Here are some links to government guidelines for certain areas – we’re adding to this list all the time:

NSW: pre-approved backyard cabins, sheds, studios, etc

Under current NSW legislation, minor backyard developments (cabanas, cubby houses, ferneries, garden sheds, gazebos, greenhouses) can be allowed without the hassle and expense of applying for local council approval providing certain regulations are satisfied.

Exempt developments in residential-zoned areas

Cabanas, cubby houses, ferneries, garden sheds, gazebos and greenhouses are the types of freestanding backyard structures which can qualify for exemption from council approval processes in NSW. Backyard pods, backyard cabins, backyard studios, etc can be classified as “cabanas” or “sheds” and therefore pre-approved for development in residential and rural areas providing legislation is met. Some basic rules below:

  • Floor area of structure not exceeding 20 square metres

  • Height of structure not exceeding 3m above existing ground level

  • Behind the building line of any road frontage

  • Not a shipping container

  • Roofwater managed without causing nuisance to any adjoining owner

  • If metal, constructed of low reflective, factory pre-coloured material (eg: Colorbond®)

  • If on bushfire-prone land and less than 5m from a dwelling, constructed of non-combustible material

  • If adjacent to another building, not interfering with the building accessibility or fire safety

  • Not more than 2 such developments per residential allotment

Backyard pods AustraliaBackyard pods of up to 3m x 6m or 3.6 x 5m can qualify as an exempt development in residential areas because of features such as the low structural profile, non-reflective and non-combustible Colorbond corrugated-profile exterior walling, and inclusion of a proper guttering system to allow for the environmentally-friendly collection of excess roofwater in a rainwater tank, or stormwater disposal.

If you’re in NSW, review Section 9 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 legislation with reference to your specific situation.

We simply supply backyard pod kits according to the purchaser’s instructions. It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your plans for development and your intentions for use are either exempt or compliant with guidelines as specific to your proposed site and any regulations affecting your local area.

NSW: exempt developments in rural-zoned areas

The rules for exempt development of cabanas, cubby houses, ferneries, garden sheds, gazebos and greenhouses on rural-zoned properties are essentially the same as the rules for residential-zoned properties, the two major differences being:

  • Floor area of structure not exceeding 50 square metres

  • Not necessarily behind the building line of any road frontage

Farm-stay cabins AustraliaBackyard pods up to the maximum available sizes of 3m x 10m or 3.6 x 10m can qualify as an exempt development in rural areas because of features such as the low structural profile, non-reflective and non-combustible Colorbond corrugated-profile exterior walling, and inclusion of a proper guttering system to allow for the environmentally-friendly collection of excess roofwater in a rainwater tank, or channeling into larger rainwater storage tanks.

If you’re in NSW, review Section 9 of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 legislation with reference to your specific situation.

We simply supply backyard pod kits according to purchaser instructions. It is ultimately your responsibility to ensure your plans for development and your intentions for use are either exempt or compliant with guidelines as specific to your proposed site and any regulations affecting your local area.

Brisbane QLD: granny flat regulations

In general, the regulations surrounding granny flat developments in Queensland tend to be more relaxed than in New South Wales. For example, read the Brisbane City Council granny flat fact sheet.

Gold Coast QLD: granny flat regulations

The rules for granny flats on the Gold Coast are not the same as in Brisbane. Read the Gold Coast building regulations for secondary dwellings.