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A number of home improvements and minor developments may be carried out without approval and are known as 'Exempt Development'. Those that are permissible in relation to Heritage Items or within a Heritage Conservation Area are generally in the rear yard of the property and can include water tanks, access ramps, pergolas, and shade structures.
Exempt development can be undertaken if it satisfies the requirements under State Environment Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (known as the 'Codes SEPP')
The various types of exempt development, plus the setbacks, size limitations and other criteria that apply can be found at Planning NSW website.
The zoning of your property can be found at Clarence On-line Mapping.
Exempt building work must be structurally sound and meet the Building Code of Australia. Exempt buildings cannot be located over a sewer or storm water main, easement or effluent irrigation area.
See full copy of the Codes SEPP.
For a detailed explanation of 'Exempt Development' refer to Section 76(2) of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
Council staff are available to answer enquiries or to double check if a development is exempt. Council's Building Surveyors are available from 8.30am to 11am weekdays on 6643 0200.