The Development Act 1993 requires that no development can be undertaken unless it has the approval of the relevant planning authority, which in most cases is Council. This means that any construction, alteration, addition or demolition of a building or structure, a change in the current use of the land, or anything which modifies a designated heritage item constitutes development and therefore requires formal Development Approval.
Certain minor activities or building work are excluded by Regulation from this definition and are thereby exempt from the need to seek approval. In these instances you should always contact the Council to clarify the position.
At least two copies of plans/specifications must be forwarded with the application and fees must be paid upon lodgment at the Council office.
An application must be lodged every time you wish to undertake development. Development is defined in the legislation and refers to a wide range of activities associated with building work, changes in land use, advertising displays, and land and strata division. It can be a quite simple domestic structure or a complex major commercial project, but an application is necessary in either case.
Some forms of minor activity and structures are actually excempt from this definition of development and consequently do not require approval. These, however, are the exception rather than the rule and the situation can change depending upon geographic location or the actual nature of work being undertaken. As a general rule, any struture that is within the prescribed setback distances, or more than 10 square metres in area, or over 2.5 metres in height, or has a span greater than 3 metres, or adjoins an existing building, calls for an application.
The best way to find out if you need an approval for your proposal is to inquire at the Council office and seek clarification as to what may be involved.
Approval for Development Applications not requiring approval by the Development Assessment Panel usually take up to 3 weeks to process (providing that required information has been submitted).
Applications that do not fall within the guidelines may be submitted to the Development Assessment Panel at the discression of the Senior Development Compliance Officer. Meetings of the Panel occur once a month in the Council Chambers. The public are welcome to attend the meetings.
Non-complying developments or Category 2 or 3 developments require Council to undertake public consultation and may take up to 3 months for approval.
Tax Implications for Development
For every property transaction you make, there may be a tax consideration.
To determine your GST obligations, refer to the, GST and Property Guide at www.ato.gov.au