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Exempt Development

Driveways, pathways and paving

Installing driveways, hardstand spaces, pathways and paving may not need planning approval (known as exempt development) 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).

Generally,  the development must:

  • not constructed on land:
    • in a foreshore area
    • in an environmentally sensitive area
    • in a heritage conservation area
    • in a draft heritage conservation area.
  • not be constructed or installed on or in a heritage item or a draft heritage item
  • be constructed or installed so any surface water or runoff is disposed of by a drainage system connected to existing storm water drainage system
  • be constructed in accordance with AS/NZS 2890.1:2004, Parking facilities, Part 1: Off-street car parking or AS: 2890.2—2002, Parking facilities, Part 2: Off-street commercial vehicle facilities.

For a full list of development standards that driveways and hardstand spaces must meet to be exempt development, please refer to these provisions in the State Policy .


highlighted paving around house

The area requirements of driveways and hardstand spaces, pathways and paving that can be installed as exempt development is indicated in the diagram above.

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: