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Wollongong City Council

Planning Research

Make sure you understand local planning rules and regulations before making any decisions about where to locate your business.

Before you apply for any approvals, be clear about how your business will run.

Consider things like:

  • Where the business might be located. Check that your type of business is allowed in the land zone you’re interested in. Check the land zone for a property using our online map then see our Local Environmental Plans for information about which activities are allowed in that zone.
  • If any restrictions apply to your preferred site. You can apply to Council for information about a property, or talk to your property manager to confirm if the site is affected by things like bush fire or flood risk, land stability issues, contamination, heritage items, etc.
  • If you’ll need to do any work on your preferred site, from major renovations to fitout and signage. These might need extra approvals.
  • Hours of operation
  • Traffic issues such as pedestrian access, parking for your staff and customers, and access for delivery vehicles
  • How you’ll handle waste, noise, odour or any other by-products of running the business
  • Any permits or standards that apply to your type of business.

Visit our Small Business Planning Advice page for a general guide to setting up a small business.

Running a business is considered to be a type of development. There are three categories for development, and each has different approval requirements.

Exempt Development

Many small-impact activities don’t need any approvals as long as they follow state standards. This can include things like:

Read more about exempt development on the NSW Planning Portal.

Complying Development

Complying Development is a faster way to get approval for many straightforward types of development. This can include things like:

  • running a bed and breakfast or food manufacturing business from home
  • some fire safety works.

More information about complying development can be found on the NSW Planning Portal.

Any complying development work will need to meet planning rules, and be signed off by Council or a certified building professional (called a Private Certifier).

Use the button below to apply through the NSW Planning Portal for Council to oversee your complying development, or to issue a Complying Development Certificate once the approved work is finished.  Fees apply.

Note: You'll need to log in or create an account to apply. You can also log in with your Service NSW account.

Development Application

Anything that doesn’t meet the rules for exempt or complying development will need to get approval from Council by submitting a development application.

Development applications are assessed against state and local planning rules.

If you’re not sure what type of application is needed for your business, ask us for Development Advice.

If you need to apply for a DA for your business, we strongly recommend you get in touch with us for Development Advice as a first step.

Once you're ready to go, visit our Submit a Development Application page to get started with your application.