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Fort Denison Marquee

Exempt Development

Temporary uses and structures

Temporary structures for private or community events, filming and temporary use of land and buildings may not need planning approval.

Temporary structures and uses of land and buildings are outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008. The development standards in the State Policy identify these as:

  • scaffolding, hoardings and temporary construction site fences
  • temporary builder’s structures
  • temporary structures and alterations or additions to buildings for filming purposes
  • tents or marquees used for filming purposes and private functions
  • tents, marquees or booths for community events
  • stages or platforms for private functions
  • stages or platforms for community events
  • additional temporary development including major events sites and Sydney Cricket Ground
  • trading hours: temporary extensions for Christmas and licensed premises.

To be considered exempt development, temporary uses and structures must:

  • have written consent from the owner of the land on which the development is carried out (this includes a council or other public authority)
  • not restrict any car parking or any vehicular or pedestrian access to or from the land
  • be able to resist loads determined in accordance with the relevant Australian and New Zealand Standards
  • must installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)
  • be erected on a surface that is sufficiently firm and level to sustain the structure while in use
  • have an approval for the use of the land related to the purpose of the temporary structure
  • not redirect the flow of any surface water or ground water or cause sediment to be transported onto an adjoining property
  • not result in damage to any protected tree on or adjoining the site.

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.

The person carrying out the development must also have a public liability insurance policy for an amount agreed to by the owner of the land.

Please refer to these provisions in the State Policy for a list of development standards relating to temporary structures as exempt development.

Exempt development exclusions

Exempt development cannot take place within a wilderness area or critical habitat of an endangered species, population or ecological community. 

Exempt development cannot occur on land that is, or on which there is, an item that is listed on the State Heritage Register or that is subject to an interim heritage order.

Structures located on public land or over a public road (even temporary structures) must have approval from the relevant council or Roads and Maritime Services.  

To find out more on what can be carried out through the exempt development pathway in your neighbourhood, visit the Neighbourhood Centres page to access the community events fact sheet and watch the animation. 

Last updated: 18/05/2023