What Is A Complying Development Certificate And How Do I Get One?

A Complying Development Certificate

What Is A Complying Development Certificate And How Do I Get One?

If you’re undertaking building work, you’ll know there’s paperwork and legislation you may need to be aware of before the project gets underway. One important piece of documentation is the Complying Development Certificate, which is essential if you’re undertaking a project that’s considered “complying development”. What do these certificates really involve, and how can you obtain one? Read on to learn more.

What Is A Complying Development Certificate?

Many building projects won’t require a full development application to be submitted to your local council. A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) combines planning and construction approval for a development.

These certificates show that your proposal for development complied with regulations, should it be questioned during the construction process or after work has been completed.

“Complying development” might involve a residential, commercial or industrial construction project. Such works might include:

  • Building, altering or adding on to a one-storey or two-storey home
  • Altering or adding on to a commercial building
  • A secondary dwelling or granny flat
  • A swimming pool or shed
  • An industrial building
  • Building demolition
  • Strata subdivision
  • Establishment of a home-based enterprise


Essentially, if work is involved which is greater than what’s allowed under Exempt Development, you may need to seek approval under Complying Development before you can start any building work.

How Do I Get A Complying Development Certificate?

Determining Your Need

The first step in the application process is working out whether your project requires a Complying Development Certificate. This can be done by obtaining a Section 10.7 Planning Certificate from the NSW Planning Portal or via your local Council. Within this Certificate, planning controls and restrictions are outlined, and you’ll be able to note where your particular project sits in terms of exemption or compliance.


If your project is identified as satisfactory for Complying Development, it needs to be reassessed against the State Environmental Planning Policy, and all works must need to be found to comply with the regulations of the Building Code of Australia. It’s important to note that approval under Complying Development doesn’t negate prior legal or private agreements. For example, if there was an agreement limiting materials used to a certain kind, or restricting building height, this needs to be adhered to.

Obtaining a Complying Development Certificate

If your project’s found to meet all the requirements, it will be approved much more quickly as you won’t need to go through the process of a Development Application with your local Council. Remember you might also need to inform your neighbours as a requirement before the approval can be issued, and you’ll need to commit to protecting surrounding areas during your build and throughout the life of your complying development.

Ultimately, there are great benefits to choosing the Complying Development Certificate – not least of which is saved time and money. A Complying Development Certificate can be issued in as little as 5-20 days.

Seeking A Complying Development Certificate? Choose Bushfire Environmental Management Consultancy

The last thing you want is someone questioning or challenging your construction project, especially when it’s on bushfire-prone land. Prevent this inconvenience when you get Bushfire Environmental Management Consultancy Newcastle on your side. Working directly with clients in bushfire-prone areas, we commit to ensuring continued safety from bushfires through our professional consultation work, strategic management plans, and expert assessments and reporting. Get in touch with us today on 0408 667 137.

Want More Information?

The team at Buildcert is well equipped with the knowledge and expertise to discuss the potential for your project to be approved as Complying Development, or to answer any specific queries you may have.

Contact Buildcert on 1300 457 400 to speak with our friendly staff.