A number of home improvements and minor developments can be carried out without approval in NSW and are known as ‘Exempt Development’. Some types of development that can be exempt include garden sheds, carports, farm buildings, decks, minor internal and external building alterations, and change of use of a building. Those that are permissible in relation to Heritage Items or within a Heritage Conservation Area are generally in the rear yard of the property and can include water tanks, access ramps, pergolas and shade structures.
Exempt development can be undertaken if all predefined standards and criteria (such as setbacks, maximum floor area, building height) are satisfied for the type of exempt development being undertaken. Furthermore, exempt building work must be structurally sound, must meet the deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the Building Code of Australia, and cannot be located over a sewer, storm water main, easement or effluent irrigation area. Notably exempt farm buildings must be ancillary to an agricultural use of the landholding on which it is situated.
If your development does not satisfy all of the exempt development criteria you will need to obtain planning approval by lodging a development application or complying development certificate application.
Most categories of ‘exempt development’ are defined in Part 2 of State Environment Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (known as the ‘Codes SEPP’), while additional categories may be defined in various other State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) and Schedule 2 of the Richmond Valley LEP 2012
Further information on exempt development is available from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment via the NSW Planning Portal
Visit NSW Planning’s Spatial viewer to check the zoning of your property or whether it is a heritage item or located in a heritage conservation area.
Buildings constructed before 1987 may contain asbestos. Visit asbestosawareness.com.au