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Kinds of Development

Council’s Development Plan lists examples of complying and non-complying developments for each zone of the City. If your proposed development does not fit into either category, it will be treated as a merit assessment.

The type of development determines the assessment process for a development application. It governs Council’s obligations with regard to the timeframe for assessment, conditions of consent, the public notification process (if any), and any right of appeal for applicants and third parties with respect to application decisions. All the above factors have a bearing on the approval or refusal of an application.

Complying development

A complying development is one which is listed in the Development Plan or specified in the Development Regulations 1993 as complying. Complying development will generally only have a low level of impact on the surrounding area. A planning authority cannot withhold approval for complying developments.

Non-complying development

The Development Plan depicts certain developments as being non-complying within a particular zone. If a development is non-complying, it is generally considered to be inappropriate. However, there may be circumstances where a non-complying development may be suitable once all the merits of the application have been considered.

Where Council is the relevant authority, a non-complying development cannot be approved without the support of the Development Assessment Commission (DAC). It is important to note that a non-complying application may be refused without an assessment and there are no appeal rights against a decision of Council to refuse a non-complying application. If an assessment is undertaken, the application will usually be subject to Category 3 public notification. For more information on the Category 3 process, please refer to Development information guide 3.

A non-complying development application is subject to a much more rigorous assessment process. You are therefore strongly advised to obtain further advice from a qualified planning consultant before choosing to lodge a non-complying type of application.

For more information on the non-complying process, refer to Information guide – Non-complying development.

Merit development

All developments that are not classed as complying or non-complying will be treated as merit developments and will be assessed against Council’s Development Plan provisions.

Development Information Guide 13: Kinds of Development