Complying Development Certificate
A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) is a stream lined system in NSW for the approval of new works and alterations to existing works, it uses legislation that determines if a development that falls within boundaries of location, size, height and other criteria can be approved for construction under a Complying Development Certificate. If your development can be approved through this process it means that the need for local council approval and the neighbour consultation period can be bypassed*, which can reduce the time period for approval from several weeks to a few days.
Examples of what is normally given approval through a Complying Development Certificate:-
  • New single buildings
  • Alterations and extensions to existing buildings
  • Granny flats
  • Swimming pools
  • Garages, sheds, carports, cabanas, decks, studios, patios, pergolas and awnings
  • Retaining walls
  • Demolition work

If your development does not comply with the set legislation, it does not mean that you cannot have it built, it just means that you will need to follow the traditional path for approval of a Development Approval followed by a Construction Certificate.
* Depending on what development is to be built, approvals for driveway connection and stormwater connection may still need to be approved by the local council.

Construction Certificate
This is the traditional path for approval of works, it requires a Development Approval (DA) which can only be assessed by the local council, followed by the issuing of a Construction Certificate which can be issued by us.
The Development Approval uses less detailed plans to assess the impact of the development and allows input from the neighbouring properties and sets any conditions for construction. Once the Development Approval has been given, the application for a Construction Certificate can be made, the application is assessed by the conditions of approval under the Development Approval, the Building Code and any BASIX requirements if they apply to the development.
Examples of what is normally given approval through a Construction Certificate:-
  • Multi units and townhouses
  • Dual occupancies
  • Duplex construction
  • Any of the development listed above that does not comply with the Complying Development legislation

Principle Certifying Authority and Occupation Certificate
It is a requirement of both the Complying Development Certificate and the Construction Certificate that a Principle Certifying Authority (PCA) is to be appointed prior to the work starting. The role of the Principle Certifying Authority is to carry out the critical stage inspections of the development during the construction process and ensure that the development is being carried out according to the approval that has been given.
Prior to the use of the development, it is a requirement that an Occupation Certificate is issued which ensures the development has been completed according to the approval and is safe to use. The role of issuing an Occupation Certificate is normally tied into the role of the Principle Certifying Authority as the assessment of an Occupation Certificate involves assessing that all critical stage inspections have been carried out and are satisfactory and that all installation certificates from the trades people have been collected prior to the issuing of the Occupation Certificate.

Exempt Development Certificate
Exempt Development Certificate is not a mandatory approval in NSW. However we can provide Exempt Development approvals for all types of projects to ensure our clients that the proposed development complies with the Building Code of Australia and the Exempt provisions of the SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development) code. Exempt development certificates are of significant assistance for insurance and asset protection purposes.

Building Code of Australia (BCA) Reports
BCA assessments are often required to be undertaken on either draft plans or on existing buildings to assess compliance with the building code. Such assessments can cover a range of important construction issues such as structural stability, fire resistance, access and egress, and health and amenity. These issues apply to both residential and commercial projects. Contact us in regard what is specifically required for your project.