With 30 different local government areas in The Sydney Metropolitan Area, each with their own specific twists and variances to the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979) - it's no wonder that the process of applying to knock down a house to build a new one seems daunting to say the least. With approximately 18,000 new developments being approved in NSW over the past year alone, it's surprising that no one has yet managed to streamline the rigmarole of managing development, particularly for straight forward residential structures.
Defined as ‘development’ under the aforementioned NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act; Demolition of just about any structure technically requires consent of local Council. Exceptions are made for authorised works that fall into the category of ‘exempt development’, ‘complying development’ or under a Council Order.
Some demolition work is permitted under State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 as ‘complying development’. If you meet all requirements of the SEPP for ‘complying development’ you can lodge a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) Application with most Councils or an Accredited Certifier.
In saying all of this however, the exact specifics as to what may fall under The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) (2008) is a subjective matter open to many avenues of interpretation - read through the entire document here. Further, the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act of 1979, as the year suggests is a little antiquated to say the least, with the majority of definitions pertaining directly to development of properties on "Crown Land" - so what does this mean for you, the aspiring developer, who knows?