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Does My Renovation Require Council Approval?

Does my home renovation require council approval?

If moving isn’t on the cards and your current home is just not meeting the needs of your family, a renovation is the perfect way to update, extend, improve on or maximise the property and make it work for you.

When starting the design and renovation process, it is very important that you identify and understand the regulations you need to work within, as determined by either your local Council or State.

Across Sydney’s Northern Beaches and North Shore, specific requirements including bushfire and heritage regulations are commonly stated.

What type of renovations require approvals?

A general rule of thumb is that if a renovation alters the external appearance of the home it will require Council approval. However, as every Council has their own unique set of requirements it is always best to contact them directly for confirmation on your specific area.


What types of approvals are there?

Does My Renovation Require Council Approval?

Development Application (DA)

A DA is a formal request lodged with your local Council to carry out your proposed building work. Council will assess your application, ensuring that plans meet their legislation, as well as construction regulations. An approval is required before any work can commence. A DA can take a lengthy time to be approved, but the wait is worth it if you desire freedom in your design. Some types of building works will require a DA only, for example heritage and bushfire areas.

Complying Development Certificate (CDC)

A CDC was introduced as a faster method of approval. It involves a set of construction rules that if abided by, an approval is typically granted quickly and easily.
The catch is that the rules are not flexible and do not allow for any design elements to be changed outside the set criteria.

Note. Your draftsman or architect will be able to offer their professional advice as to which approval method to pursue, pending the design and property criteria.

The Approval Process

  1. Contact your local Council for home design requirements for your area.
  2. Engage a reputable architect or draftsman, ideally who is familiar with your local regulations to draw up the renovation plans.
  3. Submit the finalised plans to your local Council for approval. Note, the DA approval process can often take many months, so ensure that you account for that in your renovation plan. Engineering drawings can often be required for the application process. Council will notify you as part of your application, if this is needed.

Local Council Webpages

Fairley Constructions works with a number of wonderful designers and certifiers. Contact Sarah at [email protected] if you require details for your project.