One of the questions every client faces, is whether the development needs formal approval or not. There are usually 3 categories for residential developments:
Exempt developments: No formal approval
Complying development: Fast track formal approval
Development approval: Formal approval
If you are doing minor works such as adding a deck or bathroom renovation, your proposal might be exempt. With more major renovation works such as adding an extension or a carport or building a new house you might be able to apply for a complying development approval.
The advantage of a complying development is that it is much faster and does not require neighbour’s approval. However the regulations are more restrictive and sometimes it is difficult to achieve the best design option within these regulations. Also a complying development might not be applicable for some developments for sites located in heritage conservation areas or lands located in some bush fire prone zones.
If your development is not exempt or if it can not be approved with a complying development you will need to submit a development application to Council which is referred to as a DA approval.