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The Codes SEPP - Housing Code

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The Housing Code is part of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP). The Housing Code has been introduced to simplify the planning process to allow certain works to be carried out as complying development provided the proposal meets the relevant development standards set out in the Housing Code under the Codes SEPP.

The Housing Code allows:

  • the construction of a new single or two-storey home
  • alterations and additions to a home
  • attached development (including garages and balconies), and
  • detached development (including detached garages and sheds) (see Division 4 of the Housing Code).

If the proposal cannot meet the requirements in the Housing Code, a development application will need to be lodged with Council. 

Development under the Housing Code is only applicable in zones R1, R2, R3 and R4.

For information on the development standards under the Housing Code, please refer to Part 3 Housing Code under the Codes SEPP.

Complying Development

Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development.

Complying development generally includes larger building works than exempt development. For this reason, ‘sign off’ by a building professional (known as a certifying authority) is needed.

Generally, complying development cannot be carried out on:

  • Land in a draft heritage conservation area or heritage conservation area unless the development is a detached outbuilding or swimming pool
  • Land that comprises a draft heritage item or a heritage item
  • Land that is reserved for a public purpose
  • Land in a foreshore area
  • Land in an environmentally sensitive area
  • Land in a buffer area
  • Land in a riverfront area
  • Land in an ecologically sensitive area
  • Land in a protected area
  • Land affected by a coastline hazard, coastal hazard or coastal erosion hazard
  • Land declared as a special area
  • Land identified on an Acid Sulfate Soils Map as being Class 1 or Class 2.

Proposals which satisfy the Housing Code under the Codes SEPP may receive approval from Council or an accredited certifier within 20 days.

Exempt Development

Part 2 Exempt Development Codes under the Codes SEPP specifies the types of minor developments that can proceed as exempt development. It typically covers small scale structures such as:

  • Garden sheds and carports
  • Balconies, decks and verandahs
  • Pergolas and fences
  • Solar hot water heaters and rainwater tanks
  • Fixed barbeques.

Exempt development means that, subject to satisfying pre-specified standards, there is no need for planning and construction approval to be obtained.

However, for some exempt development types:

  • Approval may be required under other legislation
  • Special factors apply such as the land use zone in which your property is located, heritage and environmental considerations.
Last updated on 28 February 2022