Development Approval In 10 Days!

08/02/2013 1:34 am

If you want to build a new home, renovate your home, add a granny flat or a swimming pool, you may be able to apply for a quick 10 day approval. Under the NSW Government’s State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Code) 2008 and the NSW Housing Code, developments including detached single and two-storey dwellings, alterations and additions and other ancillary development, can proceed as complying. The NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure is currently inviting public comment on a range of proposed changes to the streamlined Statewide approvals code to allow a wider range of commercial, retail, industrial and residential development types to be able to obtain fast-tracked approvals.

 

What is complying development?

Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for development that meets pre-determined development standards. Determination of a complying development certificate (CDC) relies on a code-based assessment. The local council or a private accredited certifier can issue a CDC. Where an application for complying development meets the specified development standards in the Codes SEPP (or council’s complying development controls) it must be determined within 10 days of lodgement (unless both parties mutually agree to an extension). If an applicant chooses to develop beyond the development standards contained in the Codes SEPP, they will need to lodge a DA with the relevant local council. It is noted that under the State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 development for the purposes of a secondary dwelling and group homes is complying development if the development meets the requirements of the policy.

 

Site Eligibility

The Codes SEPP generally applies to all the land in NSW. However, there are some circumstances where the land has been excluded from the Codes SEPP. The Codes SEPP establishes three levels of exclusions:

  • General Exclusions
  • Land Based Exemptions
  • Local Exclusions

 

Complying Development Process

1. Determine whether the lot allows for complying development

2. Prepare a complying development certificate (CDC) application

3. Apply for a CDC to council or an accredited certifier

4. Complying Development Certificate issues within 10 days

5. Council or accredited certifier notifies neighbours (within 40m) that a complying development certificate has been issued within 2 days.

6. Start building 12 days after lodgement.

 

Implications For Lending

In 2008, about 90% of new detached houses in NSW required the lodgement of a Development Application (DA). The average time for a council to review a DA in Sydney ranges from 34 to 254 days. If a proposal meets the standards of a CDC, the proponent will not need to lodge a DA and they may get a CDC within 10 days.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) has suggested that homeowners in the Sydney metropolitan area could achieve the following savings:

  • $3,345 in direct cost savings due to lower vacant land mortgage payment holding costs following reduced assessment time.
  • $3,300 in indirect cost savings resulting from reduced fees, documentation, amendments and time spent tracking DAs.

 

Proposed Changes To Statewide Streamlined Approvals Code

The NSW Planning Department is currently inviting public comment on a range of proposed changes to the streamlined Statewide approvals code. Feedback is now being sought on a series of major changes that are proposed to allow a wider range of commercial, retail, industrial and residential development types to be able to obtain code-based approvals. A series of major changes are proposed to allow a wider range of residential development types to obtain code-based approvals.

For home owners, a range of changes are proposed to allow detached studios for homes without rear lanes along with the strengthening of the requirement for privacy screens for second-storey windows and balconies.

The proposed changes will also allow the renovation of common areas in residential accommodation such as apartment buildings.