Exempt and Complying Development


If you are going to build something on your property from a letter box to a new building, you need to know whether you are required to gain approval. Works or activities may be considered Exempt, Complying or require a Development Application (DA).

Electronic Housing Code

The Electronic Housing Code allows you to investigate whether your proposed development is exempt. The link is to your right. The Electronic Housing Code (EHC) is an online system for the electronic lodgement of complying development applications under the NSW Housing Code for lots 200m2 and above. This system will also allow you to determine if you are able to proceed with your development without further approvals, as an exempt development.

Use it to:

•Investigate your development options for an individual site
•Generate an exempt development report
•Prepare your complying development application electronically
•Lodge your complying development application electronically
•Monitor the progress of your complying development application.


Minor developments such as a letter box through to decks and pergolas can be undertaken without any form of approval if they comply with conditions for Exempt Development.  It is really important to understand all the conditions for Exempt Development. The State Government has a standard set of Exempt Development for the whole State which appears in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.  A link to the NSW Department of Planning and Enviroment's Planning Portal is provided to your right.  This link will explain which development is Exempt Development. In addition, Warringah has few extra activities listed as exempt. The Warringah Local Environment Plan (LEP 2011) has the preconditions and list of additional exempt activities.


Development which does not have a significant impact but is considered more than minor and requires some form of assessment may be undertaken as Complying Development.  This includes some single and two storey dwellings and swimming pools but, again, only if there is complete compliance with all conditions. If the proposal is fully compliant with all conditions, a Comply Development Certificate (CDC) can be obtained from either Council or an Accredited Certifier from the private sector. Council competes with the private sector Certifiers for your business. CDCs do not require Construction Certificates as this aspect is assessed in the CDC process. Complying Development is set by the State Government and is identified in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.  Again a few additional developments are listed as Complying in LEP 2011.