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Each state and territory and local Council in Australia has their own rules in regards to which minor building renovations and works do not require building permission.

Known as ‘exempt development,’ these projects typically have a low impact on the environment and residents of the area – including nearby trees, vegetation, public works, and other buildings.

Before you create a plan, it’s vital that you know exactly what kind of extensions you can and cannot build. This ensures your vision is realistic, affordable, and compliant with both state and local council development standards. Plus, you save time and money on unnecessary revisions.

For practical advice on which size extensions you can build without planning permission, contact APEX Alterations & Additions.

Commonly Accepted Types Of Exempt Development:

Each state and territory has their own definition of what constitutes an exempt development.

However, there is some crossover regarding which projects fall under the category of exempt development. Common examples include:

  • Decking
  • Garden sheds
  • Carports
  • Fences
  • Repair and replacement of windows
  • Exterior and interior painting
  • Small retaining walls
  • Minor internal alterations

Keep in mind, these projects must stillmeet the relevant state and local council requirements for exempt development.

For example, in the state of NSW, an exempt development must not be carried out on land that is, or is part of, a wilderness area (within the meaning of the Wilderness Act 1987). It must also not be carried out on land that is listed on the State Heritage Register under the Heritage Act 1977.[1]

In addition to this, each type of development has their own requirements in regards to the construction, installation, and maintenance of the structure.

For example, in NSW, under Subdivision 5 Awnings, Blinds, and Canopies, the development must not have an area more than 10m2 and not project beyond the external wall of the building by more than 2m.

As a result, you need to be aware of not just the type of developments you can build, but the limitations in which you are allowed to build them, and how they may impact the neighbours in your area.


How To Find Out If You Require Planning Permission:

Aneasy and efficient way to find out if your extension needs planning permission is through your council or state/territory regulator.

Most state and territory websites have free online planning tools. These resources tell you which extensions are considered exempt development, why, and how to determine if your project meets the criteria.

Of course, if you cannot find a clear answer online,then directly call the council or state/territory regulator for support.

Talk To A Home Extension Builder:

There are many good reasons to speak to a home extension builder in the early planning phase.

For starters, you can request a FREE onsite inspection of your home. On a day and time that suits you, a qualified builder will come to you. You can share your vision, get practical advice and recommendations, and – most importantly – find out if your project requires planning permission.

Secondly, good home extension builders are highly skilled at negotiating with local councils on your behalf. So, even if your project does need a planning permission, your builder can work with the council to ensure your extension complies with all regulations.

Finally, a home extension builder can explain the exempt development requirements to you in clear language. Some council and state websites are so jam-packed it can hard to find the info you need. And their use of language can be hard to interpret as well. Meanwhile, a builder can give the facts to you straight, and clarify anything you may be unsure about.

To book a FREE onsite inspection with APEX Alterations & Additions today, call 1300 654 380 today.

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