The difference between CDC and DA Approval

This is one of the most common questions asked by clients prior to starting a project. Firstly, let us try to explain how each type of approval works.

Complying Development Certificate (CDC) approval is a combined planning and construction approval based on the NSW State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) 2008. This policy applies state wide regardless of which council your property resides in. A CDC application is most commonly approved by a Private Building Certifier. The proposed development must strictly comply with all relevant state planning policies for approval to be obtained.

More information relating to complying development under the SEPP can be found in the link below:

https://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Policy-and-Legislation/Exempt-and-complying-development-policy

A Development Application (DA) approval is only a planning approval based on local council regulations. It is a two step process where a DA approval, followed by a Construction Certificate approval is required before construction can start. It is a more drawn out process, however, it is more flexible allowing certain design regulations to be challenged through the DA process.

Local Environment Plans (LEP) and Development Control Plans (DCP) provide the planning guidelines and regulations for local councils. An example can be found in the link below:

https://www.wollongong.nsw.gov.au/development/planning-and-development-policies/development-control-plans

When starting out a project it is crucial to understand the subtle differences in both the local council regulations and the state planning laws. This will ensure the design outcome maximises the potential of the site.

At Lien Architects we have completed many projects through the CDC pathway. We also have extensive experience working with councils throughout Sydney and down to the South Coast such as Willoughby City Council, Liverpool City Council, and Wollongong City Council.

Our experience allows us to do an initial check and provide advice on which pathway to best proceed with. This will give you the best chance at realising your dream home, or maximising your return on investment for your development.