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Complying Development Detached Garage Guide

Complying Development Explained: A step-by-step guide for detached garage complying development in NSW and Sydney.

The complying development process refers to a streamlined planning and building approval pathway available in most parts of Sydney and New South Wales. It aims to expedite the approval process for straightforward development projects that meet specific predetermined standards and criteria. The process is designed to provide a quicker and more efficient alternative to the traditional development application process.

This complying development guide will help demystify and guide you through the complying development legislation and rules.

 

The complying development process

Although it is a streamlined building approval process, the complying development approval process from start to finish can still be confusing at times.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to help you understand it all and help you attain a complying development certificate.

A breakdown of the complying development process, from start to finish →

 

Working out whether complying development is possible

There are plenty of reasons why a complying development approval is not allowed on your lot of land. Below is a list of the most common problems that will prevent your complying development approval in Sydney:

  • Zone – if the lot zone isn’t R1, R2, R3, R4 or RU5
  • Lot size – if the lot is less than 200m2
  • Lot width at the building line – if the lot width is less than 6m
  • Bushfire – the lot cannot be BAL40 or BALFZ
  • Flood-prone land – if the engineer cannot certify compliance with clause 3.
  • Landslide risk – if the land is identified as susceptible to landslide risk
  • Too many dwellings on the lot – if there is more than 1 dwelling on the lot
  • Easements – if the proposed building is located over a registered easements.

 

The complying development design requirements

When using the complying development building approval pathway, you must comply with all the applicable rules and clauses. If you do not comply with a particular clause, complying development is not possible.

For a detached garage complying development approval, you should be reviewing the clauses listed below and ensure the architectural plans and all other documentation address and comply with the following clauses:

 

The information you need on architectural plans

The following is a general guide that outlines the information that should be detailed within the complying development certificate architectural plans. All plans must be specific to the subject building, cover the entire scope of the building work and should include:

All Plans

  • A title block that includes the project address, lot details, drawing revisions and numbers
  • A key for abbreviations, colouring and hatchings and a north point
  • If the scope of works is for alterations and additions, plans are to clearly indicate the new and existing works
  • Compliance with the Complying Development State Environmental Planning Policies (SEPP)
  • Compliance with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)

 

Site Plan

  • The location of the proposed and existing building/s
  • Identification of the proposed building elements and the existing building elements
  • Setbacks and boundaries
  • Lot size
  • Lot dimensions
  • Building line width
  • The front setbacks of the two closet neighbouring dwelling houses, within 40m on the same side of the primary road
  • Existing ground levels
  • Existing vegetation and buildings on the site
  • Easements
  • Landscaped areas
  • Retaining walls and extent of proposed earthworks
  • Compliance table providing key design information such as:
    • gross floor area (m2)
    • landscaping area (m2)
    • landscaping area behind the building line (m2)
    • landscaping area in front of the building line (m2)
    • private open space (m2).

 

Floor Plans

  • Reduced levels and proposed finished floor levels
  • Intended use of each room
  • Dimensions of rooms and balconies
  • Dimensions of walls and structural elements
  • Internal and external wall construction, including details of any sound insulation, fire resistance of the like
  • Locations of door and window openings
  • Layouts of rooms within a building and location of the bathroom, laundry and kitchen fixtures.

 

Elevation Plans

  • Dimensioned heights, including the overall height;
  • Existing ground levels;
  • Proposed external materials
  • Proposed finished floor and ceiling heights
  • Floor-to-ceiling heights
  • Location and sizes of window and door openings
  • Proposed floor level heights above existing ground level (including balconies)
  • Retaining wall, cut and fill heights/depths above/below existing ground level

 

Section Plan

  • Dimensioned heights, including the overall height
  • Existing ground levels
  • Proposed floor level heights above existing ground level (including balconies)
  • Proposed finished floor and ceiling heights
  • Floor-to-ceiling heights
  • Retaining wall, cut and fill heights/depths above/below existing ground level

 

Explanations about the other documentation needed

 

Section 10.7 Planning Certificate

A Section 10.7 Planning Certificate is a legal document that confirms the zoning and applicable rules for the development of your property. You can purchase a planning certificate from your local council website.

Building Specification

Many design decisions and building details cannot be expressed in graphic form and therefore instead need to rely upon the text. Details and design decisions that cannot be shown on plans may be detailed in a building specification that complements the plans.

 

Survey Plan

A survey plan from a registered surveyor should show the position of all existing structures, with floor level & ridge height of the main building, the front setbacks of the two closet neighbouring dwellings (within 40m) on the same side of the street, existing ground levels and existing vegetation and building on the site.

 

Engineering Plans & Documentation

Most complying development projects require some plans and documentation from different specialist engineers and consultants. The documents that may be required are:

  • Structural engineering plans
  • Structural engineering design certificate
  • Structural adequacy certificate
  • Stormwater engineering plans
  • Stormwater engineering design certificate

 

Certificate of Title

A certificate of title confirms the official ownership of land. It also confirms if any easements and positive covenants are present on the lot. You can purchase the certificate of title from any of these documentation brokers.

88B Instrument

If the certificate of title confirms either an easement or positive covenant is present on the lot, a 88B instrument and deposited plan must be purchased to provide further details about the easement and/or positive covenant. You can purchase the 88B instrument from any of these documentation brokers.

Deposited Plan

If the certificate of title confirms either an easement or positive covenant is present on the lot, a deposited plan must be purchased to provide further details about the easement and/or positive covenant. You can purchase a deposited plan from any of these documentation brokers.

Long Service Levy Receipt

The long service levy is applied to all NSW building and construction projects of $250,000 or more (inc. GST). The current rate is 0.25% of the total cost of the work. You can calculate the long service levy amount here.

 

Sydney Water Building Approval

Sydney Water must check your plans to make sure building work will not damage any water, wastewater pipes or structures on your property. If your proposed building works are close to Sydney Water pipes in the ground, your plans may need to be submitted to a Sydney Water Service Coordinator for further review and approval. Here is a video explaining the Sydney Water Building Approval process, if you need further help. 

 

Bushfire attack level (BAL) report

Only required if the Planning Certificate confirms the lot is bushfire affected. The report, prepared by a bushfire consultant, will determine the bushfire attack level (BAL) specific to the lot. Remember, if the result of this assessment is BAL40 or BALFZ, unfortunately, complying development is not permissible.

 

Flood engineering report

Only required if the Planning Certificate confirms the lot is flood affected. The report, prepared by a flood/civil engineer, will list and detail how the proposed design complies with the requirements in clause 3.5 of the complying development legislation.

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