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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.

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.

Before an accredited certifier can issue a Complying Development Certificate (CDC), State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the SEPP) requires the applicant obtain Roads Act 1993 approval from Wollongong City Council as the Roads Authority. This must occur before any CDC is issued.

The SEPP sets out the following:

1.18 General requirements for complying development under this Policy
(1)(e) before the complying development certificate is issued, have written consent from the relevant roads authority (if required under section 138 of the Roads Act 1993) for the building of any kerb, crossover or driveway, and
Note. Other consents may be required under section 138 of the Roads Act 1993 before carrying out other works in relation to roads.

Council will not grant approval under Section 138 of the Roads Act 1993 for any proposed complying development works that:

  1. Requires reshaping of the footpath area outside of the proposed driveway extent.
  2. Proposes driveway grades in excess of Councils Standards and / or those specified in AS2890.1-2004
  3. Proposes dual driveways that does not allow for retention of on street parking. Typically this requires a clear space of 5.4m between the outside edge of the layback wings
  4. Proposes to remove existing street trees, or proposes a driveway or works within the dripline of an existing street trees.
  5. Proposes changes to existing public infrastructure such as traffic facilities, and drainage pits and lintels.

Where a CDC cannot be issued due to the situations described above, a Development Application may be lodged to enable a detailed assessment of the likely impact of the proposed development on the public road.

Where a CDC does not propose or create an outcome as described above, then an application for approval under S138 of the Roads Act 1993 can be lodged for assessment.

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.