Complying Development Certificates


In February 2009, the NSW Government introduced the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (SEPP). The Policy aims, in part, to provide streamlined assessment processes for development that complies with specified development standards by:

(a)  providing Complying Development Codes that have state-wide application, and

(b)  identifying, in the Complying Development Codes, types of Complying Development that may be carried out in accordance with a Complying Development Certificate as defined in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979.

The Specified development (types of development) and Development standards (requirements) for each Complying Development type in the SEPP must also be read in conjunction with all relevant clauses of:  

Part 1 Division 1 – Preliminary

Part 1 Division 2 – Exempt and Complying Development

It cannot be stressed enough that these Parts/Divisions are very important and must not be overlooked, as these form the basis on whether the development may be considered as Complying Development or not.

A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) combines approval for use of the land and the building construction works.  It is basically, a fast-track single-stage approval process, which requires only a CDC to be obtained from Council or Private Certifier.

If all of the criteria, requirements and standards relating to the proposed building or use are satisfied via an application containing relevant plans, specifications and supporting information, Council or Private Certifier will issue a Complying Development Certificate.

Singleton Council has a professional team of accredited Building Certifiers that can assist with approvals, inspections and advice. 


The requirements for Complying Development are strict. If a proposal does not comply with each and every requirement in the SEPP, then it is not Complying Development. If this is the case, an approval for the development must be obtained before commencing the proposal.

Failure to obtain the appropriate approvals for work not covered by the Complying Development Code will be treated as unauthorised development. Councils and other consent authorities have specific powers to issue fines, orders to demolish works or cease activities that fall outside the scope of Complying Development. Any person (including neighbours) may also take action in the Land and Environment Court.  

Full details of the types of buildings or uses that can be approved as Complying Development can be found in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. 

Quick Links

Housing Code
Rural Housing Code
Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code
Greenfield Housing Code
Inland Code
Housing Alterations Code
General Development Code
Commercial and Industrial Alterations Code
Commercial and Industrial (New Buildings and Additions) Code
Container Recycling Facilities Code
Subdivision Code
Demolition Code
Fire Safety Code
Complying Development Codes – Variations

Further information on Complying Development and the SEPP may be accessed on Department of Planning’s website, Email  or Phone 1300 305 695.