Common Development Types

Common Development Types

Exempt Development 

Exempt developments are types of development that don't need Council consent. All exempt developments must still meet set requirements such as size, location, use and construction standards. If the State-wide exempt development code covers the same development type listed in a Council exempt development code, then the State-wide code prevails.

Read the Exempt Development Information Sheet and click on the relevant link below to see the NSW Legislation web page outlining the standards for what you want to develop:

Industrial and commercial development

Commercial development of land generally includes any business, office or retail premises for the provision of administrative, clerical, technical, or professional services to the public; or for the purpose of selling, hiring or displaying items for the purpose of selling them or hiring them out. 

Industrial development of land generally includes premises used for the manufacturing, production, assembling, repairing, processing, recycling, servicing of goods or articles for commercial purposes. It also involves storage and transportation activities.

Most commercial or industrial activity and buildings require development consent prior to undertaking the work or operation of the business. Some development may be undertaken as complying development under   State Environmental Planning Policy 2008 (Exempt and Complying Development). For more information about Exempt and Complying Development visit the   NSW Planning website.

Signage associated with commercial and industrial development may also require development consent or may be exempt development in accordance with   State Environmental Planning Policy 2008 (Exempt and Complying Development). Further information regarding Exempt and Complying Development can be found at the   NSW Planning website.

Other development types

Change of use

Change of building use means a change of use of a building from a use that the Building Code of Australia recognises as appropriate to one class of building to a use that the Building Code of Australia recognises as appropriate to a different class of building.

Some changes of use of buildings can be undertaken either as exempt development, or as complying development. This may mean that approval from Council is not required or may be obtained from Council or a Private Certifier in 10 days as Complying Development. Details of these can be seen in   State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

Other changes of use will require development consent to be obtained from Council.

Generally, the new use will need to be allowed in the zone and meet a range of other criteria relating to maximum floor area and Building Code of Australia requirements.

For more information contact Council's Duty Planner on 4732 7991.

Home based businesses

Council supports home based business. There are some rules about what types of businesses can operate in residential areas. To find out more, contact our duty planner on 4732 7991.   

Development applications can now be lodged via the NSW Planning Portal 

If you're required to lodge an application for your Home Based Business, please read the following:

Home Based Business - DA Information Sheet

Residential development

Dwelling Houses, Secondary Dwellings (Granny Flats) and Dual Occupancies

A dwelling house is a building which contains only one dwelling. Where there are two dwellings on a block of land they are commonly known as a dual occupancy or secondary dwelling. The dwellings in a dual occupancy may be attached or detached. A secondary dwelling may also be attached to, within, or separate from the main dwelling.

A secondary dwelling differs from a dual occupancy in that the total floor area of the secondary dwelling cannot be more than 60 square metres.

A semi-detached dwelling is a dwelling house that is on its own block of land and is attached to one other dwelling on a separate block of land.

All dwellings, secondary dwellings and dual occupancies require approval before they can be built. Approval may be obtained by making a development application or; in certain circumstances, a dwelling or secondary dwelling may be approved in 20 days as complying development.

See the secondary dwelling fact sheet for more information regarding secondary dwellings and complying development, see Affordable rental housing below.

See the “Dual Occupancy Residential Fact Sheet” or the “Dual Occupancy Rural Fact Sheet” for more information regarding dual occupancy development proposals.

For development controls and objectives relevant to a dwelling house, secondary dwelling or dual occupancy, refer to Penrith Development Control Plan 2014 for the necessary provisions to be addressed in the design of a development proposal and the preparation of a development application.

Multi-Unit Housing and Residential Flat Buildings

Multi-unit housing generally means a residential development that contains 3 or more dwellings. Multi-unit housing can take the form of villas, town houses, apartments, or residential flat buildings.
For detail on the applicable development standards, controls and objectives relating to multi-unit housing and residential flat buildings refer to the “Multi Dwelling and residential Flat Building Fact Sheet”.


Subdivision of land generally means the division of land into two or more parts. There are different types of subdivision including Torrens Title, Strata Title and Community Title.

See our subdivision factsheet for more information.

Affordable rental housing

Affordable rental housing is housing for very low to moderate income households.

The State Environmental Planning Policy (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (ARH SEPP) was introduced on 31 July 2009. The policy's intent is to increase the supply and diversity of affordable rental and social housing in the state.

The ARH SEPP covers housing types including villas, townhouses and apartments that contain an affordable rental housing component, along with secondary dwellings (granny flats), boarding houses, group homes, social housing and supportive accommodation.

Your local council or an accredited certifier can issue approvals for secondary dwellings / granny flat developments as long as they meet specific criteria under the ARH SEPP.

All other development under the ARH SEPP requires approval from the relevant consent authority which is the local council in most cases.

For more information see Council's secondary dwelling fact sheet or the NSW Planning and Infrastructure website.