Before you build

Before you begin to build, consider the following factors. It could save you a lot of time, money and hassle later in the project.


If your building project meets the specific standards and land requirements of exempt development in NSW, you may not need any planning or building approval.

Check the NSW policy for exempt and complying development to find out if your project qualifies.

However, before you plan any renovations or building work, check which planning controls apply to your property.

Extra rules may apply if your building is heritage listed, in a conservation area, or in an area prone to flooding or bushfires. Check the building and renovating web page to see if your project could be affected.

To find out what planning constraints and zoning rules affect your property, enter your property address in the find a property page.

If your development or renovation project meets the NSW standards of complying development, you may qualify for fast track approval.

Save time by avoiding a full development application. Apply for a complying development certificate (CDC) through your Council or an accredited certifier.

For a full list of the required standards of complying development, see the NSW Legislation website.

If you do qualify for fast track approval, read this guide that explains what to tell your neighbours to let them know about your development plans.

If your proposed building work or renovation does not meet the requirements of exempt or complying development, you need to submit a development application through your Council.

The Council may publicly exhibit your application before making a decision.

All development applications, except for designated development, require you to submit a statement of environmental effects with the application to council. You will also need to submit a BASIX certificate with your application.