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Wollongong City Council

Types of Development

There are three main categories for development:

Exempt Development

Some minor types of development don’t need approval from Council, as long as they are low impact and meet any relevant State guidelines. This is called exempt development, and can include things like decks, garden sheds, carports and fences.

You can read more about exempt development on the NSW Department of Planning website.

Complying Development

Many straightforward, common types of development like building or adding to a house, demolishing a building, or changing a business use can be done as complying development. This is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development.

The work will need to meet any relevant standards and be signed off by an accredited certifying authority. Council is an accredited certifying authority. Other accredited certifiers can be found on the Building Professionals Board Register.

You can apply for Council to assess your complying development, and apply for a final Occupation Certificate once work is finished.

Use the button below to apply to Council via the NSW Planning Portal for a complying development certificate or occupation certificate.

View fees for Complying Development Certificates

Complying Development on bush fire prone land

If you’re doing work on bush fire prone land as complying development, you will need to get a Bush Fire Attack Level (BAL) Risk Assessment Certificate.

Development Application

If your activity doesn’t fit within the rules for exempt or complying development, you will most likely need to get approval from Council by submitting a development application.

Development applications are assessed against state and local planning rules.

Each application that relates to development is given a unique reference. This is made up of two or three numbers, followed by a series of letters.

Here’s how to interpret them.

The letters indicate what type of application was made:
BA – Building Application
BAL – Bushfire Attack Level Risk Assessment Certificate
BC – Building Information Certificate
CC – Construction Certificate
CD – Complying Development Certificate issued by Council
CS – Construction Certificate for a Subdivision
DA – Development Application
LG – Permit to carry out an activity under the Local Government Act
PC – Private Certifier determination for a Complying Development Certificate or Construction Certificate
RD – Review of Determination
SC – Subdivision Certificate

The numbers after the letters show the year the application was lodged, followed by a unique number assigned to that application.

A letter at the end of the application number indicates that a modification has been made to an earlier application. A is the first modification, B is the second modification, and so on.