Exempt and Complying Development

Exempt Development

Exempt development is development that will have minimal impact on the local environment. Works that are classified as exempt development do not require prior approval from Council however the works must be carried out in accordance with the relevant planning instrument and the Building Code of Australia. If any of the criteria cannot be fully met, a complying certificate or development approval must be obtained before carrying out the work or development.

Development which does not fall within the listed exempt development criteria requires a complying development certificate or development consent.

 The types of development that may be classified as exempt development can include: 

  • access ramps, animal shelters and aviaries
  • television aerials, air conditioning units and barbeques
  • retaining walls and fences
  • awnings, blinds, pergolas, cabanas, greenhouses, gazebos and garden sheds
  • shade structures, privacy screens and screen enclosures
  • cubby houses and playground equipment
  • driveways, pathways, patios, decks and other paved or sealed areas at ground level
  • non-structural/non-load-bearing internal alterations and renovations
  • repairs, maintenance work and landscaping works
  • re-cladding of walls/roofs and skylights
  • solar-hot water heaters and photo voltaic systems
  • emergency works
  • rainwater tanks
  • advertising and signage

 To find out if your proposed development can be done as exempt development refer to State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Complying Development

Complying development is development that is considered to be small-scale and of low-impact that complies with the requirements of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. For works to be deemed as complying development, they must be designed to comply with predetermined standards set out in the Code and have a Complying Development Certificate issued by Council.

Some of the types of development listed as complying development include: 

  • internal or external alterations and/or additions to dwelling houses
  • carports, garages and car spaces
  • shade structures, conservatories, awnings and pergolas
  • new dwelling houses
  • fences and retaining walls 
  • swimming pools and spas
  • internal alterations to commercial and industrial buildings
  • shop or office fit-outs, shop-fronts and awnings
  • certain types of land and strata subdivision
  • changes of certain commercial and industrial uses
  • demolition of certain buildings
  • temporary structures and marquees
  • fire safety upgrading work 

If the proposed development does not meet all of the criteria set out in the Code, a development application and a construction certificate must be obtained before work can commence.

In some cases, residents of adjoining or nearby properties are required to be notified of proposed complying development to dwellings, to encourage consultation between neighbours and resolution of any concerns that may be raised. However, the provisions do not require the owner or Council to consider or address any submissions or, to modify the proposal if the relevant requirements are met.

To lodge an application with Council for a Complying Development Certificate, download the application form below and submit to Council with detailed plans and specifications.

For further information on Exempt and Complying Development, please contact Council's Building Certification Team on 9976 1500 or email your enquiry to records@manly.nsw.gov.au.