DA v CDC: What’s the difference?

When you’re starting your journey to build a new home, it’s easy to get confused by the difference between a Development Application (DA) and a Complying Development Certificate (CDC). Which is best for your build?

A Development Application (also known as DA) is the application made to your local council seeking approval to carry out a development. 

A Complying Development Certificate (also known as CDC) is a faster pathway to a straight forward development. But you must meet pre-approved criteria.

Complying Development Certificate Requirements

CDC requirements for an approval are based on universal criteria that apply across NSW and have been predetermined.

Also, the CDC requirements can’t be altered to suit your build. Instead, they are clearly set-out requirements that apply across the board. If your build meets the criteria pre-set by the CDC requirements, then the building approval is fast tracked.

The approval is signed off by a private certifier. You don’t have to seek permission from Council or have input from neighbouring properties.

Development Approval Requirements

The requirements for DA will vary from Council to Council, based on their regional requirements. While your Council’s DA criteria may be similar to CDC requirements, you are able to seek approval for things unique to your build. Many times the location of your build will dictate if DA approval is required.

This can include flood zones, bushfire zones and heritage zones. Or your building design may require things outside the scope of CDC, like basement parking or higher roof heights.

The DA process usually takes longer than CDC to gain approval, since your design will be individually evaluated by your Council and they will also seek comment from your neighbours before giving approval. 

Which Approval is Right for Me?

So, Development Application v Complying Development? There’s no one answer.

Horizon Homes has more than 30 years’ building experience and we regularly work with CDC and DA approved builds. We work closely with you to determine which pathway is best for your project. Our recommendations will be based on your design, your site and your build requirements. We then handle all aspects of the approval process. This ensures that whichever pathway you pick, it will be managed well and be expedited quickly. 

Horizon Homes is boutique custom builder. We design and build beautiful homes for comfortable living. We manage all aspects of the build starting with the concept design, all the way to a completed dream home. If you want to chat about your specific build plans, contact us on (02) 8882 9111. 

What our clients say

“It’s hard to imagine your dream house. It’s better if someone just builds it for you. That’s how we felt with the house that Horizon Homes designed and built for our family. Horizon are a very professional, delivery oriented and detail focused company. Challenges with the site were dealt with effectively and on time... costs came in on budget. We would unhesitatingly recommend Horizon for your bespoke home design & build.”

“Our journey with Horizon Homes was wonderful. Our house looks amazing... we chose Horizon Homes because they said they could do any style, their display house had good quality and the team was so easy to talk to. The design process, choosing colours and finishes were so much fun... Denis and team gave us useful advice so our budget didn’t blow out. The construction process went smoothly and finished on time. We highly recommend Horizon Homes and we could not be happier. ”

“We wanted to build with a local family builder who would give us time to design our dream house. Denis had some fantastic ideas and advice and turned our dreams into reality. All building work started and finished on time and our supervisor, Danny had a level of communication that far exceeded our expectations. We were really impressed with the quality of the finishes, the attention to detail and the effort taken to handover a faultless home. Such a positive experience from an exceptional builder. ”

“Our experience with Horizon was supportive from start to end. As beginners in the knockdown and rebuild process, I felt they guided us through the journey. The quality of our finishings was excellent... I still love coming home to our house more than a couple of years later. Horizon were a delight to deal with and we got the house of our dreams out of it!!!”

“I cannot thank you guys enough for what you have done. Despite the restrictions of land size you have put up an amazing house. Your professionalism and just the way you conduct your business is by far of the highest standards.”

“We had a good idea of what we wanted in our new home and Horizon Homes made it a reality. The build time was just as they had forecast and no request big or small was too difficult. From the minute we met Denis we knew he was the builder for us. Denis was honest and up front from the beginning. We really appreciated this.”

“Horizon Homes is professional and efficient. Everything is documented and handled in a manner that is transparent, clear and concise. We have also found that their attention to detail from the signing of the contract to handover has been excellent. Our home is stunning and everything that we expected it to be. Horizon Homes comes highly recommended by us.”

“They took care of every step of the knock-down and rebuild, from the very beginning to handing over the keys… They prepared the council DA application… looked after the entire building process with exceptional quality, workmanship and keen eye for details… the entire team was honest and up front… We are so grateful that we chose Horizon Home to complete our new home project…”

“We were really happy with the service we received from Denis, Liam, Esther and the team. Communication at all stages of the project was top class. Our build process went smoothly, and importantly Liam has been really responsive to any requests we have had since moving in. I would highly recommend Horizon Homes and complement them on a job well done!”

“We built our first dream house with Horizon Homes. Denis and the team are very professional and helpful from the very beginning. Our house now is one of the signature on our street. We really enjoy the whole process with the team. And hopefully we can build again with Horizon Home in the near future!”

“Horizon worked with us to design the house we wanted. They listened to our brief and gave excellent advice and suggestions. We love the result. Our home is spacious, light-filled and maximises the potential of our downward sloping block. There were setbacks throughout the build, which meant that our house was completed behind schedule, but Horizon had good communication processes in place and we cannot fault the quality of the overall build.”

“The construction process was smooth, with regular communication keeping us abreast of what was happening... our site supervisor (Danny) was always approachable and addressed all our concerns to achieve the final product of a beautiful double story home in Concord that we are very proud of! We recommend Horizon Homes for their personal touch, ability to listen to our needs and the values they displayed during the project - Openness, Honesty and Transparency - and most of all, for keeping our confidence high during what is typically a stressful time.”

“After considering 50+ builders we eventually decided on a custom home with Horizon and are very happy with our choice. Denis and Danny were extremely helpful during the custom design phase, working within our budget to design our dream home... things ran on budget and schedule, and we were regularly updated regarding progress, so thankfully this was a stress-free period. The quality of build was excellent... we have been living in the house for over 6 months now and love it - we would definitively choose Horizon again and highly recommend them.”

“We built our first home with Horizon Homes... all the questions were answered and the whole build process ended up being very smooth. Our variation requests were happily accommodated. The whole team... were professional, friendly and easy to work with. The house turned heads and the quality of the build speaks for itself. We’ll unthinkingly hire them if we were to build again.”

Contact Us

(02) 8882 9111

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