There are many features you can add to your home as exempt or complying development.
Exempt development means you don’t need to apply for Council permission, but you must follow any relevant building rules.
Complying development means you must apply to an accredited certifying authority for approval. Council is an accredited certifying authority. Approval can be fast-tracked as long as you follow relevant building rules.
You will need to submit a development application if your proposal doesn't meet the rules for Exempt or Complying Development.
If your home is heritage listed, in an environmentally sensitive area, or in a high risk bushfire area, different rules can apply and it's likely you will need to submit a development application to get approval.
Below is some general advice about things people often build around their homes.
If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or you’re unsure, ask us for development advice.
Most carports can be built as exempt development.
See the carports page on the NSW Planning Portal for details.
Balconies, decks and patios can often be built as exempt development.
Read the guidelines on the NSW Planning Portal for more information.
Hard sufaces like driveways, pathways and paved areas within private property can generally be installed as exempt development. The rules you need to follow can be found on the NSW Planning Portal.
If a driveway or pathway will cross public land, such as the footpath, you need to apply to Council for approval. See the 'Driveway construction' section of our Works on Roads and Footpaths page for application details.
The rules for garages can be complicated.
Some garages can be built as complying development, which means they can get approved quickly by an accredited certifying authority, such as Council, as long as they meet state planning rules.
If a garage doesn’t meet the complying development rules, you will need to use a Development Application to get approval.
We recommend you ask for development advice if you’d like to build a garage.
Installing rainwater tanks can usually be done as exempt development.
See the NSW Planning Portal for details.
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