do so.


Proposals for more complex development, or development on environmentally sensitive land cannot be done as complying development and require a ‘development application’ from your local council.


Once the certificate has been issued, the Council is required to make a copy of the determination available for inspection at its office, free of charge.


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Common questions about complying development

Q: Does the process differ if a private certifier is involved rather than the council?


A: No. The same standards apply regardless of whether the application is determined by a private certifier or a council.


Q: Can I make a submission about the proposed development?


A: The development standards for complying development are set by State Environmental Planning Policies and the council’s Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans. These plans were all adopted after a public consultation process.


The development standards cover the same things that a council would consider if assessing a development application, such as privacy, setbacks, floor space ratio and building height. The set standards provide assurance to applicants that a development will be approved if it meets these standards. They also provide neighbours certainty about what development can be done as complying development.


Q: Can I view the building plans?


A: The building plans are commercial-in-confidence until the complying development certificate is issued (if approved). You may ask the applicant for a copy of the plans, but the applicant is not obliged to provide these.


Once the complying development application is determined, the plans will be available to inspect at the council office, free of charge during office hours.


Q: Will I be notified before work starts?


A: If the application is approved, the applicant must notify you in writing at least seven days before work starts. Complying developments are subject to conditions of consent including permitted construction hours and site management requirements to protect adjoining properties.