Complying development certificates

Planning and building approvals changes to lodgement options

Building approvals and construction applications may be emailed until further notice.

Please email the application (form only) to You’ll be contacted to provide supporting documents.

Alternatively, please post your complete application (form and supporting documents) to:

City of Sydney
GPO Box 1591
Sydney NSW 2001

What is complying development?

Complying development is development that meets specific standards in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Applications can be determined by a council or private certifier without the need for a full development application.

Complying development is a faster approval process, while ensuring stringent planning and environmental requirements are met through a set of prescribed approval conditions.

Some categories of work that are complying development:

  • construction of a new dwelling
  • alterations and additions to an existing dwelling
  • construction of a secondary dwelling
  • demolition of a building
  • small retail and commercial development
  • internal alterations (fit-outs) of commercial buildings
  • fit-out of a food shop
  • street awnings and business signs.

(Please note: An approval under the Roads Act and section 68 of the Local Government Act is also required for street awnings and business signs.)

Development details, drawings and information that are required to obtain approval can be found in the complying development certificate application form, available for download below.

Although most complying development applications can be approved within 10 days, surrounding neighbours must be notified about development in residential zones before a certificate can be issued, and therefore these applications will take longer to approve.

Owner’s consent

When lodging your application you must submit it with verified consent from all of the registered owners including details of the proposed development.

If a company owns the property, the company stamp or seal is required. If the building is subject to a strata scheme, the owners' corporation seal and authorised signatures are required.

Notifying neighbours

To encourage greater communication between complying development applicants and their neighbours, the State Government has introduced mandatory notification requirements if you use the complying development system to carry out works on your property in residential zones.

Applicants should consult with their neighbours at the earliest opportunity to help them understand the building plans. Ideally, this should take place before detailed plans are drawn up and before you submit your application.

Neighbours within a 20m radius of the proposed complying development site will be notified by an accredited certifier (council or private) when they are processing a development application within a residential zone.

Neighbourhood notification requirements showing properties affected within a 20m boundary radius from the fence line.

If you are unsure about whether you are located in a residential zone you can check the land zoning maps or apply for a zoning certificate.

Neighbours have no objection rights to a complying development proposal because it meets minimum impact criteria on surrounding properties.

An application cannot be approved for at least 14 days after your neighbours are notified. The property owner (in most cases the applicant for the certificate) is also required to give neighbours at least 7 days' notice before works start.


The application fees, and neighbour notification fees (where applicable), can be viewed in the City's schedule of fees and charges or you can get a copy from any of our customer service centres.

Development contributions

Some complying development may require a contribution to the City towards public amenities and services. For complying development, accredited certifiers are responsible for calculating the contribution in accordance with the City's relevant development contributions plan. If a contribution is required, a condition requiring payment of the contribution is to be included in the complying development certificate. Applicants must pay their contribution before commencing the complying development works.

Last updated: Tuesday, 12 March 2019