Development Control Plans (DCP) and SEPP Exempt and Complying


Many Councils, designers and other professionals seem to get caught up in the DCP requirements for that Local Government area.  Whether the DCP has numerical or design restrictions, these are and confirmed by legislation to be ‘discretionary’ standards.  That is, you do not have to adopt these requirements, and if you don’t, you need to justify the reason behind it.

Development Applications need to be presented and robust in its support of the divergence from the DCP.  Divergence does not mean the development application is halted until there is compliance.  Simply the Consent Authority must be able to substantiate, at a desk top assessment level, the reasons to support the application.

Often development application stall when assessments cannot adequately deal with the change.  Sometimes this is because the Consent Authority perceive any variation will set a ‘precedence’, which it does not; or that the DCP can not be varied, which again is incorrect. It is this process that needs to be avoided from the commencement of the development application assessment process.  Engaging Pure Urban Planning provides the detailed content delivery to Council to enable the desk top assessment of the application.

SEPP – Exempt and Complying

State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP) Exempt and Complying is a state-wide scheme set against certain parameters for residential, commercial, industrial and rural developments.  If the zoning and design falls within the parameters then you can have the proposal deal with as a Complying Development, also known as a CDC.  The CDC is issued by a Building Certifier.  Once approved as a CDC, there is a set of general conditions provided and work can commence.  The SEPP was bought about to enable development to move forward rather than being hindered by long drawn out time frames by the Consent Authority.  The SEPP streamlines the approval process and eliminated Council DA process.

How do they work

There is a juxtaposition between DCP’s and the SEPP Exempt and Complying.  The DCP is at the Local Government level, and is in its hierarchy below the State level SEPP.  They are separate processes but can be used in conjunction with each other.

Often development which could have been dealt with under the SEPP, have been lodged as a DA with Council.  Council does not provide advice that the application conforms to the SEPP provisions, rather the view is taken that you submitted for a DA, then they will assess the application as a DA.

You can split the development between a DA, for what is outside of the SEPP, and a CDC for what is within the SEPP.  You do not have to contain all of the development into one application.  It becomes advantageous to divide the proposal up, or if a CDC can be done, then avoid the DA process altogether.  Bypassing the DA process as much as possible is better time wise and financially for the applicant. 

With DA’s taking on average around 4 months to be determine, with a wide range of conditions, CDC’s can be issued within days and a predetermined general set of conditions applied. 

What we do

Pure Urban Planning strives to find the proactive solutions to get the development moving forward from plans into the construction phase.  We look at the proposal to find what is advantageous for you, and avoid the many frustrations that come from this phase. To find out more, get in touch today

Cristy Houghton