Complying Development Certificates (CDC)

Complying Development is a combined planning and construction approval process for straightforward or low-impact developments that comply with pre-set criteria under the State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) which can be fast-tracked and determined by a Council or private certifier without needing a full Development Application (DA).

To qualify as Complying Development, you must satisfy all of the development standards identified in SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 or/and Part 2, Division 2 and Schedule 1 of SEPP (Affordable Rental Housing) 2009 (for “secondary dwellings” only; or known as “granny flat”)

If you decide to choose Council for making your CDC Application, please attach the following documents as part of your submission package:

At least one of the following checklists is to be completed and submitted with your CDC application:


For details on plan/document requirements,refer to CDC Application - Supplementary Information

From 31 January 2020 onwards, you can apply your Applications online via the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment (DPIE)’s ePlanning Portal.

Note: Please DO NOT submit CDC applications for “Manor House”; “Dual Occupancy” or “Multi-dwelling housing” under the SEPP Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code as Council has been granted a deferral of the Low Rise Medium Density Housing Code until July 2020. Council will decline these applications if submitted.

Submitting applications to modify an issued CDC is NOT available online yet via the Portal. To apply for a modification to an issued CDC, please submit a physical application directly to Council via post or in person. For details on applying for a modification to a CDC, please refer to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) below.

Process Overview

  1. If you are applying for your CDC with Council, register an account at the ePlanning Portal and apply online. Select “Willoughby City Council” as the nominated accredited certifier.
    Important Note: If you are selecting Council as the Certifier for your CDC application, you must attach the above relevant Council’s checklist & a Cost of Works Report as part of your submission.
    Visit the ePlanning Guidelines on how to submit a CDC application via the ePlanning Portal or call 1300 305 695 for guidance.
    Alternatively, you can apply for your CDC by finding and contacting directly with a (Private) Accredited Certifier here.
  2. Once your CDC application has been submitted via the Portal, Council Officer assesses whether or not your application is acceptable. You may be required to provide additional information or be advised in letter via post/email to pay the correct application fees with a letter via the post.
    Important Note: Your “submitted” CDC application via the Portal is not considered “formally lodged” until Council advises in writing via post/email or “accepts” it via the Portal and upon payment of application fees.
  3. Once your CDC application is “formally” accepted/lodged, Council’s Certifier will commence assessment. Further advice in needing additional information may arise along the way.
  4. Once your CDC has been issued, you will have to further appoint a Certifier (Council or Private) as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA) to inspect the works:
    Note: Post-approval PCA appointment functionality is not available online yet via the Portal.
  5. Notify surrounding occupiers if a dwelling, additions, granny flat, boarding house or a swimming pool is proposed.
  6. Carry out the works as required, ensuring mandatory inspections are carried out by the Certifier.
  7. Obtain an Occupation Certificate before you occupy the new building.

For more information on online CDC on the Department of Planning, Industry & Environment website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I attend a pre-CDC lodgement meeting?

Before lodging your certificate, consider booking a pre-CDC lodgement meeting with Council to talk through your plans.
Read more about pre-lodgement meetings.

Please note: As the pre-CDC lodgement meeting is indicative only and not a fully detailed assessment under SEPP (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, Council is not responsible if additional issues arise during the processing of the lodged CDC.

What CDC fees are payable?

Contact Council's Help and Services staff on 9777 1000 who can help you with fee estimates for Council to act as an Accredited Certifier and/or Principal Certifiying Authority. Written quotations can also be provided. Our rates are competitive and inspections can be done on minimal notice.

What if all the detailed design work is not yet finished?

You may find that all information you need is not available at the time you apply, e,g. structural, mechanical or hydraulic designs may not yet be finalised.

When the detail is not available, you can state in the specification your intent to comply with requirements by identifying the specific clauses in the BCA and Australian standards, codes or other documents, with a brief description of the how you propose to comply with each.

Once issued, can a Complying Development Certificate be altered/ modified?

Yes, Section 4.30 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 allows for modification to an issued CDC. The application and assessment process is the same as for the original application.

Currently, submitting applications to modify a CDC is NOT available online yet via the ePlanning Portal. To apply for a modification, please submit a physical application directly to Council in person or via post by including the following documents:

For details on plan/document requirements, refer to CDC Application - Supplementary Information.

Electronic files (stored in a USB/CD) of the submitted documents for your application to modify a CDC should be named according to Council’s required style and format.

Can conditions be applied to a Complying Development Certificate?

Yes, but only those specified by the regulations and the relevant State Environmental Planning Policy.

What is a fire safety schedule?

A fire safety schedule is a list specifying the fire safety measures (both current and proposed) that should be implemented in the building premises. It relates to commercial, industrial and multi unit development.

When is a Structural Engineer required to do inspections of the building?

A Structural Engineer is required to certify aspects of the building when there is a structural variation to the approved plans and details, or on large scale development.

When can I get my security deposit back from Council?

If you paid any damage deposits, for example, a footpath damage deposit, Council will arrange to have the deposit refunded provided there is no damage to Council's infrastructure and all work has been completed.