DA vs CDC - What is the difference? - Misc. AU
DA vs CDC - What is the difference?

DA vs CDC - What is the difference?

Words by Construction Concierge

So you’ve decided to start on that dream project - building your own residential home or doing your first renovation. But first, you run into this question.

Should you get a DA or CDC approval?

First, let us look at the difference between a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) and a Development Application (DA).

What is a CDC?

Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development, determined by your council or an accredited private certifier. - CDC. (n.d.)  www.service.nsw.gov.au

A CDC strictly complies with the criteria and guidelines required by the NSW government, and failure to meet even one will result in rejection. It takes about two to three weeks of approval process time, yet compliance with crucial requirements takes more time before the actual approval lead time. CDC is considered an overall complete approval certification. Once it is issued, no further applications or other approvals are necessary to start construction.

Initially, you must consider if CDC is allowed or covered in your area as not all sites are considered for CDC application and may require DA approval instead. Adhering to the guidelines as indicated in the zoning certificates or Section 149 Certificate issued by the NSW Council is necessary for the approval of your application. While CDC may be the fastest in acquiring application approval pre-construction, it is considered the non-negotiable, more meticulous process and is unattainable to some areas.

What is a DA?

A DA is a formal application for development that requires consent under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). It is usually made to your local council and consists of standard application forms, supporting technical reports, and plans—source - DA., Planning, NSW Gov.

DA is based on merit and assessed by the local council. Generally, DA approval takes a longer time than CDC, as it would depend on the decision made by the council, roughly about 3 to 6 months upon application. Approval consideration would depend on the suburb’s development plans and general guidelines, such as environmental risks and planning, flood risk, and economic aspects. DA approval falls into two levels. After the initial assessment and DA application, you must obtain a construction certificate as a finality of the whole DA application process. Although some approval requirements may not meet the guidelines, the council can still approve the application under certain circumstances as agreed by parties involved, as long as the work will not affect surrounding properties.

Mainly, DA’s objective is to balance the best interest of both the public and private sectors without compromising the overall impact on the environment in the community. It gives room to any potential issues and hazards that concerned parties could raise before approval. Fees for either CDC and DA vary depending on the council and depend on the overall project cost.

To better understand the fees and other requirements for getting a CDC or DA, get in touch with us. At Construction Concierge, we have partnered with some of the best consultants and trades in the building industry and can give you the team to achieve your dream project result on time and within your budget.

For more information about us and how we work, visit us online at

www.constructionconcierge.com.au or fill out our contact form for advice or a no-obligation quote. We can’t wait to hear about your project, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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