Complying Development

Certain types of small scale residential, commercial and industrial development can be carried out as complying development. To qualify for complying development, the proposed works must comply with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and satisfy all of the pre-determined requirements outlined in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, which is also known as the Codes SEPP.

The Six Categories of Complying Development

The General Housing Code includes requirements for the construction of single and two-storey dwellings and ancillary development including swimming pools, garages and fences. The Rural Housing Code includes requirements for the construction of single and two storey dwellings and ancillary development in rural areas.
The Housing Alterations Code includes requirements for internal and external alterations and additions to existing dwelling houses.
The General Development Code includes requirements for bed and breakfast accommodation.
The General Commercial and Industrial Code includes requirements for internal building alterations, change of use proposals, mechanical ventilation systems, shop front and awning alterations to commercial and industrial premises
The Subdivisions Code includes requirements for strata subdivisions of certain buildings.
The Demolition Code includes requirements for demolitions of various structures.


If your proposal can be carried out as complying development, you have two options:
1. Lodge a Complying Development Certificate Application with Cowra Council.
2. Lodge a Complying Development Certificate Application with a Private Certifier. For more information on Private Certifiers, please see the FAQ section below.

Complying Development FAQ's

Less Paperwork – you do not need to lodge a Development Application (DA) or Construction Certificate (CC).

Start Building Quicker – complying developments can be approved in 10 days by Council or your chosen Private Certifier. This compares with an average approval time of 40 days for DA’s.

Reduce Costs­ – The application process is cheaper than lodging a DA or CC.

No neighbour notification – The Council or Private Pertifier is not required to notify your neighbours of the development. This removes the risk of a neighbour objecting to your proposal.Meets BASIX requirements – the requirements for the Complying Development Code also meet the water and energy saving demands on BASIX.

What are certifying authorities?

Certifying authorities are responsible for the approval and inspection of building works. They issue the certificates you need to build including Complying Development Certificates and Construction Certificates. In most cases, the certifying authority is either the local council, however you can also choose to engage a Private Certifier to act as the certifying authority. Private Certifiers are essentially private practitioners accredited to act as public officials.

Why would I engage a Private Certifier for my Complying Development?

A Private Certifier can process your Complying Development Certificate in the same amount of time as Council with competitive rates and fees. The decision to choose a Private Certifier over Council for your Complying Development Certificate is completely up to you. A list of Private Certifier's who service the local area can be found on the Building Professionals Board website.

Where can I find further information?

The Building Professionals Board website contains further information about certifying authorities. Alternatively, you can telephone Council on (02) 6340 2040 and ask to speak to one of Council's Building Surveyors.