Waterway structures

Minor alterations, repairs and maintenance to certain waterway structures may not need planning approval (known 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 following works may be exempt development:

  • repairs or replacement of decking, handrails, ladders, or other non-load bearing elements
  • non-structural internal or external alterations to an existing boat shed
  • installation of emergency lighting and other equipment (such as lifebuoys), and service pedestals
  • painting and other surface treatments to protect structures from corrosion or weathering.

For a full list of development standards that apply to waterway structures under exempt development, please refer to these provisions.

Other considerations

  • Depending on the type of development, approvals may be required under the Fisheries Management Act 1994, and any relevant licence under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997
  • 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: