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Exempt Development

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

In February 2009, the NSW Government introduced the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (SEPP). The SEPP now lists more than 50 different types of Exempt Development where, subject to satisfying the pre-determined standards can be undertaken without the need for prior planning or construction approval from Council (or a private certifier). However, other legislative requirements for approvals, licences, permits and authorities still apply.

The Specified Development (types of development) and Development Standards (requirements) for each Exempt Development type in the SEPP must also be read in conjunction with the other relevant clauses including, but not limited to:

Clause 1.15 What development is exempt development?

Clause 1.16 General requirements for exempt development

Part 2 Note 2 Adjoining owners’ property rights, common law and other legislative requirements

To determine whether the proposed development is exempt from requiring Development Consent, an applicant must establish that the proposal will comply with the planning controls and development standards. The following additional information in relation to the property will need to be determined:

  • Land use zoning
  • Is the land mapped as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) (including Terrestrial Biodiversity)
  • Heritage Listing
  • Located within a Heritage Conservation Area
  • Bushfire prone
  • Flood prone
  • A declared area of outstanding biodiversity value under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
  • Easements on the land and covenants applying to the property – available on Certificate of Title which can be obtained from NSW Land Registry Services 

This information can be obtained from mapping available at:

Lithgow City Council’s Online Mapping

NSW Planning Portal (Find a Property) Mapping

Biodiversity Value Map

Other parts of the SEPP may also be important such as interpretations (definitions). It is therefore your responsibility to ensure the proposal fully complies with the planning controls and Development Standards and that you have read the full and latest version of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 before taking any action. The SEPP is available at https://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au

Relevant Development Provisions

The requirements for Exempt Development are strict. If your proposal does not comply with each and every requirement in the SEPP, then it is not Exempt Development. If this is the case, you will need to obtain Development Approval. A Construction Certificate (CC) must also be obtained for any building works before commencing your proposal.  For further information on lodging a Development and Construction Certificate Application, please contact Lithgow City Council on (02) 6354 9999 or visit council’s website on http://council.lithgow.com/

Failure to obtain the appropriate approvals for work not covered by the Exempt Development Code will be treated as unauthorised development. Councils and other consent authorities have specific powers to issue fines, orders to demolish works or cease activities that fall outside the scope of Exempt Development. Any person (including neighbours) may also take action in the Land and Environment Court.

More information

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment website contains detailed information in relation to Exempt Development:



NSW Legislation Standards for Development Types