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  • Complying Developments – What Are they?

    1 Feb, 2016 | 283 views

    You’re ready to start your new renovation project, but are you ready to navigate the compliance and approvals process? Depending on the size and scope of your project, there are a variety of channels through which you should obtain approval.

    Understanding Development Compliance

    To obtain approval for development of properties in New South Wales, property owners must meet standards and land requirements via one of nine approval pathways. Determining the appropriate pathway to use for approval is based on the size of the project.  Small building projects and minor renovations which meet standards are considered exempt development. Examples of exempt projects include installing a deck, shed or carport.

    For other straightforward developments which require approval in NSW, a less time-consuming pathway known as a CDC, or complying development certificate, is available. Complying development is a fast track approval process for residential, commercial or industrial developments as defined by State Policy.

    State Environmental Planning Policy 2008 1.17 defines complying development thusly:

    1. Development that is specified in a complying development code that meets the standards specified for that development and that complies with the requirements of this Division for complying development is complying development for the purposes of this Policy.
    2. Development that is specified in a complying development code that meets the standards specified for that development and that complies with the requirements of this Division for complying development is complying development for the purposes of this Policy.

    Additionally, complying development must not be exempt under the Planning Policy, must meet relevant provisions under the Building Code of Australia, and be permissible under an environmental planning instrument as set forth in Section 1.18 of the Planning Policy.

    Complying Development can save a significant amount of time and money for home owners and builders seeking approval for property development. According to NSW.gov, 29% of exempt and complying developments were fast-tracked via the State Policy. Average time for development approval of a full development application is about 70 days. The CDC pathway can provide approval within 14 days.

    Finding the Path to Complying Developments on Your Property

    To find out if approval for proposed developments on your property is provided for via the complying development certificate application, visit the Electronic Housing Code (EHC) system and follow the guidelines for details. You can also enter your address to find out any development constrictions that apply to your specific property, as well as track your application online. This can help you to simplify the approvals process, giving you better access to the appropriate channels for ensuring proper compliance. Rather than waiting for months to obtain full development application approval, you can take advantage of fast-tracked approval for complying developments.

    If you’re planning to make renovations or new construction on your building or property, a licensed professional building inspector can provide you with a detailed report of your property’s condition and compliance with local standards. A quality building inspector will also be able to advise you on your development plans. With the assistance of a neutral, professional third party, you can ensure all work taking place on your property has the appropriate approvals and is full compliance with the law. Working with a professional building inspector also allows you to be sure the workmanship is of top quality and any defects are discovered before project completion. Don’t run the risk of being held liable for costly corrections or the headache of attempting to obtain retroactive approval. Work closely with your builder, and with a professional inspection company, to make sure your renovation, extension or remodelling project is well within all legal requirements.

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