Types of development
The size and scale of your development proposal will determine which of the development assessment pathways is appropriate for you.
Some minor building renovations or work don't need any planning or building approval. This is called exempt development.
- garden sheds
- repairing a window
- painting a house.
- access ramps for people with a disability
- air conditioning units
- external and internal building alterations
- car park
Fast-tracked approval for straightforward development for homes, business and industry.
- home renovations
- building a new home up to 2 storeys
- home business
- strata subdivision
- change of use of an existing shop, office or warehouse
- industrial buildings
- demolition of a building.
Complying development applications can be lodged directly to Council. Your development will be subject to conditions of approval to protect surrounding uses during the construction period and life of the development.
Please contact us if you require assistance determining if your proposal is complying development.
The most common type of development in NSW - projects range from home extensions to medium sized commercial, retail and industrial developments.
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 – Part 4
- Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation 2000
- State Environmental Planning Policy (State and Regional Development) 2011
- SEPPs relevant to each project (e.g. SEPP 1 – Development Standards; SEPP Coastal Management 2018)
- Port Stephens Local Environmental Plan 2013
- SEPPs which nominate the Minister as the consent authority (e.g. Three Ports SEPP, Kosciuszko Alpine Resorts SEPP)
- Port Stephens Development Control Plan 2014
Some development applications require approval (such as a permit or license) from a NSW Government agency before a determination can be made by Council. These are called integrated development.
- an aquaculture permit
- mining lease
- pollution licence
- Aboriginal heritage impact permit
- works on bushfire prone land
- works within a public road reserve.
Developments that are high-impact or located in or near environmentally sensitive areas.
- the class of development can be listed in Schedule 3 of the EP&A Regulation as being designated development, or
- a LEP or SEPP can declare certain types of development to be designated.
- chemical factories
- large marinas
- mining operations
- aircraft facilities
- sewerage treatment works
- waste management facilities.
- must be accompanied by an environmental impact statement (EIS)
- will require public notification for at least 28 days
- can be the subject of a merits appeal to the Land and Environment Court by objectors.
An additional fee of $920 applies to designated development on top of the standard development application fee.
State significant development
Some types of development are deemed to have State significance due to the size, economic value or potential impacts that a development may have. These form a very small portion of developments.
State significant developments are identified in the State and Regional Development SEPP. The Minster for Planning is the consent authority.
We will keep a record of the application and determination in our records and may display a copy of the application in the Administration Building during the exhibition period.
Read more about State significant development on the NSW Planning Portal.