A shiny new planning scheme has come into effect and everyone is excited about how the changes will improve the process for development within their council area. But wait, your development/construction project’s level of assessment has changed, which could ultimately affect the approval requirements. So, what does this mean for your project and how can the superseeded planning scheme help?
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation: Imagine you have a property that, at the time of purchase, was located in a Rural Zone meaning that you could simply obtain a building permit for your proposed house and then begin construction. Although your land is zoned rural, the surrounding properties contain pre-existing industrial buildings and operations. When the new planning scheme was introduced, the council decided to change the zoning of your area to better reflect these existing industrial uses. Because your property is now located in an Industrial Zone, your proposed construction must now comply with code-assessable approval requirements.
When a project is self-assessable, approval for construction would generally only require the certifier to conduct the planning scheme assessment. However, when a project is code-assessable, approval from external parties will also be required. For example, if your property was located close to the highway, you would need not only approval from your local council, but your application would also require the Department of Transport and Main Roads to be involved.
This can sound like a real headache. Especially when approval requirements change mid-design. But don’t worry – all is not lost. Under Section 95 of Sustainable Planning Act 2009, a person may formally request that the local government allow a development project to be assessed under a superseded planning scheme. This includes, but is not limited to, development which was previously self-assessable. However, under the new scheme it now requires code assessment.
To request this from your local council you must complete the following:
• Submit approved form,
• Pay the prescribed council fee,
• Provide a detailed description of the proposed development and/or a copy of the proposed development application and plans.
The local council has 30 business days to decide on your application. Should the council agree to the request, you may conduct your development as per the notice and within the relevant time frames detailed in the Sustainable Planning Act 2009.
These requests may only be made within one year after the day the new planning scheme or planning scheme policy comes into effect.
Prior to submitting your request, it is recommended to discuss the details with your local council.