Before your lodge your building application, it is important to know the stages your development will go through at the council by ensuring the following steps:
- Find out if you need a DA.
Whether you’re thinking of building, demolishing, extending or renovating, you will probably need to lodge the plans to your local council for a development application (DA). However, some building works don’t require a DA and can be lodged straight away for a Building Permit (BP). Although there are no general regulations, you will need to double check with your council if your proposal requires a DA or not.
- Take the time to research your area
Each local council has its own development guidelines. You can find them online or if possible organise a meeting with a planning officer from the council. The development guidelines outline if your development may be exempt from a council approval altogether or if it may require the involvement of any higher level departments (taking the economic and environmental impacts in consideration). The guidelines can also inform you of the long term plans such as streetscape.
Ensure your neighbours are on board with the development. Explain your development to them in detail as it is important for them to feel involved. Additionally, having the consent of your neighbours is a time and money saver for your development application.
- Get the application ready
In order to support your application, the local council usually asks for specific details and attachments such as scaled architectural plans, site analysis plans, survey plans, landscape plans, drainage plans, shadow diagrams, council’s fees, etc. The list is not definite and each local council may have their own version so ensure you know exactly what they require before you get quotes from professionals.
- Advertising time
Once you have lodged your planning application, the process doesn’t stop there. Depending on the size and type of the development, there may be a period of public advertising. The advertising period is up to the local council and can go up to 14 days. This period gives a chance to the local community to comment on the development proposal. This is the reason why seeking approval from your neighbours up front is an important step; you avoid objections during the advertising period saving time and money.
If the council or the members of the community have any concerns, you may be required to submit additional information, attend a council inspection of the site or a council meeting. Once again it is up to your local council.
- Waiting time
Once you’ve been through all these steps, the approval can take a few weeks and sometimes months depending on the type of application and your local council. Some councils have online tracking. You will then be advised of the outcome by mail with an approval letter describing all you need to do for the following step… the Building Permit!
- Submission on your behalf
If you don’t have time to spend and would like to delegate the submission, contact us and we will be happy to organise everything for you and make sure the process runs smoothly at the council.
If you are unsure about the differences between Development Application (DA) and Building Permit (BP) please read our article Development Application and Building Permit, what are the differences?