The Complying Development Certificate (CDC) process explained

Provided your project can meet the applicable rules, a building certifier can approve it by issuing a Complying Development Certificate (CDC). Using the CDC process for your small project is way easier than the alternative which is to lodge a Development Application (DA) with your local Council. A CDC will usually take 10-20 days to issue whilst a DA can take months!

Here is a general outline of the CDC process.

  1. Find out the rules for complying development. We can help with this – click here to find out more. Our fee for providing this information depends on the nature of your project but ranges from $250-$1,500.
  2. Provide the rules to your chosen professional to draw up the plans. If you don’t have such a professional, we can put you in touch with one. You may need other expert input, such as:
    • a survey plan
    • a structural report
    • stormwater drainage details
    • a bushfire report
    • a BASIX certificate (an energy efficiency report required for all new dwellings and some alterations).

    The cost of this information will depend on your project but could be a minimum of $500-$8,000. Your chosen professional should be able to advise you about what information you will need for the CDC. If not, we can assist as part of Step 3 below.

  3. Once the plans are ready, come back to us and click on Complying Development  and under ‘What type of help do you need?’ select ‘I have plans… ‘. This will start the application process for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC). The application can be made to a building certifier you have already engaged or we can arrange one for you. However, note that a building certifier or a builder (if you already have one) cannot legally make an application for a CDC.
  4. If you don’t already have a fee agreement with a certifier, as part of the CDC application we will prepare a Complying Development Planning Report that the certifier can use as part of the CDC assessment. If we arrange a certifier, their fee will discount the cost of this Planning Report. There are no set fees for CDC’s. To give you a general idea, the following indicative costs could apply:
    • large swimming pool $850
    • new dwelling of 200-400sqm $2,000
    • garage or shed of less than 100sqm $850
    • granny flat $1,300.

    These fees includes the cost of inspecting the construction works at various stages. The number of inspections depends on the complexity of the project.

    Our fee to prepare a CDC application ranges from $750-$3,000 depending on the nature of your project. If you have already had us prepare a summary of the rules, we can offer a 50% discount off the cost.

    Now would also be a good time to discuss your plans with your neighbours. Whilst a CDC is notifiable to adjoining properties, there is no process that allows neighbours to object to your project. Nevertheless, neighbours can make life difficult and it’s better to keep them on side.

  5. Once the application is lodged, the certifier can usually issue the CDC in around 10-20 days, assuming all the relevant information is provided.
  6. Once you have a CDC, if you have not already engaged a builder, you will need to find someone to build your project. If you don’t have anyone in mind, we are happy to suggest someone.
  7. Before construction can commence, you will need to pay the necessary Council fees. Fees could include developer contributions if you are increasing the population, e.g. a granny flat could be $6,000 or more depending on your Council area. It could also include water and sewer connection fees.

Now that you have a better understanding of the process, click on the Complying Development in the menu above for the next steps.