Exempt Development

Development does not require approval when it:

  • can satisfy the criteria set out below;
  • can meet the requirements of the National Construction Code (Building Code of Australia); and
  • is of minimal environmental impact.

Land Characteristics

You will need to know the zoning and land attributes of your property to understand if your development is exempt.  This information is available in a 10.7(2) Planning Certificate, from the Planning Portal online mapping tool accessed under the What’s my Zoning heading on the home page or from the zoning maps associated with Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012 (Hawkesbury LEP).

Exempt development must not be carried out on land that contains a State listed heritage item or is subject to an interim heritage order under the Heritage Act 1977 (with some exceptions) or on any environmentally sensitive area.

Which Planning Controls Do I Use?

State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development) Codes

State Environmental Planning Policy (Infrastructure) 2007
Hawkesbury Local Environmental Plan 2012
What if my development is not exempt?

If your proposal does not comply with all of the above requirements, then it is unable to be considered as exempt development and instead you will need to obtain an approval.

There are different types of applications to seek approval. You will need either a Complying Development Certificate Application (CDC) or Development Application (DA) depending upon the nature of your proposal and the land characteristics of your property. (Factsheet links to be provided)

Other approvals

As well as the requirements listed above, the following matters still apply:

  • adjoining owners’ property rights
  • common law rights
  • approvals, licences, permits from other agencies

The relevant agency should be contacted to determine whether any separate approvals or specific requirements apply prior to starting work.


The following are links to useful definitions used within the planning policies listed above:

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