Navigate Up
Sign In

Exempt and complying development

Faster, easier planning approvals online

Make your next project a whole lot easier by using the Electronic Housing Code (EHC) – an online system where you can investigate, prepare, lodge and track your complying development application.

 Electronic Housing Code
You’ll enjoy a process that’s fast, standardised, paperless and available night and day.
It’s time you tried the EHC – it’s as easy as can be.
Discover the possibilities at
The Electronic Housing Code is at your fingertips.
All you need to do is follow the 5 steps outlined below to experience the future of development applications.
Investigate Investigate     ​ ​Simply visit to investigate your options. Find out
whether your project is eligible for complying development and view the relevant standards.
Apply Apply ​You’ll be guided through a simple process that will help you prepare your application.
Lodge Lodge ​Once your application is complete you can easily lodge it online.
Trace Track ​You can then track the progress of your application online.
Download Download ​Once the result of your application is determined you’ll be able to view and download it from the website.
So what are you waiting for?

Get your next project underway by visiting 


State Environmental Planning Policy 2008
(Exempt & Complying Development Codes)

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt & Complying Development Codes) 2008 is a State Government planning policy that commenced on 27 February 2009.

The SEPP complying development applications may be approved by a private certifier or Council and do not require any public notification or advertising.

The State Governments SEPP set out the following controls: 

  1. For exempt development - For a series of minor developments (bbqs small pergolas, small amounts of decking etc, if you meet the preccribed criteria, consent is not required to be obtained. 
  2. For complying development - if you meet the prescribed criteria, consent can be obtained in 20 days. Please note, that development standards can not be varied in a complying development application.

A copy of the Codes SEPP is available at

Copies of Council's checklists and forms for SEPP Complying Development are available.

For further information visit the NSW Housing Code website.

For further information regarding the Exempt and Complying SEPP please e-mail or call the Department of Planning's Information Centre on (02) 9228 6333.

Frequently Asked Questions

What areas allow me to undertake work using the Exempt and Complying Development under the SEPP?

Clause 1.19 of the SEPP identifies areas where Complying Development is not allowed.
Council staff will not be able to provide verbal information in relation to the excluded areas either over the counter or on the phone. This information may be identified by purchasing a Section 194 Planning Certificate.

Applying for a Complying Development under the SEPP?

Auburn City Council has capable and experienced planning and building staff that can issue Complying Development certificates under the SEPP.
Council is able to issue Complying Development Certificate within 20 days, subject to meeting the pre-determined criteria outlined in Housing Code.
For more information or assistance in lodging a Complying Development Application, please contact Council's Customer Service Centre on (02) 9735 1222.

My land is less than 450m2. Can I apply for a two story house as SEPP Complying Development?

No. The SEPP has minimum site requirements that apply with development to be carried out on land that is not within an exclusion area and has a minimum frontage of 12m and a minimum area of 450sqm.
Any property that does not meet these minimum frontage and lot sizes cannot apply for a Complying Development Certificate and will require the lodgement of a DA.

The controls in the SEPP for a two story house are too rigid. Can I make variations and still get an approval?

No. The SEPP has specific requirements and a failure to comply on any of these issues will result in the application unable to be determined by the SEPP. If a variation to a standard is required, it can only be varied under a development application.

My neighbour demolished their house and started building a new dwelling. I have a right to know about a development adjoining my property. Why wasn’t I notified?

The State Government’s SEPP for Exempt and Complying Development makes no provision for notification and the community input.
There is a requirement for the certifier, either Council or private, to notify neighbours within 40m of the proposed development that a Complying Development Certificate has been issued. This must be done within 2 days of the Certificate being issued, but this is only a notification and you will not be able to comment on the plans during this stage.

Can I lodge a development application instead of a SEPP Exempt and Complying application?

Yes, you have a choice. It is not mandatory to submit a SEPP Exempt and Complying application.

Auburn City Council has a duty planning staff will be happy to assist you with any questions you have regarding the new legislation. They will also be able to assist with all other enquiries regarding Council’s planning controls and policies.