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Development Approval vs Complying Development Certificate

July 22, 2020

In order to obtain approval for your project you will need to submit either a Development Application (DA) or a Comply and Development Certificate (CDC) application through council to get permission for the works. The DA or CDC is typically lodged by your private certifier or by your local council officer.

The main difference between the two is that the CDC is a quicker alternative to the DA.  The CDC process is shorter and you will see a quicker turnaround in the application time. Ultimately, if you can get away with a CDC, it will save you time and money in the long run.

How do I choose between a DA or a CDC?

Not all properties will be eligible for a CDC application. You will first need to check if a CDC is allowed. This permission can be found in your section 149 Planning certificate which contains information on how a property may be developed and whether there are restrictions on the development.

The CDC application is usually faster because the criteria you are required to meet is fixed. Sometimes, you can tailor your scope of work to meet these criteria.

If this all seems a little overwhelming, your builder, architect or draftsperson will be able to source this for you and advise you accordingly.

When do I need to choose CDC or DA?

You will need to settle on what the application format is early on in the design stages.  Seek advice from your architect or draftsperson on which application style will meet your needs. If your needs are more complex and don’t fit within the CDC requirements you will need to submit a DA instead. Keep in mind that the requirements for a DA differ from council to council.

So keep it simple – if your design does not meet CDC criteria, you then have two options: either discuss with your builder or architect how they might be able to adapt your current design or submit a DA.

How long does the process take?

Typically you should allow 6 months to obtain approval for your DA and a CDC can be turned around in around 3-4 months. However, keep in mind that these are not fixed time frames and often applications are submitted without all the required documentation which can really slow down the process.

How much does it cost?

Costs will vary depending on the size and design of the proposed works and are usually based on the estimated cost of development. Your builder or architect should be able to give you a rough estimate of the cost to complete the application, but in the meantime, you can get in touch with your local council for a fee structure to help you get a rough estimate.

Who can help me with the process?

At AAG Constructions we can assist you from start to finish.  We have built strong relationships with Architects on the northern beaches and the north shore of Sydney.  We would be happy to put you in touch with an Architect who can facilitate the entire process for you and take the pressure off so that you can focus on the more important things. What other important things, I hear you ask – check out our other blogs for plenty of tricks and tips to make building your dream home, one big tasty treat.