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Complying Development


Demolishing buildings and structures may be done as complying development if it meets Demolition Code standards

The Demolition Code allows the demolition of a dwelling, industrial building and development including garages and swimming pools to be done as complying development, provided they meet the standards set out in the Codes SEPP.

Demolition standards

If the site is in a heritage conservation area or draft heritage conservation area, only the following can be demolished:

  • a detached development that may be constructed under the Housing Code or Rural Housing Code
  • an attic conversion that may be constructed under the Housing Alterations Code
  • internal walls and other elements of a house in a heritage conservation area or draft heritage conservation area.

For a full list of standards on demolition that may be carried out under complying development, please refer to these provisions of the State Policy.

Conditions for complying development

These provisions of the State Policy set out conditions that apply to a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) for demolition. These conditions will be specified on the CDC approval.

You need to notify your neighbour/s before beginning demolition work.

Asbestos removal

For buildings built before 1987, asbestos must be handled and removed by a licensed contractor. This is in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2021.

Certain businesses are licensed to undertake asbestos removal work under these regulations. Where demolition does not require a licensed contractor to carry out removal work, the work should be undertaken in a manner that minimises risks.

Information on the removal and disposal of asbestos to landfill sites that are licensed to accept this waste is available from the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

Other considerations

  • Complying development does not override private covenants or similar legal instruments. For example, a covenant that requires a specific construction material or limits building heights continues to apply to the land.
  • All works must be structurally adequate, installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • If you propose to remove or prune any existing trees or vegetation, you should contact your council first to make sure you don’t need approval for this.
  • Any structures that would be located on public land, or on or over a public road (including temporary structures), must have separate approval from the relevant council, or Roads and Maritime Services under the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993.
  • Generally, complying development cannot be carried out on:
    • land within a heritage conservation area, or a draft heritage conservation area (there are some exceptions, please check the relevant development standards for more information)
    • land reserved for a public purpose
    • class 1 or 2 land on council’s acid sulphate soils map
    • land in a buffer area
    • land in a riverfront area
    • land in an ecologically sensitive area
    • environmentally sensitive land
    • land in a protected area
    • land affected by a coastline hazard, coastal hazard or coastal erosion hazard
    • land in a foreshore area
    • land in the 25 Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) counter or a higher ANEF counter
    • unsewered land in a drinking water catchment identified in an environmental planning instrument
    • land declared as a special area
    • land in an environmentally sensitive area.
  • In addition, complying development cannot be carried out on land that:
Last updated: 22/05/2023