Development Approval Process

General Development Background
Building and Development can be complicated however the following information can help with understanding the framework, regulations and processes involved.

Exempt, Complying or Development Consent
Generally, there are three levels of development known as Exempt, Complying or Development Requiring Consent.

Exempt Development
Exempt Development is minor development involving fencing, small shed or low height landscape wall; all of which result in a minor impact on the environment. Most properties are eligible for Exempt Development but parcels with sensitivity such as flood hazard or bushfire hazard or other restrictions will not qualify. If a property is not eligible for Exempt Development, it still may be possible but a Development Application must be lodged for Council to consider the matter upon merit. A property owner can obtain a 149(2) Certificate from Council and this document will identify if a property is eligible for exempt development. The various Exempt Development types can be identified in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Complying Development
Complying Development is moderate development that may include the internal fit out of a dwelling, commercial or industrial building or the construction of a new dwelling on a single lot. With Complying Development, the proposal sought must clearly meet all of the rules specified in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. If a property is not eligible for Complying Development, a Development Application must be lodged and Council will consider the matter upon merit.

Development Consent
Development Requiring Consent (commonly referred to as Development Application or “DA Required”) is development that is not Exempt Development or Complying Development. Council can consider issuing Development Consent upon receipt of a Development Application if the proposed use is permissible within the respective zone identified in the Wyong Local Environmental Plan 2013.

With regard to development, the term “permissibility” refers to the question “Is my proposed development something listed within the Wyong Local Environmental Plan 2013 that I can submit to Council for consideration?”

Every property within Wyong Shire possesses a zone designation and a list of permissible uses that can be considered by Council. In the first instance, a visit to Council’s online mapping system is recommended as it will show the property zoning as well as other helpful information. Once the zoning is identified, it can be compared to the list of permissible uses shown within the Wyong Local Environmental Plan 2013.
There are other rules within New South Wales legislation that Councils must consider and some of these rules allow government organisations to assess public infrastructure without the need to obtain development consent. Whilst development consent may not be required, each proposal must still include an investigation and analysis of the facts surrounding the development before the development can proceed. If you are interested in obtaining more information about the processes associated with development without consent, please ring Council on 02 4350 5555 and request to speak with the Duty Planner.

Progressing your proposed development

Developing parties should first determine if the proposed development qualifies as Exempt or Complying Development. Consider requesting a copy of a 149(2) Planning Certificate from Council. This document can be ordered from Council upon completion of a “Certificate Application Form” which can be obtained online at Alternatively, one can visit Council’s online mapping program at to see if the property has restrictions such as flooding or bushfire that might preclude one from using Exempt or Complying Development provisions shown in State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.
When one views State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 online at , they will see that in the left side column that there are many uses that can be performed by property owners without the need for consent and this is known as “Exempt Development”. Further down on the left side column, one will also see a list of uses that are not eligible to be “Exempt Development” but can be considered as “Complying Development”.

Complying Development requires the lodgement of a Complying Development Application. Once lodged, “Complying Development” can receive approval within 7-10 working days. Complying Development can be processed by a Private Certifying Authority. More information about Council’s in-house Private Certifying Authority can be found at:
If a proposed development does not qualify as Exempt or Complying Development, one would need to lodge a Development Application for consideration by Council. The Development Application takes longer to process compared to Complying Development because Council must perform a more detailed assessment of the proposal.

Once Council has assessed and decided the Development Application, a document known as “Notice of Determination” will be issued. If the decision is favourable, the Notice of Determination will outline what requirements and steps must be taken to progress the development. For most development, a Construction Certificate will need to be obtained. For more information about the Construction Certificate process and documents, please visit .


A common question to Council is “How long does the assessment process for a Development Application take?” This is difficult for Council to answer as each assessment is dependent upon the complexity of the proposal, notification requirements and the workload of Council officers undertaking other assessments across the Shire.  Generally, well presented Development Applications for dwellings and dual occupancies are taking approximately 3 months to assess. Larger or more complex Development Applications can take approximately 6 to 8 months. For more complex Development Applications, Council does offer an opportunity for a proponent to schedule a formal pre-lodgement meeting where many potentially adverse issues can be discussed and resolved before the Development Application is lodged. There is a fee for the formal pre-lodgement meeting but most proponents advise that the meeting is beneficial, saving time and money for the developer. To schedule a formal pre-lodgement, please download, complete and submit to Council the form which is available at .

What is required to be submitted when lodging applications?
Please visit and download a copy of the Matrix and Development Application Requirements documents.

Further Information Links
Application Tracking
Building Certifications
Bushfire Prone Land
Coastal Hazards and Flood Enquiry Form
Coastal Management Plan
Complying Development Application
Development Approval Process
Development Application Checklist
Development Application Form
Development Contributions (Section 94 Contributions)
Development Control Plans
Erosion and Sediment Control
Flora and Fauna Guidelines
Iconic Development
Information Request Form
Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP)
 Land Use and Planning Policies
Land Release Information
Online Applications
On-site Sewage Management
Planning Controls
Planning Strategies
Pool Safety
Preparing a Development Application
Residential Land Monitoring
Sewer Mains
State Environmental Planning Policy No. 1 (Roster of Applications with SEPP1 Variations)
State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
Statement of Environmental Effects Dwelling House
Statement of Environmental Effects Dual Occupancy
Statement of Environmental Effects Home Business
Town Centres
Wyong Local Environmental Plan 2013

The development approval process can be complicated and confusing. These pages explain the different approval processes that are available to you and your responsibilities when building.

If you have any queries call our Customer Contact unit on (02) 4350 5555.

Obtaining Approval

Many types of small structures are classified as exempt development and no approval is required for these works.

However, to undertake most forms of building works it is necessary to obtain approval before work commences. There are two types of applications for approval to undertake building work;

  • pdf format Complying Development (43.73 KB) – meets set criteria and is generally a quicker process than lodging a Development Application
  • Development application – if a proposed development does not meet the requirements for a complying development certificate a development application is required.

Find out more about development process and the information required when lodging an application.

Tracking a development application

This can be done online through our online development application tracker.

Construction Certificates

A construction certificate is required for all building work that has received development consent. This allows building works to be assessed against any requirements of the development consent, the Building Code of Australia and any other relevant standards.

Get more information on construction certificates and building insurance.

Principal Certifying Authority (PCA)

The determination of both complying development certificates and construction certificate applications must be undertaken by a principal certifying authority (PCA). Both Council and private certifiers provide this service.

Find out the benefits of choosing Council as your  to PCA.

Building Works

Find out what your responsibilities are before, during and after building works, what certificates may be required and how to book building inspections.

Subdivision Certificates

A Subdivision Certificate is required in order that a plan of subdivision can be registered in LPI.