Once you have received development approval for your building work, you’ll need to apply for a construction certificate (CC), via the NSW Planning Portal, before you start any building or construction work.
If your proposal is relatively simple or you already have construction and engineering plans, it is possible to lodge the CC application simultaneously with the Development Application so that both applications can be considered at the same time.
An Occupation Certificate (OC) is required to occupy and use a new development, or to change the use of an existing building. This must be approved and collected from Council, or another Principal Certifier, before occupying the building or making any changes to its use. An OC cannot be issued without an inspection by the Principal Certifier appointed to your development.
Before issuing a certificate, the Principal Certifier considers:
- Structural integrity
- Fire safety
- Health and safety of future occupants of the building.
Before you start any building and/or subdivision works, you need to appoint a Principal Certifier who will complete inspections during the construction phase to make sure building standards are met.
Council's Building Surveyors provide the responsibilities of the Principal Certifier for building work and can issue the Occupation Certificate and/or Subdivision Certificate.
Problems are often experienced for real estate sales when the appropriate certificate and approvals for the buildings have not been correctly acquired.
Building Information Certificate
A Building Information Certificate (BIC) is a document usually requested when suspected building work has been undertaken without the appropriate approvals. This is usually requested by buyers or sellers of a property before settlement to make sure that what is being bought or sold has been developed correctly and abides by regulations.
The BIC does not approve unauthorised building work, however it prevents Council from demolishing or altering the building, or taking any other compliance actions within the next seven (7) years. It's important to note that there is no guarantee that a certificate will be issued, and further work may be required in order to be granted one.