Posted on March 1, 2014 · Posted in Uncategorized

A number of key changes to State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt & Complying Development) 2008 commenced on 22 February 2014.  These are summarised in more detail on the Planning Department’s website (

Some important things to note:

1)    Exempt and complying development can now take place on lots affected by some restrictions as long as the development is not on part of the lot affected by the restriction;

2)    There has been an expansion of complying development (fast-track assessment) for:

a)    New dwellings (both General & Rural Housing Codes) but also some additional restrictions;

b)    New industrial buildings and alterations and additions to existing commercial and industrial buildings;

3)    There has been an expansion of exempt development (not requiring a development application)  including (but not limited to):

a)    Antennas, fences, driveways and pathways;

b)    Outdoor dining for food and drink premises & mobile food and drink outlets (though other approvals may be required);

c)     Many types of advertising and signage;

4)    There is a new Fire Safety Code to enable alterations to fire safety systems.

5)    There is a new temporary uses and structure exempt development code.

6)    Exempt and complying standards were further consolidated by repealing four (4) State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPPs) repealed and amending a further five (5) SEPPs.

There is now a requirement to notify neighbours within 20m of a complying development application for some new dwellings in a residential or rural zone (Note: this is not an opportunity to object) resulting in an expanded time for assessment from 10 to 20 days (except in urban release areas);

The difficulties the NSW State Government faces in seeking approval for the new NSW Planning Legislation means there is likely to be increased focus on expanding exempt and complying development to speed up approval processes without legislative amendments.

Watch this space as this area of planning unfolds over 2014!  Speak to iPLAN PROJECTS if you want to determine whether your development could avoid the need for a development application or pursue a fast-track consent.

About the Author

Andrew Napier is the founder and principal of iPLAN PROJECTS with over ten years’ experience in both private consultancy and local government. Andrew specialises in strategic planning (including community engagement strategies, land use strategies, local environmental plans and development control plans) and complex development projects (including multi-unit residential developments, mixed use buildings, and large commercial and industrial developments. Andrew has advised state government, large city and rural councils, and private developers across China, NSW and Victoria.