Complying Development Certificate (CDC)

A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) is a streamlined planning approval that grants permission for certain straightforward developments without the need to obtain a comprehensive Development Application through the local Council.

In New South Wales (NSW), development approvals generally fall into three (3) categories:

Exempt Development 

This category covers minor developments that, as long as they meet specific standards and criteria, can proceed without further approvals. Examples include 1.8m side and rear boundary fences, and TV antennas. 


Complying Development

These are routine developments that typically have minimal impact on neighbouring properties. Complying Development must strictly adhere to the development standards and criteria outlined in the relevant NSW Government's State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). A Complying Development Certificate can be issued following a favourable assessment by either the Local Council or an appropriately registered Private Certifier.


Development Application (DA) and Construction Certificate (CC)

This category typically encompasses complex development proposals, which require thorough assessment by the Council's Development Assessment Team. DAs are usually more time-consuming as they may involve referrals to various expert departments and statutory authorities.

Complying Development is gaining popularity in NSW due to its ability to secure approvals more efficiently compared to the more intricate Development Application process.

It's important to note that a CDC must fully comply with the development standards and criteria specified in the relevant State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).

For a comprehensive overview of the CDC process, please refer to the attached video (insert hyperlink to YouTube video on CDCs).

Most residential CDCs in NSW are governed by the following SEPPs:

A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) can be issued by either Ryde Council or a registered Private Certifier.

Ryde Council's Building Certification Team can issue a CDC for your development if it fully complies with the SEPP criteria. They may also undertake the Principal Certifier role under certain conditions, subject to the completion and submission of the required forms on the NSW Planning Portal.

If you have concerns regarding a CDC issued by a Private Certifier, it is advisable to contact the Private Certifier directly in the first instance.

For any issues regarding a Private Certifier's conduct, NSW Fair Trading investigates and regulates such matters. You can find more information and access relevant forms on their Registered Certifiers webpage and Complaints webpage.

Frequently asked Questions

What is a Complying Development Certificate (CDC)?

A CDC is a combined planning and building approval that allows certain straightforward development to be fast-tracked without the need for a full Development Application (DA) process. A CDC aims to streamline the approval process for specific types of development that meet predetermined standards.

How can I obtain a CDC?

Before you can obtain a CDC approval you will need to determine if your development proposal satisfies all of the development standards specified in the relevant State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP). You will then need to arrange for the necessary plans and related documentation to be prepared for the CDC lodgement. Once the documentation has been prepared you will need to engage either a Council Certifier or an appropriately registered Private Certifier, so that they can assess and determine your CDC application. It is noted the CDC application will require the payment of fees and completion of CDC application forms.

What types of development can be approved through a CDC?

CDCs can be issued for a range of residential, commercial, and industrial development, including renovations, extensions, new dwellings, alterations to businesses, and more. The specific types of development eligible for a CDC are outlined in the relevant State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP).

It is recommended you seek your own professional advice to ensure your proposed CDC satisfies all of the SEPP requirements.

How long does it take to obtain a CDC?

Generally, a CDC determination can be obtained within 20 days of lodging a complete CDC application, provided all the necessary documentation is provided and the proposed development complies with the relevant standards.

Can neighbours lodge a submission to Council against a CDC determination?

No – The legislation relating to CDCs only requires notification and not consultation about the proposed development. Furthermore, CDCs can be approved by Private Certifiers without any involvement from Council. Nevertheless, if you believe the CDC application fails to comply with the specified CDC criteria, then you can contact the Private Certifier, the Building Commission NSW and the Local Council to have this matter investigated further.


Can I modify a CDC once it's been issued?

Minor modifications to a CDC may be possible, but significant changes may require a new application or approval process. It's advisable to consult with either the assessing Private Certifier or the assessment officer at Council before making any modifications to ensure compliance.

Are there any development types that cannot be approved through a CDC?

Yes, some types of development, such as those in environmentally sensitive areas or heritage-listed properties, cannot be approved through a CDC and will require a Development Application to be lodged with Council.

How are non-compliant CDCs regulated?

If the builder/developer fails to comply with the requirements of the CDC approval, then this may result in the Private Principal Certifier issuing a Written Direction Notice (WDN) to ensure the constructed building fully complies with the CDC approval.

If the private Principal Certifier issues a Part A and a Part B WDN, then the regulation of the non-compliant building works will escalate to Council. Council may then issue Stop Work Notices / Orders, Penalty Infringement Notices or instigate Legal proceedings depending upon the severity of the non-compliance.