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Building Surveyors


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Development Applications NSW

To carry out most demolition, building and subdivision work, an approval is required before work is commenced.

There are two (2) main types of applications for an approval in New South Wales:

Complying development certificate applications

Complying development is a quick and cost effective way of obtaining a certificate for the work you want to do - provided it meets the predetermined standards.

NCBS Australia Private Certifiers are accredited to issue complying development certificates.

Applications for complying development certificates can be made under:

  • the NSW General Housing Code.
  • the Housing Alterations Code.
  • General Development Code
  • the NSW Commercial and Industrial Alterations Code.
  • the NSW Commercial and Industrial (New Buildings and Additions) Code.
  • The NSW Demolition Code.
  • the state policies on Infrastructure and Affordable Housing.
  • some local council planning codes

Development application (DA)

Where a development cannot meet the standards for a complying development certificate, a Development Application is required to be made to your Council.

The DA process can be very complex, time consuming and costly.

An outline of the process for a development application is available by clicking here.

Construction certificates

If you needed to lodge a development application, and your application included building work, you will need to make an application for a construction certificate. This enables the assessment of work against adopted building standards and the issued development consent.


If a licensed builder is engaged and the value of residential work exceeds $20,000, a copy of the Builder's Home Building Act Insurance for the building work must be obtained.

If a licensed builder is not engaged and the value of any residential work exceeds $5,000, a copy of an Owner Builders Permit must be obtained.

The insurance or owner builders’ permit is required to be submitted to the PCA prior to the commencement of work.

More information is available on the following pages of the Department of Fair Trading's web site:

Before work starts

Both a development consent and complying development certificate include conditions that must be complied with - either during construction or on completion.

Before work can commence the owner must appoint a person to act as the "Principal Certifying Authority" (PCA). The role of the PCA is to inspect and monitor work in progress so that at any required final certificates can be issued.

During construction

When NCBS Australia Private Certifiers are appointed as the PCA, inspections are undertaken so that the work can be certified when it is completed.

To book an inspection, the owner or builder simply rings our office the day before the inspection is required and books the inspection. Alternatively, an inspection booking form is available on this website by clicking here.

Inspections can be undertaken six (6) days per week (with 48 hours notice for Saturdays).

On completion of work

A final inspection must be undertaken by the PCA.

Any outstanding certificates from contractors or engineers need to be submitted to NCBS Australia Private Certifiers.

NCBS Australia Private Certifiers will issue the occupation certificate, as required in your development consent.