Development Certificates

Document being signed

 Council may issue a number of different certificates for development. These include:

  • Construction Certificates;
  • Subdivision Certificates;
  • Occupation Certificates; and
  • Building Information Certificates.

More information on certificates is also available on the NSW Government Planning Portal website.


Construction Certificates

If you are doing building work that requires development consent (a DA), you also need a Construction Certificate (also called a CC). 

A CC is issued by a Building Surveyor and essentially says that if the building work is done in accordance with these plans and specifications, it will meet the relevant requirements.

These requirements include:

  • being what was approved by the DA;
  • complying with the Building Code of Australia; and
  • the fire protection and structural capacity of the building will be appropriate.

You can apply to Council or a private Building Surveyor for a CC. 

If applying to Council, use the pdf form available on the Development Applications and Forms pages of the website.

Why am I being asked to have an engineer certify my design?

When assessing an application for a Construction Certificate, a Building Surveyor must be satisfied that the proposed building or structure complies with the Building Code of Australia (the BCA).

It is your responsibility to provide evidence that shows how the building complies with the BCA. Usually this done using plans and written specifications, but also may include test reports or certificates.

For many steel structures, the parts of the BCA requiring structural adequacy only provide a technical method of designing a compliant building. Unlike other kinds of structures (like a timber framed house), there are no ‘span tables’ or similar documents referred to by the BCA that can be used to easily check if the design complies with the BCA.

A structural engineer is the appropriate person to perform the calculations and checks needed to check a design meets the requirements of the standards that are referenced by the BCA.

The BCA lists a certificate from a professional engineer as an acceptable form of evidence that a design fulfils specific requirements of the BCA.

I’ve never been asked for this before, why now?

In the past, Council used span tables that had been assessed by an engineer. These span tables are now out of date (they are based on old versions of the relevant standards) and therefore cannot be relied on for compliance with the current requirements.

 Can you recommend an engineer

As the regulatory authority, Council cannot recommend a business or person as this could form an improper influence in the decisions of others and could be seen to be a conflict of interest when assessing the application.

I cannot afford what the engineer has quoted me. What should I do?

Here are some options for you to consider:

  1. Ask another engineer/company for a quote.
  2. Ask the engineer if there is anything you can change that might reduce the cost (for example, reduce the size or complexity of the proposal).
  3. Source a design that is already certified (for example, from a kit manufacturer- see below).
  4. Redesign the proposal so it does not need an engineer (for example, many timber structures do not require an engineer to certify the design).
  5. Increase your budget for the project and source funds (for example, obtain a loan or delaying start of work to give you time to save the money needed- please seek independent financial advice).

What if I use a [Brandname] kit?

In most cases, kit suppliers for sheds, carports, verandahs and the like have had an engineer already certify their designs. Council will need a copy of the certificate (and the referenced plans/specifications).

If you have not been given a copy, you should contact your supplier to obtain these.
Some suppliers prefer to provide these directly to Council. If that is the case, ask them to send the documents to and refer to your application number and address in their email.




Subdivision Certificates

A Subdivision Certificate certifies the subdivision plan has been completed in compliance with the DA or CDC (if relevant). 

The certificate also authorises the subdivision plan to be registered with NSW Land and Property Information. 

If applying to Council ofr a subdivision Certificate, use the pdf form available on the Development Applications and Forms pages of the website.

Occupation Certificates

An Occupation Certificate (also referred to as an OC) authorises the occupation and use of a building or part of a building. 

An OC can only be issued by whoever was appointed as the Principal Certifying Authority (PCA). 
You can appoint Council or a private Building Surveyor as PCA for most development.

Before an OC can be issued, the PCA must be satisfied that certain requirements are met. 
these requirements include:

  • The development must be "not inconsistent" with the DA/CDC;
  • The  building must be suitable for use for its classification under the Building Code;
  • There must not be a risk to health and safety posed by the use of the building;
  • Any conditions on the DA or CDC must be complied with.

Note: This is not an exhaustive list. There are other things the PCA must check before they can issue an OC, depending on the specifics of the development.


Council's fee for acting as the PCA for a development includes one (1) application for an OC. 
If you make more than one application (for example, for different parts of the development), you will need to pay for each subsequent application before it will be assessed.

You should make sure you understand your certifier's fees are and what is included before you appoint them as PCA.

Where can I apply?

You can apply for an OC using the form below.
The same form is available in the 'Forms' section of this website.

Building Information Certificates

A Building Information Certificate once issued, effectively prevents Council from:

  • making an order (or taking proceedings for the making of an order or injunction) requiring the subject building to be repaired, demolished, altered, added to or rebuilt, and
  • taking proceedings in relation to any encroachment by the subject building onto land vested in or under the control of Council,

in relation to matters existing or occurring before the date of issue of the certificate.

However, a building information certificate does not prevent Council:

  • from making a fire safety order, or
  • from taking proceedings against any person with respect to that person’s failure:
    • to obtain a development consent with respect to the erection or use of the building, or
    • to comply with the conditions of a development consent.

Why Get a Building Information Certificate?

There are generally two reasons people apply for a Building Information Certificate:

  • To provide confidence when purchasing a property, or
  • To seek to formalise unlawful building work.

Unlawful Building Work

 Legislation specifies that a Construction Certificate (CC) is not valid if the work it is for has already commenced. 
Similarly, a DA cannot retrospectively authorise building work that has already been done.

Sometimes, when a Building Information Certificate is received for building work that required prior approval (through a DA and CC), Council will recommend a DA be lodged also. 
This DA (if approved) does not legalise the building work that has been done, but does authorise the ongoing use of the premises. 
This effectively means that an offence is not continuing to be committed, but it does not change the fact that an offence was committed by carrying out the building work without approval (where it was required). 

Because a Building Information Certificate prevents Council from issuing orders to make changes to the building, Council's authorised officers (usually a Building Surveyor) must be satisfied that the building work as done does not pose a risk to health or safety. Whether the building work complies with the Building Code of Australia is also considered.


There are fees for making an application for a Building Information Certificate. These fees start at $250 and can be found in the adopted schedule of fees and charges for the current year. 
To find the schedule of fees and charges, type "fees" into the search bar on the website. 

Where a DA and/or CC, or CDC was required for the erection of the building within the 24 months immediately preceding the application, and was not obtained, an additional fee totaling the maximum that would be payable if the application were a DA and an application for a CC may be payable before the application for the Building Information Certificate is processed. 

Information Required

All Building Information Certificates must be lodged with a recent surveyor's report showing all the buildings/structures on the relevant land in relation to the property boundaries. 

This is needed to:

  • correctly identify the land the building relates to;

  • check that the subject building is erected upon the correct land;

  • check for the existence and location of any easements over the land in relation to the building;

  • check the clearances of the subject building from the allotment boundaries;

  • check whether the building encroaches onto other land including land under the control of Council; and

  • identify the buildings that are stated on the application form.

If there have been no substantial changes on the property since a survey was done, an older survey may be accepted. 

Make sure your application clearly identifies ALL the buildings you want Council to issue the certificate for. 
If you only want the certificate for a pa

rt of a building, make sure you specify which part of which building.
Supplying a plan or diagram or photo with your application may help.

Council may require more information or documents (including building plans, specifications, survey reports and certificates) to determine the application. Whether any additional information is needed would usually be only able to be decided following inspection of the subject building(s).

 How do I apply?

You can use the form provided below. The same form is also accessible via the Forms section of this website.

Council advises certification work customers that from 01/06/2020, Mr Barry Stegeman (BPB Accreditation no. 1059) may carry out certification work on behalf of Council.