So your thinking of building, renovating, subdividing or developing your property?
One of the first things you will need to do before you undertake any building work, is to find out if you need to get approval.
There are many different types of development. Most require approval of some form. Some minor works can be undertaken without approval.
Do I need planning approval? I hear you ask! Let’s find out what constitutes development, the different types, pathways and how to find out if you need approval!
You want to know Do I need approval? The answer to your question is it depends on what you are planning to do. There are many types of home renovations and minor building projects don’t need approval. However, you will find most require an approval of some kind.
The types of projects that do not require approval are called Exempt Development. As long as the building project meets specific standards and land requirements no planning, or building approval is needed. Exempt Development is for minor building work that is considered low impact.
If your building work does not meet the exempt development criteria, you will require approval for your building project. Either by lodging an application for a Complying Development Certificate (Fast Tracked Approval) or a Development Application (local development development consent issued by council).
First you need to understand whether you require development consent and second, what the best pathway is for you.
To find out if you need approval, you will first need to find out what planning constraints apply to your property by obtaining a Planning Certificate or by contacting a Building Design professional for advice.
A Planning Certificate will provide you with information regarding the development potential of a parcel of land. It will identify the zoning of the property, its relevant state, regional and local planning controls and other property constraints such as land contamination, level of flooding and bushfire prone land.
All properties have different site attributes, planning restrictions and considerations. Certain properties may have different or additional rules that may apply to building and renovation projects. Such as properties that are; In conservation areas, heritage listed buildings, listed on the State Heritage Register, in or near a site containing contaminated land, bush fire prone area, where road widening is planned and those that are in a flood affected area.
Your building design professional can provide site specific advice help you apply for a Planning Certificate for your property.
There are 9 different planning approval pathways in NSW. The size and scale of the development will determine which of the assessment pathways is appropriate. We will focus on 3 of the most relevant approval pathways for New homes, Renovating and Micro property development.
The three we will explore are:
Exempt Development is minor development that will have minimal impact on the site and surrounding neighbours or locality. It does not require any consent or approval, if it meets standards set in either State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008 (Codes SEPP) or your council’s local environmental plan (LEP). Examples of exempt development are:
Complying Development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development.
Complying development is a fast track and cost-effective approval process for routine development, including one and two storey homes, alterations and additions and outbuildings. Obtaining a complying development certificate is a potential alternative to obtaining development consent.
Complying development certificates can be granted by council or an accredited certifier and they can advise further what standards would apply to your development
Providing the application meets specific criteria then it can be determined by a Council or accredited certifier without the need for a full DA. Examples of complying development include:
The standards you must comply with for most complying development works are in the State policy for exempt and complying development (CODES SEPP), however there are other specific development standards that apply to particular developments. For example: Granny Flats (Secondary Dwellings) need to comply with the Affordable Housing policy (Housing SEPP). These policies can be viewed at the NSW Legislation website. Your building designer should know which policy applies and provide you with individual advice.
Development that is not exempt or complying development will require the lodgement of a Development Application to obtain Development Consent from your Local Council.
A Development Application (DA) is a formal application for development that requires consent under the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act). This could include building, subdivision, change of use, landscaping or other works. The application is usually made to your local council through a planning portal and consists of standard application forms, supporting technical reports, plans and specifications.
Unlike Complying Development, which is a pre determined set of “Yes/No” compliance criteria, Development Applications are assessed as a merit based assessment against local planning rules and guidelines. The DA process, usually, takes longer than the Fast Tracked Approval process, however it is generally more flexible and sometimes the most suitable approval pathway.
The information above is based on the NSW Planning system. If you are not located in NSW, your State or Territory will have similar Planning approval pathways available to you. Your Building Designer will be able to give you state and local specific advice.
If your proposed development is complying development it qualifies for a fast track approval. You’ll need to apply for a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) through your Local Council or an Accredited Certifier but it does mean you avoid a full DA which usually takes longer.
The standards you must comply with for most complying development works are in the State policy for Exempt and Complying Development. However specific development standards apply to Granny Flats (Secondary Dwellings) and are outlined in the State Environmental Planning Policy Affordable Rental Housing 2009 – AHSEPP. The policies can be viewed at the NSW Legislation website.
How do I know if my project qualifies for Fast Tracked Approval?
Speak to a qualified Building Designer to find out if you qualify for Fast Tracked Approval.
Before you plan any renovations or building work, it’s a good idea to contact your local Council or a professional Building Designer and have a development consultation to discuss your project.
Your Building Designer can advise you of the pre set standards to abide by if you qualify for Exempt development. If you need an approval, or you want to find out if you qualify for a Fast Tracked Approval, it is best to contact a Building Design professional for advice and get a quote to prepare the plans and documentation for your approval application.
To obtain an approval you will need to organise building design, detailed plans and technical reports and lodge an application. Your qualified Building Designer will be able to assist you with Planning, Design and any Approvals that you will need for your project.
Sunday House Projects are experienced with a range of building types and approval pathways. We can assist with determining what approvals (if any) are required for your project and help with the plans and documentation you need to get your project approved and built!
Depending on your project needs, we can provide development advice, concept designs, detailed plans and technical documents, full service or as needed, for your new build or renovation.
Contact Sunday House Projects and Book a Development Consultation today to get professional advice and kick start your new build or renovation project!
Kirsty & Dane – Sunday House Projects