Unauthorised Development

If you're looking at buying property, it's important to know if there is unathorised development on the property.

This includes:

  • Construction of buildings

  • Earthworks

  • Alterations to existing buildings or structure

  • Extensions

  • Tree removal

  • Land clearing

  • Converted sheds to dwellings without prior approval

Are you concerned there may be unauthorised works?

If you're concerned there may be unauthorised works, you can get a Building Information Certificate (BIC) to make sure that a particular building (or part of a building) has been correctly approved. Purchasers applying for a certificate before exchange of Contracts require the consent of the property owner.  A BIC can be applied for on the NSW Planning Portal. For purchasers wanting to apply after you exchange Contracts, we advise you to make the Contract conditional upon the issue of a satisfactory certificate.

What happens if you have commenced or completed works without approval?

All work should cease immediately. You should then apply for a Building Information Certificate. We will then inspect the building and review relevant Council records and documents forming part of the application to determine the outcome of the application. We may also need additional details to make a full and proper evaluation of the application. These may include works-as-executed architectural plans, building specifications, a registered survey, fire safety details, structural engineers certification of the building, report or certification from an accredited building certifier, other details of compliance with the National Construction Code and any details relating to building works at the premises (for example interconnected smoke alarms or compliant overflow relief gullies).

If approved, the certificate is confirmation that Council won't issue an order, or take proceedings for an order or injunction, for the repair, demolition, alteration, addition or rebuilding of the building. It also confirms that Council will not initiate proceedings with regard to any encroachment by the building onto land either owned or controlled by Council.
The certificate is issued for a specified period, being a period of seven (7) years and only covers such matters which exist or occur at the time of issue of the certificate.

A BIC does not guarantee approval and you may still be issued with a Notice/Order for the demolition of the authorised building or portion. It also doesn't prevent Council from issuing other types of notices and orders. For example, Council may still issue notices and orders in relation to fire safety, swimming pool safety and other public health and safety matters.