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Do I need approval to do some work around the house?

Did you know that there’s a range of work that you can do in and around your house without Council approval?

The State Government’s ‘Exempt Development Code’ lets you do a range of things in and around your house that don’t need Council approval. The ‘Exempt Development Code’ lists more than 50 different types of development where, if you meet particular restrictions, the work can be undertaken without the need for planning or construction approval from Council.

 Some of the work you might be able to do without approval include:

  • Barbecue areas
  • Car ports
  • Letter boxes
  • Retaining walls
  • Gardens and garden sheds
  • Clothes lines
  • Cubby houses
  • Rainwater tanks
  • Awnings
  • Decks and patios
  • Minor internal and external renovations.


There are some restrictions that need to be met in order for your work to be ‘exempt’ from approval. Some of the restrictions can include the size of the structure, the height of the structure, the area of the structure and other structures already on your land and how close it is to your property’s boundaries. Alterations to your house need to comply with the National Construction Code and not involve any structural work. 

The requirements for exempt development are strict. If your work does not comply with each and every requirement in the ‘Exempt Development Code’, then it is not ‘exempt’ from approval. Also, the ‘Exempt Development Code’ might not apply to your land or your work, depending on several factors such as land zoning, heritage listing or other environmental restrictions.

For more information about the ‘Exempt Development Code’, please visit the Department of Planning’s website or call Council on 02 4645 4608. We recommend that you visit the Department if Planning's website or call us before you commence works.

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