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Discover a new way to build your dream home with Innovia Homes. Our experienced team is here to make the process easy, so you can focus on the end result. We have you covered for all application processes, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey to your new home.

1. Council Approval may be required for building work​

Before you commence any type of building development, it is vital to determine what type of approval you require.

You may be eligible for Exempt Development or Complying Development and therefore not require a DA.

Our pre-complying development certificate assessment process is very popular. We provide comprehensive assessment reports and keep up to date with the latest legislative changes.

Ask our friendly team about our pre-CDC process today!

2. What do I do if I have unapproved work?

Talk to us. We can facilitate the entire process. From Concept to completion. We investigate your property, provide planning and building code advice, prepare and lodge your development application, building information certificate application (including any BCA reports), attend site meetings on your behalf with Council and facilitate deferred commencement, construction certificate and occupation certificate processes.


3. What is the NSW Planning Portal?

The NSW Planning Portal is the place where you need to lodge all applications for Councils and private certifiers to assess.

Development Applications (DA), Construction Certificates (CC), Complying Development Certificates (CDC), Occupation Certificates (OC) and Building Information Certificates (BIC) are required to be lodged on the NSW Planning Portal.

Ask our professional team if you need assistance with the preparation and lodgement of any application through the planning portal.

4. What is Exempt Development?

Exempt development allows construction on minor development and uses without the need for Council approval.

To qualify for exempt development several design and construction parameters must be met, if not approval will be required.

Some examples are:

•  Driveways
•  Carports
•  Pathways
•  Balconies, decks, patios and verandahs
•  Access ramps
•  Retaining walls
•  Minor building alterations (internal & external)

Further information can be found here:


5. What is a Complying Development Certificate (CDC)?

A CDC is a type of building approval certificate that can be issued by a private certifier or your local Council. If your building project meets the requirements for a CDC, then the process much quicker and you will not require a Development Application (DA).

A CDC combines the functions of a Development Application (DA) and a Construction Certificate (CC), and is a simpler and quicker approval process than submitting a DA.

Ask our friendly if complying development is possible for you!

We provide comprehensive pre-CDC assessments to try to help you avoid a DA.


6. Why is it quicker to use Certifiers, rather than your local Council?

Certifiers are able to issue complying development certificates (CDC) and construction certificates (CC) generally quicker than Councils. A CDC acts as a DA and a Construction Certificate (CC) all in one and can be approved within a few days if all the necessary paperwork is submitted correctly.

If your development does not meet the criteria for a CDC, it may be possible modify it to comply otherwise you will be required to obtain a DA from your local Council and this process can take months to complete. A construction certificate approval is then required before you commence work.

Certifiers can issue complying development certificates. Ask us about our quick complying development certificate process.

6. What is a DA?

A DA is a Development Application. This is a formal request to conduct development. It is also known as planning approval. This approval is for more complex developments that don’t qualify for Exempt Development or Complying Development and can only be issued by your local Council.

We provide comprehensive planning reports, known as statements of environmental effects for DAs daily. Connect with our professional team to make your dream a reality.

7. What is a construction certificate (CC)?

A CC is a Construction Certificate. Once the DA has been approved by the local Council, a Construction Certificate is required to be approved prior to commencement of any construction work.

This certificate states that the building plans comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and meet the requirements of the DA and any relevant DA conditions.

Ask our professional team about preparation and lodgements of construction certificates for your project. We provide comprehensive reports addressing DA conditions and building code matters to get you your construction certificate approval faster.

8. What is an occupation certificate (OC)?

An OC gives approval to use or occupy a building (or structure) in conjunction with the DA or CDC.

When a development or work is completed several contractor certificates will need to be provided to verify that certain parts of the building are compliant with the BCA and Australian Standards. For some types of developments fire safety certificate is also required. Fire safety statements must be prominently displayed in these buildings.

Ask our friendly staff about preparing and lodging an occupation certificate for your building project.


9. What is a Building Information Certificate (BIC)?

A BIC application is typically made when unauthorised building works have occurred. A BIC is an option available to “regularise” building work that has been carried out unlawfully.

A BIC is a certificate that prevents the council from taking the following actions from the date of issue of the certificate:

  • make an order (or take proceedings for the making of an order or injunction) under the EP&A Act or Local Government Act 1993 (LG Act), requiring the building to be repaired, demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt; and

  • take civil proceedings in relation to any encroachment by the building onto land vested in or under the control of the council.

Ask our friendly team about our comprehensive BIC reports for existing construction.

We prepare and lodge BIC applications in the NSW Planning Portal daily.

We also work with Council on your behalf and meet them on site during their property inspection.

If you are considering buying or selling a property speak with us about the BIC process immediately.


10. What is a Fire Safety Schedule (FSS)?

A Fire safety schedule lists the measures required to be installed in a building (other than domestic construction) and the standard they need to achieve.

A fire safety schedule can be issued in relation to a construction or complying development certificate or by the local Council with a Fire Safety Order or with development consent, such as for a change of use in an existing building.

A fire safety schedule is only applicable if any of the above occurred after 1988.

Ask our professional staff about obtaining a fire safety schedule for your building. We provide comprehensive Building Code of Australia (BCA) audits of existing buildings so that Councils can issue updated fire safety schedules for your building or use.


11. What is a Fire Safety Certificate (FSC)?

A fire safety certificate states that fire safety measures within a building can perform to the standard defined by the fire safety schedule. The fire safety certificate is issued at the completion of building works involving a fire safety measure and is required before an occupation certificate can be issued.

Annual fire safety statements to be submitted to Councils each year identifying that all fire safety measures in operational and fit for purpose.

We can assist you with this process. Connect with us today.


12. What is Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF)?

The Home Building Compensation Fund provides a safety net for homeowners in NSW faced with incomplete and defective building work carried out by a builder or trades person.

Licensed contractors that take on residential work valued at $20,000 or more need insurance cover through HBCF. They must obtain this cover before starting any work or taking any money under the contract, including the deposit.

They undertake a risk assessment of builders and tradespeople to determine their eligibility to obtain insurance cover. Certificates of Eligibility set out how much work a contractor can take on.

Once a builder or trades person has eligibility, they can apply for a Certificate of Insurance for individual projects which they contract to do.

A copy of the Certificate of Insurance is to be submitted to the principal certifier prior to commencement of work on the site.


13. What is a Statement of Environmental Effects (SEE)?

A SEE document is a comprehensive planning report regarding a proposed development and how it meets Council’s planning controls such as the Local Environmental Plan (LEP), and Development Control Plan (DCP), indicates how the proposed development meets the site constraints and assesses and potential impacts. A SEE is a mandatory component of the Development Application (DA).

Our professional staff prepare SEEs daily with the preparation and lodgement of DAs.

Ask our friendly staff about the preparation and lodgement of your DA.

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