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Exempt Development

Shade structures

Shade structures of canvas, fabric, mesh or the like may be carried out 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).

The shade structure must:

  • not be constructed or installed on land in a foreshore area as exempt development
  • not be higher than 3 metres from ground level (existing)
  • be located at a distance from each lot boundary of at least:
    • if the development is carried out in Zone RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4, RU6 or R5—5 metres, or
    • in any other case—900 millimetres
  • be located behind the building line of any road frontage
  • not be constructed or installed on land in a foreshore area as exempt development

Please refer to these provisions of the State Policy for a list of development standards that shade structures must meet to be exempt development, including maximum area requirements.

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: