Demolition

Demolishing certain buildings and structures may be done as complying development if it meets the relevant standards in the Demolition Code of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy).

The Demolition Code (the Code) allows the demolition of a dwelling, industrial building and development including garages and swimming pools to be done as complying development, provided they meet the standards set out in the Code.

Demolition standards

If the site is in a heritage conservation area or draft heritage conservation area, only the following can be demolished:

  • a detached development that may be constructed under the Housing Code or Rural Housing Code
  • an attic conversion that may be constructed under the Housing Alterations Code
  • internal walls and other elements of a house in a heritage conservation area or draft heritage conservation area.

For a full list of standards on demolition that may be carried out under complying development, please refer to these provisions of the State Policy.

Conditions for complying development

These provisions of the State Policy1set out conditions that apply to a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) for demolition. These conditions will be specified on the CDC approval.

You need to notify your neighbour/s before beginning demolition work.

Asbestos removal

For buildings built before 1987, asbestos must be handled and removed by a licensed contractor. This is in accordance with the Work Health and Safety Regulation 2011 and the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000.

Certain businesses are licensed to undertake asbestos removal work under these regulations. Where demolition does not require a licensed contractor to carry out removal work, the work should be undertaken in a manner that minimises risks.

Information on the removal and disposal of asbestos to landfill sites that are licensed to accept this waste is available from the NSW Environment Protection Authority.

Other considerations

  • All works must be structurally adequate, installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA).
  • 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.
  • Any structures that would be located on public land or on or over a public road (including temporary structures) require separate approval from the relevant council or Roads and Maritime Services under the Roads Act 1993 and the Local Government Act 1993.
  • Generally, complying development cannot be carried out on:
    • land within a heritage conservation area, or a draft heritage conservation area (There are some exceptions - please check the relevant development standards for more information.)
    • land reserved for a public purpose
    • class 1 or 2 land on a council’s acid sulphate soils map
    • land in a buffer area
    • land in a river front area
    • land in an ecologically sensitive area
    • environmentally sensitive land
    • land in a protected area
    • land affected by a coastline hazard, coastal hazard or coastal erosion hazard
    • land in a foreshore area
    • land in the 25 Australian Noise Exposure Forecast (ANEF) counter or a higher ANEF counter
    • unsewered land in a drinking water catchment identified in an environmental planning instruments
    • land declared as a special area
    • an area that is environmentally sensitive area.
  • In addition, complying development cannot be carried out on land that:
    • comprises an item that is listed in the State Heritage Register (unless an exemption under section 57 of the Heritage Act 1977 has been granted)
    • is subject to an interim heritage order (unless an exemption under section 57 of the Heritage Act 1977 has been granted)
    • is identified as an item of environmental heritage or a heritage item in an environmental planning instrument (unless an exemption under section 57 of the Heritage Act 1977 has been granted)
    • Is a critical habitat under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995
    • Is a wilderness area under the Wilderness Act 1987