Exempt and complying development policy provides for a streamlined planning pathway that provides:

• Homeowners and businesses access to streamlined approvals for low impact development, like building or renovating a home, or a new commercial or industrial premises;
• Greater flexibility to Councils to alter statewide rules to reflect local circumstances;
• Additional requirements for neighbors to be informed about proposals; and
• Strengthen rules relating to privacy, protection of significant trees and earthworks to minimise impacts on neighbors and the environment.

Exempt Development

Exempt development is essentially renovations and/or building projects that are so minor that they do not require approval from a local council or private certifier. Provided the project meets specific standards and land requirements defined under the policy, the project or renovation will be considered to be exempt development. In this regard, those undertaking any work that may be considered minor should endeavour to ensure they are adhering to the relevant development standards.

Some examples of exempt development categories may include the following:

• Advertising and signage
• Carports and sheds
• Balconies, decks, patios, pergolas, terraces and verandas.

Complying Development

Complying development are those development proposals that can be determined by a local council authority or a private certifier without a full development application, provided again that it meets the relevant development criteria as well as the relevant planning controls. A section 149 Certificate issued by Council outlines what planning controls will be applicable.

Under the complying development requirements, various additions have been made. Developers should ensure that they remain aware of the changes so they can exercise their rights and obligations accordingly. Such changes are inclusive of the following:

• Common areas in residential flat buildings are now permitted to undergo renovations;
• The removal of trees or vegetation may transpire as part of a complying development provided the tree or vegetation is:

– within 3m of a building or structure bigger than 25m;
– not on council’s register of significant trees;
– not higher than 8m if the development is for a new house;
– Not higher than 6m for alterations or additions to an existing house.

• Garages can be erected only upon lots that have a width of more than 8m where access to the garage is from the primary road. This restriction does not apply in the Fairfield and Holroyd local government areas.
• Where a window with a sill height of less than 1.5m above the floor level of a habitable room, a privacy screen is required where:

– the floor level of the habitable room is more than 1m above ground level, and
– the window faces a side or rear boundary and is within 3m of that boundary OR
– where the floor level of the habitable room is more than 3 m above ground level, and
– the window faces a side or rear boundary, and is at least 3m, but no more than 6m from that boundary.

Please do not hesitate to contact our office or submit an online enquiry if you have any questions regarding the above information.

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