Exempt development

What is exempt development?

Some minor building renovations or works don’t need any planning or building approval. This is called 'exempt development'. Exempt development is very low impact development that can be done for certain residential properties. Providing your building project meets specific development standards, approval from Council is not needed.

What types of work is exempt development?

There are over 50 types of work classified as exempt development. Common examples include:

  • Air conditioning units
  • Awnings and other shade structures
  • Carports
  • Cabanas, cubby houses, cubby houses, garden sheds, gazebos and greenhouses
  • Decks, verandahs, terraces, balconies, pergolas 
  • Demolition
  • Driveways and hard stand spaces
  • Earthworks (excavation, fill, retaining walls)
  • Fences and gates
  • Home-based child care
  • Home business
  • Minor building alterations (internal and external)
  • Paving and pathways
  • Privacy screens, screen enclosures (eg deck, balcony)
  • Readjustment of property boundaries
  • Sky lights, roof windows and ventilators
  • Solar panels - general requirements and specific standards ('solar energy systems')
  • Spas
  • Water features
  • Water tanks/heaters

Is my work exempt development?

Visit the Exempt Development website to identify if your development is considered exempt development.

This webpage also includes an Interactive Buildings tool that provides the criteria for which development types can be carried out without development consent.

Useful resources

Exempt development - information sheets

Interactive 3D guide to exempt development

Don't know what 'ancillary development' or a 'primary road' is? Find out below.

Definitions List 1 (check first)

Definitions List 2

My work is not exempt development

If your work does not fully comply with the exempt development criteria, it is likely you need formal approval.

Complying development

Development application