Farm Sheds – Do I Need Council Approval?

Navigating council requirements is a tedious process all around Australia.
But if you’re in Rural NSW wondering if you need approval – you’ve come to the right place!

Below is a short and general set of guidelines you can follow when seeking to build an exempt shed.
First Sheds always recommends calling your local council or certifier to discuss further before building.

First thing’s first, you need to find out what type of zoning your property has. You can find this with a quick online search on the NSW Planning portal, or you can chat to your certifier.

If your block is RU1, RU2, RU3, RU4 or RU6, you’re in luck! You have specific exemption criteria for farm sheds which other blocks do not. Please read on! For all other zoned blocks (e.g. R1-R5, RU5, E2-E4,) exempt sheds can only go up to 20m2 (a single garage is still within this size). If you would like to build bigger than this, you will need either a Complying Development Certificate (CDC), or a Development Application and Construction Certificate (DA and CC)

Having the right block zone isn’t enough to an exempt farm shed. There is still a few pieces of criteria you need to follow.

  • Shed must be a Class 10 structure, and not habitable.
  • Shed must not be constructed in a heritage or environmentally sensitive area (your local council can let you know if your block is in this area).
  • If your block is smaller than 10ha, your shed height can be no higher than 7m. If your block is bigger than 10ha, your shed must be no higher than 10m.
  • Each shed’s building footprint must not exceed 200m2 (including any awnings). For example, a 10m x 20m or an 8m x 25m shed would be fine. However a 12m x 30m would be too large.
  • Farm Buildings must be located at least 6m from any other farm building.
  • Shed must be designed and constructed in accordance with a professional engineers specifications.
  • Farm Buildings must be at least 20m from any road boundary, and have setbacks from other boundaries too. If the shed is 100m2 or less, the setback from other boundaries is 10m, If the shed is 100m2 – 200m2, the setback from other boundaries is 50m.
  • Lastly, there is no limit to how many Farm Sheds you would like to put on your property, however there is a maximum amount of floor area.
  • If your block is 0-4 ha, you can take up to 2.5% of the entire land area.
  • If your block is 4-10 ha, you can only have a total of 1,000m2 of exempt Farm Shed.
  • If your block is >10 ha, you can only have a total of 2,000m2 of exempt Farm Shed.

First Sheds always recommends chatting to your local certifier or council before making any decisions, but if you stay within these guidelines, you should be pretty set to build your exempt Farm Building!

You can check out the full legislation for Exempt and Complying sheds through the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008.

If any of these conditions are too much of a hassle, this does not mean that your dream shed is unattainable. It simply means that you will need to apply for a DA and CC or a Complying development Certificate.

To check out a few exempt Farm Sheds we have completed on RU1 blocks, you can see some of our projects below.

8m x 20m Gundaroo

10.5m x 19m Murrumbateman

6m x 12m Mount Fairy.

For further information, feel free to call the experts at First Sheds any time.


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