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2 - Is DA Required


​Generally speaking, all building and demolition work requires an approval from Council. Development can be described as anything involving building works, landscaping works and/or the use of land or a building. To obtain an approval it is necessary to lodge a development application with Council.

Fortunately, for small businesses there are some minor development activities that do not require you to lodge a development application. These are listed in Council's Development Control Plan (DCP) No.6 - Exempt Development & Complying Development.


Councils DCP No.6 divides development proposals into three major categories:

  1. Exempt Development – no Council approval is necessary.

  2. Complying Development – a quick and easy approval for minor building works.

  3. All other development – a development application must be lodged and considered by Council.

While a summary of each development type is provided below, these should only be used as a guide. To determine whether or not your activity is Exempt or Complying Development you must consider the pre-set standards set out in Council’s DCP No.6.


Exempt development is minor work that will have minimal impact on the environment. You do not need Council approval to undertake Exempt Development.

Generally, the types of development that may be considered Exempt Development include:

  • A new use of a building (except those where food is involved).
  • Minor internal alterations to a building which do not affect any load-bearing capacity of the building structure.
  • Non-structural alterations to the exterior of a building (such as painting and decorative works) that does not involve making or altering openings in a wall or roof or painting of signage.

Exempt Development cannot be undertaken on land comprised of a heritage item.

If you are in doubt whether your proposal is Exempt Development, we suggest that you seek Council’s advice. Penalties may apply to works that are mistakenly carried out as Exempt Development.


If what you are proposing is not exempt development, it may be “Complying Development”.

A Complying Development proposal is a common or routine form of development that requires approval. Unlike a development application however, if the application is successful the approval will be issued within 7 days of lodgement of the application.

Complying Development generally includes activities such as:

  • A change of use from an office to a shop, or from a shop to an office.

  • Internal alterations to a shop which may alter its load bearing capacities.

  • A Home Occupation carried on in a dwelling-house, townhouse, villa home, dual occupancy or dwelling in a residential flat building.

  • The use of a dwelling by its permanent residents for family childcare services.

  • The use of a dwelling by its permanent residents as a bed and breakfast.

To determine whether or not your activity is Complying Development you must also consider whether your proposal complies with the pre-set standards set out in DCP No.6 Exempt and Complying Development.

Lane Cove Council has also prepared a Complying Development Information Sheet, which explains how to obtain a Complying Development approval.

If in doubt, Council recommends that the owner seek Council’s advice. Another approach is to simply lodge a Development Application.


If your proposal does not meet the requirements for Exempt and Complying Development then it is necessary to lodge a Development Application.

A Development Application (DA) is an application made to Council seeking consent to;

  • construct, subdivide, change the use of a property or premises, demolish a building, display advertising, undertake earthworks, or make alterations or additions to a building.

Lane Cove Council will assess the impact of your proposed development on the local area. If your application is successful, Council will give development consent, subject to certain conditions. For further information on the development assessment process go to what is involved in the assessment process page.

Your Development Application would need to be lodged and approved by Council before any building work can begin.

Go to Step 3 - Check Plans, Codes and Policies