You might not need planning approval to build a carport if it meets all the relevant development standards set out in the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (the State Policy). This is known as exempt development.

Development standards


  • A carport cannot be constructed as exempt development on land:
  • in a foreshore area
  • on or in a heritage item
  • on or in draft heritage item.
  • if on bushfire prone land, carports must be constructed of non-combustible materials if within 5 metres of a house.
  • if in heritage conservation areas (or draft conservation areas), carports must be in the rear yard.
  • carports must be at least 1 metre behind the building line facing any road.

​​More than one carport on a lot

If a lot has one house, only one carport is permitted on that lot. However, if there is a primary and secondary dwelling on the lot, two carports may be provided.

For a full list of development standards that a carport must meet to be exempt development, please refer to these provisions of the State Policy.


Standards for carports built as exempt development

Other considerations

  • to find out if you are on bushfire prone land, visit the NSW Planning Portal.
  • 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.
  • 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: