What is a Complying Development Certificate?

Home Owners
May 2023

A Complying Development Certificate, or CDC, is a combined planning and construction approval that can cover many developments depending on local planning regulations. This pathway is a fast-tracked approval that does not require a Development Application at your local Council.

A certifying authority carries out the Complying Development approval, either Council or an accredited Private Certifier (Building Certifier), ensuring that the building works comply with all relevant legislation and building standards.

Property owners can take advantage of the huge cost and time savings when following the Complying Development pathway. Applications are often approved in as little as 5 – 20 days once you have completed all the required paperwork.

What types of works can be approved under Complying Development?

Complying Developments can cover a wide range of projects. Some examples of projects which may be approved include:

  • One or two-storey homes, including alterations and additions
  • Granny flats or secondary dwellings
  • Swimming pools or residential sheds
  • Demolition of a building
  • Industrial buildings
  • Commercial building alterations and additions
  • Shop fit outs
  • First use or change of use
  • Establishing a home-based enterprise
  • Strata subdivision

Complying Development Certificate Process

While the CDC process is a quicker form of approval than a Development Application, there are still a few steps in gaining your consent to start your project.

Approved Complying Development Process
Approved provide a hollistic service in gaining a Complying Development Approval

The first step is to compare your proposed development against your local and state planning guidelines (SEPPs). Each SEPP has separate guidelines for different development types, with its own set of specific development controls that must be complied with.

The best way to discover what guidelines apply to your land is by reading your Section 10.7 Planning Certificate. The 10.7 Planning Certificate outlines any planning controls or restrictions which apply to your land and which State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP's) can be utilised to assess the proposed development. You can obtain your Planning Certificate from your local Council, the NSW Planning Portal, or a third party such as Infocert.

If your proposed works meet these guidelines' criteria, you can engage a Certifier and start your application for the Complying Development Certificate. The Certifier will compare your plans with the Building Code of Australia and provide a Request for Further Information (RFI). The RFI will consist of a list of documents needed to complete your approval and may include site plans, engineering or other third-party reports required for your area, such as a Bushfire Assessment.

Finally, Once the RFI is satisfied, the Certifier will issue your Complying Development Certificate. Now you can get started on your project, making sure to note any items the Certifier has highlighted for BCA Compliance. The Certifier will carry out mandatory inspections throughout your construction; this allows you to ensure your build is being carried out under the consent conditions and to the Building Code standard.

Once your project is finalised, the Certifier will issue an Occupation Certificate and lodge it with the NSW Planning Portal - your build is now ready to enjoy!

It is essential to know that while this process may seem simple, a myriad of planning guidelines and information must be adhered to. If you are still unclear on what is required for a CDC Approval, the NSW Government has issued a Guide to Complying Development which provides a comprehensive view of the process on the NSW Planning Portal.

Need further assistance?

Contact Approved to start your Compying Development Certificate and take advantage of our expert team. We remove the complexity and uncertainty for you, making your journey to construction quicker and easier.

Approved provides a holistic service in gaining a Complying Development Certificate approval. We compare your architectural plans to NSW Government's Housing Code criteria and submit your application to a Private Certifier, who compares them with the Building Code of Australia and provides the consent to start building.

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