NSW Building Approvals

17 December

NSW Building Approvals 101

Everything you need to know about getting a DA & a CC for your commercial shed

When you’re considering building a commercial structure, it helps to have a good handle on the different types of permits and approvals required before you get too far into the process.

In New South Wales, there are two approvals you need to have in place: your DA (development approval) and your CC (construction certificate).

These differ in that the first – the DA – is more of an early stage, high-level approval. It focuses primarily on whether your structure complies with various Council schemes, zoning requirements and overlays.

The second approval – your construction certificate – goes into much more fine detail and ensures that everything in your commercial shed complies with the Building Code.

Before you start: will a CDC suffice?

It’s worth taking a step back and getting advice to see if you need to go through this process at all.

For a lot of straightforward commercial building projects, you can avoid the drawn-out Council approval process by applying for a CDC, or complying development certificate.

This ‘all in one’ certificate is available through a private certifier and could save you a lot of unnecessary headaches.

At Steelcorp, we always explore whether this is an option for our clients by speaking to a private certifier at the start of the project. The certifier advises whether a CDC can be done for the project, and if not, we have to contact the Council and begin the following process.

What you need to prepare for a Development Approval

Your DA can be seen as the ‘Level 1’ approval: you’ll only require some fairly standard documentation to submit to your local Council. The documentation you’ll need includes:

  • Your site plan
  • Elevations
  • Title documents
  • Covenants (if any apply to your land)
  • Reports
  • And the application form itself.

How long does it take to get a DA?

Of course, every project is different, but as a rough guide, your Level 1 approvals will typically take around 2-3 months from the time you submit your application to the actual approval coming back from Council.

This is assuming that no changes need to be made.

What you need to prepare for a Construction Certificate

Once you have your development approval squared away, you can go deeper into the process and apply for your Construction Certificate.

This ‘Level 2’ approval covers all the engineering and structural plans, as well as the detailed building plans – this is what your builder will work from. You’ll need to have this in place before you start any building or construction work.

This certificate confirms that the construction plans and development specifications are consistent with the development consent, and comply with the Building Code of Australia and any other council requirements. Your local council or an accredited certifier working in the private sector can issue a construction certificate for you.

To get a CC in NSW, you’ll need to supply documentation including:

  • Your approved DA documentation
  • Engineering plans
  • Civil, structural and hydraulic plans
  • A septic permit
  • Your energy rating (or Section J) report
  • Soil report
  • Title documents
  • Details of any covenants on your property
  • Compliant plans drawn up by an architect, meeting all the National Construction Code requirements
  • And finally, the CC application form.

You’ll typically need to supply 3 copies of each for review and pay a development contribution fee to the Council.

How long does it take to get a CC?

Receiving the official go-ahead can take around 4-6 weeks.

When you consider both the DA and the CC, you’re looking at an overall approval time of 3-4 months assuming your project is straightforward and doesn’t require changes to go back through Council.

Help with approvals and permits

This part of your shed project is often the most daunting for our customers. That’s why the Steelcorp team offer plenty of help, advice and support during the approvals & permits phase. We partner with you for the whole project – not just the build itself.

If you need advice on how to best approach your approvals, please get in touch with our team.

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