What is development?

You need council approval if you are doing any 'development' on your land.  Development is defined as:

  • the use of land
  • the subdivisoin of land
  • the erection of a building
  • the carrying out of a work
  • the demolition of building or work
  • any other act or thing referred to in section 26 of the Act.

Section 26 of the act relates to what council can control or makes orders in relation to and that includes protecting the environment, affordable housing, preserving trees and controlling advertising.  The Act also specifically gives councils and other government bodies the right to make restrictions for the preservation of heritage listed items (that is in addition to making restrictions for the preservation of the environment).

A number of additional things would be caught under the section regarding "carrying out work", like installing a hills hoist, the installation of external blinds or canopies, a temporary shade structure or putting an inflatable pool on the property.  Many people incorrectly think that only 'major' work is covered by the environmental planning laws, but actually things that the average person would consider to be relatively minor and temporary are also covered.

 

What is exempt complying development?

Certain development is exempt from the requirement for a development application, but only if it is exempt and complying development.  What this means is that it has to be on the list of development that is exempt, and it also has to meet the requirements to be an exempt development (that is it has to comply).

An example of this is a balcony or deck.  A balcony, deck, patio, pergola, terrace or verandah (whether free standing or attached to the ground floor level of a building, or roofed or unroofed) is development specified for this code if it is not constructed or installed on or in a heritage item or a draft heritage item or on land in a foreshore area.  In Penrith the main concern is heritage listing.  The balcony, deck, patio, pergola, terrace or verandah must also comply with more than a dozen other requirements including:

 

  • have an area of not more than 25 metres squared
  • be located behind the building line 
  • if it is metal, be constructed of low reflective, factory pre-coloured materials
  • have a floor height of not more than 1 metre above ground level
  • be no higher than 3 metres above ground level at its highest point
  • ensure that any roofwater is disposed of into existing stormwater drainage systems

 

 

What should I do?

If you are doing anything to your property that might be classified as 'development' then you should check whether it is 'exempt' and if it is, you should check whether it complies with the requirements for that exemption.

For Penrith City Council there is a relatively useful list of exempt complying development, where if you click on the relevant link it takes you to the legislation that explains whether it is exempt, and what the terms and conditions are of that exemption. If you click on the link to the right it will take you to that part of the Penrith City Council website.

 

I am not sure if it is exempt?

Bruce Coode has worked with Council and development requirements for many decades, including acting for Councils and against Councils.  He understands the process and can give you straight forward advise in plain English.  Make an appointment to see him before you start your works, the first half hour appointment is free and you may save yourself significant cost, delays and heart ache by getting your DIY project off on the right foot.

 

Bruce Coode has worked with Council and development requirements for many decades, including acting for Councils and against Councils.  He understands the process and can give you straight forward advise in plain English.  Make an appointment to see him before you start your works, the first half hour appointment is free and you may save yourself significant cost, delays and heart ache by getting your DIY project off on the right foot.

 

 

 

More Information

If you want more information about our firm generally, or Council and Council Approvals specifically, then read some of our articles on this topic by clicking on the blue link to the right.