Getting approval from your local council for a new building, renovation, or other construction project can seem long and complicated. However, with some preparation and understanding of the steps involved, you can master the council approval journey from your initial application through to final sign-off.
Preparing Your Application
Before you even submit your first council paperwork, there are things you should do to ensure your application is complete and accurate. This will help it move through the approval process more smoothly.
Get Professional Help
While you can apply yourself, getting help from an architect, draftsperson, or planning consultant can ensure you meet all requirements. They’ll know the details of local planning schemes, codes, and policies. Bring them in early for the best input on your plans.
Understand the Regulations
Ensure you thoroughly research what regulations, acts, codes and local laws apply to your development type and location. Your consultant can advise, but it doesn’t hurt for you to educate yourself as well. Each council also has specific Development Control Plans that provide assessment benchmarks.
Prepare Detailed Drawings
In addition to floor plans and elevations, councils often require site plans, sections, context plans, demolition plans, shadow diagrams, survey plans, landscape plans and more. Make sure yours are clear, accurate, fully dimensioned and professionally presented on A3 paper. This sets a good impression.
Lodging Your Application
Submitting a complete application from the start can prevent unnecessary delays and requests for more information. Ensure all your paperwork is in order.
Follow the Checklist
Councils provide development application checklists detailing required documents. Crosscheck yours against this list – check supporting reports or consent forms for the site and adjoining owners.
Bind Your Documents
All documentation should be bound into sets for submission. A development application can quickly become a large stack of paper otherwise prone to disorganisation. Correct binding displays professionalism, too.
Double Check Everything
Before final submission, thoroughly review completed forms and drawings. Verify all measurements, calculations, and dimensions match within the drawing set. Confirm planning controls and policies have stayed the same since you researched them. Getting simple details wrong early causes delays.
Communication During Assessment
Council assessment takes time. Constant communication ensures you know where your DA stands and can promptly respond to any requests.
Politely check progress every so often until you get a determination. Don’t nag assessors constantly, but show you’re eager for the outcome. Make sure the council has your current contact details on file, too.
Quickly Provide More Information
At some point, the council will likely request more information. This could be additional drawings, documentation or amendments to the proposal. Respond promptly and entirely within the timeframe given to avoid approval delays.
Utilise Pre-lodgement Meetings
Pay for a private pre-lodgement meeting for large, complex, contentious applications. Discussing plans early allows for the identification of potential issues before final submission. This can fast-track eventual approval.
Working Through Conditions of Consent
When development consent is granted, there are usually conditions that must be met before work can start. This may require more documents, payments or certifications.
Understand All Conditions
Development consent often contains dozens of conditions. Read your notice carefully to understand what each one requires and when it must done. Seek expert help interpreting anything unclear early before problems arise.
Appoint Your Principal Certifier
A principal certifying authority issues your Construction Certificate, allowing work to start. They also conduct critical stage inspections during the build. Carefully choose your independent PCA and advise the council of their details.
Satisfy Conditions Methodically
Draw up a task list with deadlines to methodically satisfy each condition as required. For example, certain types of consent require payment of security deposits or levies within set timeframes before starting construction.
The council approval process certainly demands patience and perseverance. But those who prepare thoroughly, communicate constantly and methodically satisfy conditions through each stage ultimately receive that final approval, allowing their vision to become reality. With some commitment and understanding of the journey, you can confidently master council processes, too.
The council approval journey may seem long and complicated, but it can be navigated by those willing to prepare beforehand and effort alongside the process. Getting professional help drafting your application from JRey town planning services can prevent errors or omissions.
Constant communication ensures you respond promptly to information requests that do arise. Methodically satisfying the conditions of consent then continues progress towards that ultimate goal – receiving approval to begin your development. While approval will not be granted overnight, those focused on the end-point can master the local council process to realise their construction vision. With some perseverance and guidance from JRey town planning services, you can feel empowered rather than overwhelmed navigating the road from application to approval.