The NSW Government have developed a State Planning Policy to assist not only home owners, but business and industry in fast tracking development or providing for development that requires no approval (exempt development). Such development would be converting an office to a shop subject to compliance with certain development standards.
A complying development code has been introduced for new industrial buildings and additions to existing commercial and industrial buildings, and the existing code for alterations to commercial and industrial buildings has been amended. These codes provide that if you comply with certain development standards a development application is not required. A Complying Development application is required and Council has 10 days in which to approve the application.
The code is called the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 and maybe viewed at: