Contents (2008 - 572)Skip to content
State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008
Current version for 1 July 2020 to date (accessed 5 August 2020 at 08:56)
3B.58 Earthworks, retaining walls and structural support
(1) Excavation Excavation for the purposes of development under this code must not exceed a maximum depth, measured from ground level (existing), of—(a) if located not more than 1m from any boundary—1m, and(b) if located more than 1m but not more than 1.5m from any boundary—2m, and(c) if located more than 1.5m from any boundary—3m.(2) Despite subclause (1), the excavation must not exceed a maximum depth, measured from ground level (existing), of 1m if—(a) the land is identified as Class 3 or 4 on an Acid Sulfate Soils Map, or(b) the land is within 40m of a waterbody (natural), or(c) the excavation is an aquifer interference activity within the meaning of the Water Management Act 2000.(3) Before an excavation that exceeds a maximum depth, measured from ground level (existing), of 1m is carried out on a lot, a geotechnical investigation report prepared in accordance with AS 1726: 2017, Geotechnical site investigations by a professional engineer specialising in geotechnical engineering must be obtained for the lot that shows that there is no groundwater present on that part of the lot on which the excavation is to be carried out or that groundwater is present on that part of the lot but is below the level of the excavation.(4) Fill Fill must not exceed a maximum height, measured from ground level (existing), of—(a) if the fill is for the purposes of the erection or alteration of, or an addition to, a dual occupancy or manor house under this code—1m, and(b) if the fill is for any other purpose under this code—600mm.(5) Despite subclause (4), the height of fill contained wholly within the footprint of a building or any attached development or detached development is not limited.(6) Fill that is higher than 150mm above ground level (existing) and is not contained wholly within the footprint of a building or any attached development or detached development is limited to 50% of the landscaped area of the lot.(7) The ground level (finished) of the fill must not be used to measure the height of any building or any attached development or detached development under this code.(8) Retaining walls and structural supports Support for earthworks more than 600mm above or below ground level (existing) must take the form of a retaining wall or other structural support that—(a) a professional engineer has certified as structurally sound, including in relation to (but not limited to) the ability to withstand the forces of lateral soil load, and(b) has been designed so as not to redirect the flow of any surface water or ground water, or cause sediment to be transported, onto an adjoining property, and(c) has adequate drainage lines connected to the stormwater drainage system for the site, and(d) does not result in a retaining wall or structural support with a total height measured vertically from the base of the retaining wall or structural support to its uppermost portion that is more than the height of the associated excavation or fill, and(e) is separated from any retaining wall or structural support on the site by at least 2m, measured horizontally, and(f) has been installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications (if any), and(g) if it is an embankment or batter—has a toe or top that is more than 1m from any side or rear boundary.(9) If a retaining wall has a height of more than 600mm above ground level (existing) and is located within the front setback of a building, a landscaped area with a minimum depth of 600mm must be provided in front of the wall (on the low side).Note 1.Excavation, fill and ground level (existing) have the same meanings as they have in the Standard Instrument.Note 2.Fill and excavation that is not associated with a building may be exempt development under clauses 2.29 and 2.30.