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Urban Caves

No Approval Required

What is Exempt Development?

Some minor building renovations or works don’t need any planning or building approval. This is called exempt development. Exempt development is very low impact development that can be done for certain residential, commercial and industrial properties.


As long as the proposed works meet all of the development standards (identified in the State Policy for exempt and complying development), approval may not be needed.

Garden Sheds

Specified development


The construction or installation of a cabana, cubby house, garden shed or gazebo is development specified for this code if it is not constructed or installed on or in a heritage item or a draft heritage item, on land in a foreshore area or in an environmentally sensitive area.


Development standards


The standards specified for that development are that the development must:

  • not have a floor area of more than 20m2
  • be not higher than 3m above ground level (existing)
  • be located at a distance from each lot boundary of at least 900mm
  • be located behind the building line of any road frontage
  • not be a shipping container
  • dispose of roofwater without causing a nuisance to adjoining owners
  • be constructed of low reflective materials
  • if it is located on bush fire prone land be more than 5m from a dwelling
  • be located in the rear yard in a heritage conservation area or a draft heritage conservation area
  • not interfere with an adjacent building's entry, exit or fire safety measures
  • be a Class 10 building and not be habitable
  • be located at least 1m from any registered easement

There must not be more than 2 developments per lot.

What is a Habitable Room?

habitable room has the same meaning as in the Building Code of Australia.


The term is defined as a room used for normal domestic activities, other than a bathroom, laundry, toilet, pantry, walk in wardrobe, hallway, lobby, clothes drying room or other space of a specialised nature that is not occupied frequently or for extended periods.

Occupied frequently or for extended periods?

If you occupy your garden shed frequently or for extended periods, a council officer may consider your development to be habitable. It would then NOT be considered to be a garden shed and you may have to submit a development application. This can cost you time and money and there's no guarantee it'll be approved. We do not support customers in attempting to get subsequent approval of our products. If you need a habitable space, consider our tiny home caravan products.

Caravan Cases

Building vs Caravan

Building vs Caravan

Building vs Caravan

Camden Council inspects property and orders that caravan be removed. Home owner wins.

Across the Ditch

Building vs Caravan

Building vs Caravan

Canterbury man proves in court his tiny house is a vehicle, not building.

Up Brisbane Way

Building vs Caravan

Up Brisbane Way

Couple wins right to keep tiny house in backyard of larger Brisbane property.