What is Complying Development?

Posted on April 1, 2013

Prior to the introduction of complying development, putting up a standard house through to major commercial development went through the same development approval processes. And it clogged up the system!

In the Sydney Metropolitan area, simple new house or home extension approvals took on average 121 days a decade ago. It added significant cost for homeowners and didn’t do building industry productivity much good either.

NSW Complying Development reduces approval time to just 10 working days. The streamlined combined planning and construction approval is available where the proposal is on eligible land and meets pre-determined development standards.

The Complying Development Process

At Creative Spaces we include Complying Development Certification as part of our services. First, we confirm your land is eligible for complying development. Then, while using innovative architectural design to optimise your sites potential, we also ensure the proposal meets the complying development pre-determined standards.

Creative Spaces organises the Complying Development Certificate (known as a CDC for short), which then goes to your local council for the quick 10-day combined planning and building approval.

Your contractor will arrange building inspections during construction to make sure it complies with the complying development approval. And once complete, a Final Occupation Certificate is issued for your home.

Is my Land eligible land for Complying Development?

Complying development applies to the majority of residential land where you are proposing a new home, alteration or extension to a single dwelling. Even an attached or free-standing granny flat can be eligible for complying development.

There are some limited circumstances where land may not be eligible for complying development. These include homes in a heritage listed or in a heritage conservation area, high flood-risk lots and other environmentally sensitive land.

For example, land identified as critical habitat under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 would be excluded. While some areas such a bushfire and low-risk flood prone land were originally excluded, it is now generally eligible for complying development with certain additional building standards to protect your valuable asset.

Some additional local exclusion, such as land subject to coastal erosion may also apply. Additional approvals might be required in limited circumstances such as if the land is subject to mine subsidence. This planning information can be ascertained by Creative Spaces through Section 149 Certificates available for each piece of land.

In summary, key land criteria for complying development eligibility include:

  • A lot area of 200m2 or greater for a new home
  • A lot area of 450m2 for a home extension
  • Any lot size for internal or external alterations
  • A minimum lot width of 6 metres for new homes
  • In a residential R1, R2, R3, R4 or RU5 Standard LEP zones for new homes (or the equivalent if your local government area if it has not yet converted to the Standard LEP)
  • Extensions or alterations in R1-R5 and RU1-RU5 zones
  • Not in a heritage conservation area, environmentally sensitive area or has other planning constraints

So what are the pre-determined development standards for complying development?

The pre-determined standards for NSW complying development are generally not difficult to achieve. They are the kinds of standards the average homeowner generally desires. Examples include being a certain distance from neighbouring homes, conforming to building alignments , maximum building footprint and minimum areas of landscaping appropriate to your neighbourhood.

And being appropriate for your area is key here. There is not one set of rules for complying development. Rather most standards are graded depending on your block size, which is usually similar to others in your neighbourhood. For example, a house on a 200-250m2 block allows a home to occupy of 65% of the site. A 600-900m2 block only allows the home to occupy 50% of the site . Local councils can also specify some variations for complying development to ensure local character is maintained.

Creative Spaces can quickly determine the criteria your home will need to meet for NSW complying development and work within those parameters. We focus on delivering a home or extension architectural design to optimise your lifestyle… not bury you in lengthy planning and building approvals.

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