Building & Development

Complying Development Certificates

Complying Development Certificates


What is a Complying Development Certificate?

A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) is a form of approval appropriate for many types of minor or routine development which have a minor impact, but have not been specifically declared as exempt development under the provisions of:

State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008

State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009

State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007

Complying development is completed under a separate process to a development consent and construction certificate. Approvals are limited to certain locations and must be carried out in accordance with pre-determined standards and conditions.  

Most complying development for residential and rural properties will be carried out under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

A property’s zoning will determine which code within the document to use. However, some properties are restricted from doing complying development due to certain attributes of the property such as, but not limited to, high level bushfire prone areas, acid sulfate soils or particular environmentally sensitive zones.

A Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) will still need to be appointed to monitor the works during construction. Council or a private accredited certifier can grant a CDC (and act for you in this regard). The certifier is referred to as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA).

For more information in regards to the attributes of your property, please contact council’s Customer Service Centre on 4325 8222 or, alternatively, refer to the mapping constraints.  

Information you will need to submit

  • Explanation of the work proposed;
  • Plans detailing the work proposed (including a site plan, elevations, floor plans, parking arrangements, loading facilities, ground levels to be modified and drainage information);
  • Specifications for the work proposed;
  • Demolition plan (where necessary); and
  • Existing and proposed fire safety measures (for the change of use of a commercial building). 

A complying development certificate can only be issued if:

  • The proposed development fully complies with the specific requirements and criteria for complying development outlined in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009, and/or State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007;
  • The proposal complies with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and the Environmental Planning & Assessment Act 1979; and 
  • If the specified criteria in the complying development codes or the Gosford Planning Scheme Ordinance (GPSO) cannot be satisfied, then a development application must be submitted to council and a construction certificate obtained before commencing any work. 

Neighbour consultation for complying development

  • Building a new single or two storey home;
  • Adding a single or two storey addition to an existing home; or
  • Demolishing an existing building.

If the proposal meets specific criteria and standards, then your application can be complying development.

This means that you can expect a determination from your council or a private certifier in around three weeks.

Building works often cause disruption but talking through your designs and likely time frame with neighbours will help address any concerns and avoid disputes when building begins.

This early consultation will help them understand your plans and the likely impact on their own properties. This timely consultation also allows you to easily respond to questions before any detailed plans are finalised.

When do you need to consult with your neighbours?

There are two requirements for informing neighbours who live within 20 metres of your property about the proposed building works:

  1. The council or certifier must advise the neighbours 14 days before the application is approved if the property is in an existing neighbourhood; and 
  2. You must advise your neighbours seven days before the work starts. If the development is in a new residential release area neighbours must be advised at least two days before work starts.

While your neighbours are not able to insist on changes to the development plans, giving them an opportunity to review the proposal can help address any issues. The earlier in the process this takes place, the better for everyone concerned.

How should you consult with your neighbours?

Drop copies of the proposed plans, including a relevant explanation, into letterboxes. Ring your neighbours to let them know what you’re planning and talk through any concerns.

Invite your neighbours to an informal meeting, so you can clearly explain the building works and answer any questions.

Talk through the likely length of the building works, noise levels and any access or rubbish removal issues.

More information

The Building Professionals Board has information to inform consumers about their rights and responsibilities when building or subdividing land, as well as the important role of the certifying authority.

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