Homeowners and business owners used to think that a development application has to be complied with before they can do some minor building works to their business, shop, or home.

Not having to contend with a development application is called exempt development. Exempt and complying development means that lesser costs and a quicker assessment by the council without their full merits are allowed for low impact works.

Types of Development considered as Exempt Development


While specific requirements are still needed, the types of development generally considered as exempt development include:

  • In business zones only: unlicensed trading hours (Christmas) and temporary extension in retail premises
  • A Commercial building with one tenant is allowed up to three kinds of building, advertising, and business identification. Any other building by the same tenant is allowed up to six signs only.
  • Commercial and residential temporary use of structures such as marquees for events
  • Licensed premises allowed extra trading hours for only special events and is authorised under the 2007 Liquor Act

Other development type additions subject to the General Exempt Development Code include:

  • Artworks and sculptures in specific locations provided they have the approval from the owner and, depending on the zone, meet certain height restrictions
  • Outdoor dining using footpaths to serve as premises for mobile food and drink and other drink and food premises. However, the council such as the relevant roads authority has to authorise this activity before setting up is required.
  • An Only authorised entity to operate charity bins

The relaxation of some existing development standards include:

  • Standards for security fences, ATMs, and awning
  • Provisions for earthworks, fences, paving, and pathways, and hardstand spaces to tighten up protection of adjoining sites and drainage



Exempt and Complying Development for Construction Works and Plans


Development Approval (DA) Exemptions

Construction works and plans have to be considered before you seek and apply for DA or development approval and BA or building approval.

Lodging an application for development approval may not be needed by some projects and houses. Building projects that require development approval include:

  • A condition that needs to be complied with on a previous approval application
  • Developments that create a major impact on the environment or is assessable in the impact track
  • The construction project is inconsistent with a development approval’s provision for other development on the land


Building Approval (BA) Exemptions

A development that has been exempted from DA or development approval may still be subject to Building Approval or BA. The considerations of BA include:

  • The required levels of energy efficiency, fire resistance, access, and amenities are ensured and met by the building
  • The proposed structure complies with the building code and building laws
  • The assurance of structurally sound construction of the buildings

For instance, a building approval BA is still required even when a single house is exempted from DA or development approval. DA exemption for building a single house is granted when it meets certain siting and design requirements of the Territory Plan Codes.

Understanding and navigating through the complexities of building codes, rules, and requirements can be a difficult task for a new homeowner. The professional that can handle, understand, and comply with all the BA and DA regulations and codes are the builders. Contact a leading Fraser Coast builder for more information.