Complying Development

Exempt and Complying Development eModule launched: MWa and NSW Dept of Planning

Exempt and Complying Development eModule launched: MWa and NSW Dept of Planning

In December 2017, the NSW Dept of Planning launched a new eModule, an online education program to provide useful information on EXEMPT  Development (no planning or building approval) and COMPLYING Development (a fast track approval), suitable for new homes and residential alterations and additions throughout NSW.

Since the re-launch of codes as The Simplified Housing Code in July 2017, MWa have become the “face” of the Department’s promotions, with all the imagery used throughout the module being Michelle’s own home (and family) – a renovation undertaken as a Complying Development in a bush fire area.

MWa have successfully navigated the approvals for new homes and residential alteration and additions using both EXEMPT and COMPLYING development, since the Codes were introduced in 2008.

Examples include:

  • significant internal and external alterations in Mosman.  YES, Mosman.  It remains one of a very few areas throughout NSW to still be exempt from Part 3 of the General Housing Code.  However, Part 4 Housing Alterations Code can still apply to sites in Mosman.  Hence we have undertaken four renovations in Mosman using these codes.
  • new two storey home with five bedrooms and a pool
  • upper floor addition in bush fire prone land
  • new outdoor living pavilion
  • interior and exterior renovations to the rear of a dwelling in a heritage conservation area.

The benefits of using NSW Exempt and Complying Development legislation are savings in time and money.

For our clients, on the north shore and northern beaches of Sydney, the savings can be around $25,000 and at last six months in time.

Contact MWa if you are contemplating a new build or renovation, and need a feasibility assessment of your site and home in relation to NSW Exempt and Complying Development Codes.

You may be surprised.

Mobile 0421 088 110.

To find our more:







Australian Home Beautiful Before & After Renovation Special: April 2017

Australian Home Beautiful Renovation Special

Australian Home Beautiful Renovation Special

Australian Home Beautiful Before & After Renovation Special:  MWa are delighted to be featured in the special edition of Home Beautiful Magazine’s Before and After Renovation Edition.

Set in bush fire prone land and backing onto bushland, this home is inspired by the materials of Australian rural buildings and its bushland setting.

The home is in a great location, backing on to the bush, in a bush fire zone, lovely northern aspect along its full length so it has great light and sunshine.

Robust materials, joyful outdoor spaces, lots of light, managing the hot sun and making the most of the existing modest home: these are the key considerations of this renovation.

The residential renovation included extensive exterior works with a new pool surround, covered rear deck, new carport, new front porch, new driveway and new landscaping.

The internal works included a new kitchen and a new bedroom – essential living for a family of five, with an in house au pair who makes up the household of six.

The renovations included:

  • relocated new kitchen
  • new covered deck enclosed with operable louvres – a true outdoor room
  • additional kid’s bedroom
  • some new doors and windows to create better connections with garden & bush & outdoor areas
  • complete pool renovation & pool surrounds including outdoor bbq space & outdoor storage
  • new roof, new carport, new outdoor storage areas
  • new front porch, driveway, landscaping

The materials were inspired by Australian rural homes and included:

  • new colourbond roof (which replaced existing older tiled roof), with the edge of the roofing material exposed
  • all external materials are non flammable because of bush fire zoning including
  • expressed australian hardwoods (spotted gum)
  • non flammable fibre cement weatherboards
  • fibre cement lining boards
  • sandstone blocks & sandstone pavers
  • textured washed back concrete with blue metal
  • bold new external colour scheme (monument & orange & white

The use of colours & materials continued inside & out –

– kitchen colours & materirals match external colours

(colourbond monument, dulux antique white & ironbark veneer)

– new fireplace is paved with same sandstone pavers as front porch, new    bookshelves in external grade australian hardwood and back wall in monument.

The renovation took six months to complete, and was approved via NSW Complying Development.

Australian Home Beautiful Renovation Special

Australian Home Beautiful Renovation Special

Complying Development: NSW Department of Planning & Environment

MWa appears in the new Complying Development brochures and marketing material by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment for COMPLYING DEVELOPMENT and EXEMPT DEVELOPMENT.


The NSW Department of Planning and Environment is soon to launch a Simplified Housing Code for NSW, as part of an initiative to provide a simpler, faster and more transparent planning system.  The existing NSW General Housing Code was introduced in 2008.

Complying Development

Complying Development



The Department recently took photos of Michelle’s house, as an example of a residential alteration & addition which was approved using the NSW General Housing Code.   The images of Michelle’s home and family were also used by the Department at their stand at the Royal Easter Show.




At MWa, we have completed 13 projects via the Complying Development Codes in a variety of council areas including Mosman, Manly, Warringah, Wollongong, and Ku ring gai.

We are currently have six projects on the drawing board and two under construction – approved via the Complying Development approval process – which bypass the typical local Council DA approval process, saving significant time and costs.

These projects have included a new two storey home, complete with garage and pool, upper floor additions, ground floor extensions, external covered outdoor spaces, new pools and minor works in heritage conservation areas.  Some categories of bush fire & flood prone land may also be suitable for approval via Complying Development.

At our initial on-site consultations, we discuss what’s possible under these codes and how they may be relevant to your site and home.  Michelle Walker architects can help simplify your renovation process, assisting you to save time and money.

Call us to take the first step in finding our more.

MWa Contact

For further information from the NSW Department of Planning & Environment click on the links below and contact

NSW Planning Complying Development

NSW Planning Exempt Development