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What is the difference between a Complying Development Application and a Development Application?

You’ve decided to renovate your existing home to suit your changing needs – how exciting! Before we can get started on the fun side of things, we need to determine whether we need a Complying Development Application (CDC) or a Development Application (DA).

If you’ve never renovated before, you’re probably wondering what a CDC and a DA actually are. Luckily, they are pretty simple to understand:

Complying Development Application (CDC)

This is a fast-track approval process for standard, straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development. This is determined by your local council or an accredited private certifier. So, what is considered a complying development? The following are examples:

  • Building a one or two storey home
  • Building a secondary dwelling (such as a granny flat or studio)
  • Building a swimming pool
  • Renovating a home

There are also some areas where complying development cannot be carried out, which needs to be considered in case your home falls into any of the following categories:

  • Land within a heritage conservation area
  • Land reserved for a public purpose
  • Land in an ecologically sensitive area
  • Land in a protected area

To learn more about the kind of areas where a CDC cannot be carried out, you can find more information on the NSW Government website.

Development Application (DA)

This is a more formal request for permission to execute a proposed development, and could include the subdivision of your land, carrying out work on an existing building, landscaping or changing the use of your land. It is carried out as a merit-based assessment that is conducted through your local council, and is a two-stage process including the assessment itself and the submission and approval of a construction certificate. Examples for using a development application could include:

  • Using land
  • Erecting as building
  • Subdividing land
  • Refurbishment
  • Demolition

What is the difference between a CDC and a DA?

At first glance, a CDC and a DA look pretty similar, however there are differences that need to be considered.

For example, choosing the DA process allows for more flexibility, despite taking longer to get approval. You may be given the opportunity to discuss modifications of some rules, depending on what you are presenting to council for approval. This process does have a significantly longer approval time, however, so if you need to get your project completed sooner rather than later, a CDC may be a better choice.

On the other hand, when choosing the CDC process, you are unable to negotiate at all on the regulations, and you must comply with everything in order to get approval for your application. That said, it is a speedier process, so if you’re short for time and you are able to be fully compliant, this may be the option for you.

How do I know which one to choose?

We get how confusing it can be to understand the ins and outs of both a CDC and a DA, which is why it’s always a good idea to chat to an expert who can help you understand which process will be most beneficial to you and your project. When you work with us here at Immaculate Homes, we won’t just help you get your approval sorted. We’ll also help you understand each step of the process, so you know exactly what is going on at all times!