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Exempt Development

Balconies, decks and patios

Installing balconies, decks, patios, pergolas, terraces, and verandahs may not require approval if the proposal meets the relevant development standards set out in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy). This is known as exempt development.

Generally,  the development must:

  • be located behind the building line of any road frontage, and must be located from the lot boundary by at least: 
    • five metres (if located on Zone RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU6 or R5)
    • 900 millimetres (for any other zone) 
  • not have an area of more than 25m²
  • not cause the total floor area of all such structures on the lot to be more than:
    • for a lot larger than 300m2 - 15 per cent of the ground floor area of the dwelling on the lot; or
    • for a lot 300m2 or less - 25m2
  • not have an enclosing wall higher than 1.4 metres 
  • not have a floor height of more than one metre above the existing ground level  
  • not be more than three metres at its highest point, above existing ground level.

The following requirements must be met:

  • If it is to be constructed out of metal components it must be low reflective, factory pre-coloured materials.
  • If it is located on bushfire prone land and is less than five metres from a house it needs to be constructed of non-combustible material.
  • If it is constructed or installed in a heritage conservation area or a draft heritage conservation area it must be located behind the building line of any road frontage.

For a full list of development standards that balconies, decks, patios, pergolas and terraces must comply with in order to be considered exempt development, please refer to please refer to Part 2 Division 1 Subdivision 6 of the State Policy. 

The area requirements for balconies, decks, patios, pergolas, terraces and verandas that can be installed as exempt development

Other considerations

  • 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.
  • Works must be structurally adequate, installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • 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, exempt development cannot be carried out on: