Can a Granny Flat Be Constructed As Complying Development?

Are you wondering can my granny flat be constructed as complying development. Complying development is often another path to approval, but will it work for a granny flat?

In this video, Colin Fragar, our founder and CEO, shares his thoughts on using complying development to achieve approval for a granny flat.

Click on the “Play” button below to watch now:

Or for those that prefer to read, here is a transcript of the video…

Can a granny flat be constructed as complying development? What do you need to know about granny flats and complying development? My name is Colin Fragar from Council Approval Group.

Options for Granny Flat Approval

Now we have done thousands of these and it’s really important for you to understand the process. The best way to get an approval depends on which jurisdiction you’re in and which state you’re in. By that I mean whether it’s through council or a certifier, it depends on where you’re based. We found that there’s some pros and cons for each way.

Traditional Council Approval to Construct a Granny Flat

So with a traditional council approval process you lodge the application with Council and use different pieces of legislation to get your granny flat in place. The council process then is managed by someone like us at the Council Approval Group. Alternatively, there’s the certification process or code assessment.

Process for a Granny Flat Constructed as Complying Development

The certification approval process is often sprouted or spruiked as a way of fast tracking your approval process so you can get your construction earlier. However, it comes with a few very important qualifications.

One is that complying development needs to be spot on. You need to 100% comply with the rules otherwise the certifier can’t sign off on it. There’s no room for any departure with complying development, whereas the Council has discretion. Council has the opportunity to approve things with the right planning arguments for departures. So maybe we can get a better outcome for you if you go with Council.

People sometimes encourage the complying process because people say it is an easier path for documentation. But we find both are pretty much the same. There’s not too much more work involved for a council approval process than getting a granny flat constructed as complying development.

The third thing that I like to talk about with the complying development side of things is that sometimes people say it’s a quicker path to approval. It’s faster, so let’s do it. Let’s get it. Let’s get it happening. What we find is, though, that although once the application is successfully accepted by the certifier, it’s quicker. But there’s a huge amount of front end work because it’s got to be 100% compliant. Whereas you can often get the plans approved quicker and the application into council quicker if you go through the council approval process.
But saving an extra month or two with the compliance compared to Council doesn’t really matter because property is a long end game and you want to get the best possible outcome.

Get More Expert Advise

Depending on which way you want to go we can certainly help you with your granny flat. These are just some thoughts and it depends on your jurisdiction. If you do have a project in mind please contact us at Council Approval Group. If you jump onto our website at, you’ll be able to book in for a consultation to speak to one of our team.

We won’t be able to go into the detailed rules of complying development and granny flats in this consultation but what we will do is give you a roadmap for success the next step, what you need to do and then make a recommendation. The recommendation will probably be what we call a preliminary planning assessment. A preliminary planning assessment allows us to really go into detail looking at your project, your site, and your zoning to tell you the best path for approval.

Also, please grab a copy of Your Ultimate Guide To Council Approval. This magazine is something that we’ve put together for people like you if you want to understand the process a little bit better about granny flats.

One Final Tip

And my last thought is, please don’t sign up to a granny flat builder or prefabrication place before you grab this magazine or before you consider whether or not that’s the best for you. Because if we can get you an approval in place without you signing up to a project home builder or prefab place that you see advertised around, it means that you can then tender out to a whole bunch of different builders get the best possible outcome for your property. Don’t get locked into one builder at this early stage place.

My name is Colin Fragar. I look forward to talking with you again and I wish you every success.