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Exempt Development

Home-based enterprises

Certain business and commercial enterprises may be undertaken as exempt development (does not need approval) or complying development (fast-track approval process) if the proposal meets relevant standards set out in in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

Under the State Policy, a house may be used for a home business, home industry or home occupation as exempt development.

The use of the premises cannot involve:

  • the manufacture of food products
  • skin penetration procedures.

The types of enterprises included under the State Policy are:

  • home business
  • home industry
  • home occupation
  • home-based child care
  • bed and breakfast accommodation.

These can be carried out within the home or within attached or detached developments associated with the home, such as a garage or studio.

Please refer to these provisions for a full list of development standards home businesses, home industries and home occupations must comply with to be exempt development.

In October 2020, the Standard Instrument (Local Environmental Plans) Amendment (Definitions) Order 2020 and the State Environmental Planning Policy Amendment (Definitions) 2020 were made to clarify the definition of “home business” and “home industry”.

The amendment removes uncertainty for home businesses and home industries. It allows small-scale online retail activities as part of home businesses and home industries, including online retail sales of items that were not produced on site.

A home business or home industry must also comply with the maximum floor area requirements specified in clause 5.4 of the relevant local environmental plan.

Home-based child care

Home-based child care activities may also be considered exempt development under the State Policy if it is not out on bushfire prone land.

There are additional requirements by the Department of Education and Communities that must be met for a home-based education and care service to gain approval to operate in a home. These requirements also mean you need to register with the Family Day Care service provided by your local council.

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: