DA, CDC & Estate Guidelines

When you are looking to build a new home, you are generally presented with two options for getting your build approved: DA or CDC.

Depending on:

•   the council you are building in,

•   the home you are building, and

•   the time frame you have to build

One option may be better for you than the other.

Development application

DA (also known as Development Application) is submitted through your local council. The specific requirements for a DA may vary depending on the local council your block resides in. The information that you may need to supply when submitting a DA application can include: what the development will look like when complete, the materials to be used, and any impact that the development may have to the surrounding area.

Complying development certificate

CDC (also known as Complying Development Certificate) has been in place in NSW since 1998. The rules for getting an application approved through CDC are the same throughout NSW, regardless of the local council your block resides in. This was put in place so that low impact developments can bypass local councils when getting development approval. This can help save both time and money.

What is the difference?

There are a few main differences between the two different forms of development approval:

DA CDC
Approx. Approval Time Up to 3 months Up to 6-8 weeks
Rules Up to interpretation of the council when reviewing the application. Very clear and strict rules.
PRO’s •   Designs that do not comply with CDC can possibly be approved through council.

•   Council allow more leniency in certain areas where CDC is very strict.

•   Much faster than applying through DA.

•   Applications can be accepted before registration of the land.

CON’s Takes longer to get a result.
Can only submit once the land has been registered.
No leniency to rules whatsoever.

Your builder will be able to help you decide which option will be best for your new home before submitting an application.

As well as getting approval through DA or CDC, you will also need to ensure that your new home complies with the guidelines of the estate that you are building in. New Estates often have specific guidelines to ensure that the streetscape of the estate remains consistent. These can sometimes mean restrictions to:

•   external colours,

•   types of materials used on the facade of the home, and

•   types of plants allowed in the gardens.

When you purchase the new block of land, these guidelines are often made available to you. Your builder will also be able to help ensure that your new home meets all of these requirements before the build commences.

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