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Wollongong City Council

Alterations and Additions

Many home alterations and additions can be done without having to go through a complicated approval process.

The NSW Planning Portal explains what renovation work you can do as complying development.  This means you can get approval quickly if you’re following standards approved by the State Government.

Some minor and low-impact works fall under exempt development, and don’t need approval as long as you follow building regulations.

However, if your renovation doesn’t meet the exempt development or complying development rules, you will need to prepare a Development Application.

Any renovation – especially on older houses – can be risky for your health. Two of the biggest risks you need to look out for when renovating are:


If your house was built before 1990, there’s a good chance it contains asbestos somewhere.
Common places you might find asbestos include walls, roofs and eaves, vinyl tiling, drains and oven or heating flues.

Visit the Asbestos Awareness website to learn more and get tips on how to protect yourself.

Strict rules apply to handling and disposing of asbestos PDF, 399.59 KB. If you’re removing more than 10 square meters of asbestos, you must use a licensed asbestos removalist.


Before the 1970s, house paint often contained high amounts of lead. Lead can also be found in pipes, ceiling cavities and other spaces around your home, particularly if it’s an older house.

Read the EPA’s guide to lead in your home before you start work.

Waste from your renovation can be bad for your health and the environment, so you need to dispose of it safely.

Make sure your renovation budget includes the costs you’ll need to pay to properly deal with any rubbish. There are no excuses for illegal dumping.

Our waste depot does not accept building or demolition waste. There are several companies in our area that deal with builders' waste - search online or look for 'Waste disposal and reduction services' in the Yellow Pages.

If your house is on our register of heritage properties, you may need to get extra approvals before doing any renovations. This is to make sure work doesn’t destroy any heritage value of the building.

Contact us for development advice if you’d like to do renovations on a heritage property.