What does CDC mean?


Embarking on your building journey is an exciting experience, but navigating the world of permits and regulations can often be a daunting task. The Complying Development Certificate, or CDC for short — is a beacon of streamlined construction approvals that offers a smoother path to turning your vision into reality. 
In this blog, we delve into the realm of CDC, uncovering it’s significance, it’s benefits, and how it can be a game-changer in simplifying the process of bringing your dream home to life.


If you are starting your building journey, you may have heard the term “CDC”. CDC is an abbreviation for Complying Development Certificate. Complying development is a combined planning and construction approval for straightforward development that can be determined through a fast-track assessment by a council or an accredited certifier. As a result, the process is overall faster than a DA.



The concept of Complying Development Certificate (CDC) compliance was introduced by the New South Wales (NSW) Government as a means to streamline the approval processes for minor and routine development proposals. This initiative was designed to free up the merit-based system, which is better suited for intricate and sensitive development projects.
Within the NSW planning framework, the requirement for development consent applies in most cases. This requirement is typically fulfilled through three distinct pathways:

  • Exempt Development: This category encompasses minor types of work that don't necessitate planning or construction approval applications. However, specific standards must be met to qualify under this pathway.
  • Complying Development: Work falling under this category adheres to predetermined development standards and can be evaluated and approved within a mere 10-day period by a certifying authority—either the local council or a private accredited certifier.
  • Merit-Based Assessment: For more complex projects, a Development Application (DA) needs to be submitted to a consent authority, usually the local council. The outcome of this submission hinges on a merit-based evaluation and may lead to the issuance of a development consent if approved.

The central objective of the Codes State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) is to simplify and reduce unnecessary complexity and administrative hurdles for homeowners who are constructing single or double storey dwellings or embarking on low-impact renovations or enhancements to their residences. This streamlined approach aims to facilitate the development process for homeowners and create a more efficient pathway for their projects.



Complying development generally includes larger building works than exempt development. For this reason 'sign off' by a building professional (known as a certifier) is needed. Complying development is also subject to conditions of approval to protect surrounding uses during the construction period and the life of the complying development.
Fast-tracked complying development approvals can be issued in as little as 20 days. This compares with the average timeframe for a development application of 70 days.
Homeowners can save up to $15,000* when building a house under complying development.


*For more information, please head to NSW Government website.