frequently asked questions
How long will the process take?
Every project is different, every client is different. The length of a projects depends on many variables. A project can take as little as 4-6 weeks or it may go on for months or even years. It is dependant on response times and your commitment to the project. A quicker response time makes it easier to maintain momentum.
Can you guarantee approval?
No. We can meet all the planning rules (as a DA) and sometimes have the proposal refused. We will do our utmost to get your project approved but sometimes it may be a neighbours objection, a non-compliance that you wish to pursue, a Council Planners difference of opinion, a recent change in legislation, a recent change in how Council interpret their own policies, etc. These are all beyond our control. We can not guarantee approval.
What is a 149 Certificate?
A 149 Certificate, also known as a zoning certificate is a legal document issued by Council. They contain information about how a property may be used and restrictions on development that my apply. You can apply for a 149 Certificate through your local Council it costs approximately $50. This certificate will state whether your site is eligible for a Complying Development, or is a Heritage Item, or in a Heritage Conservation Area, or Bushfire-prone Lands, etc.
Is my project a CDC or DA?
This is dependent on what you would like to do. Generally this is determined during the process. Sometimes it may be very straightforward and other times it may be more complicated.
A CDC is a Complying Development Certificate. Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential, commercial and industrial development. If the application meets specific criteria, it can be determined by Council or an accredited private certifier (PCA). You have to comply 100% with the Complying Development code (SEPP Code) to utilise this type of building approval. First step, get a 149 Certificate to see if your site is eligible for a CDC.
A DA or Development Application is a formal request for consent to carry out proposed development such as change of use of land, subdivide land and carry out building, landscaping and other works. It is a two step process. Once you receive DA consent you are then required to apply for a Construction Certificate (CC) prior to commencement of building works.
What is a topographical survey?
A topographic survey is used to identify and map the contours of the ground and existing features on the surface of your site or slightly above or below (ie. trees, buildings, easements, paving, adjoining buildings, retaining walls, etc.). This gives an accurate picture of what is on your site. In some cases this may not be required but the more information you can provide means less guess work and assumptions. I would highly recommend getting a topographical survey.
What is a BAL Assessment?
BAL stands for Bushfire Attack Level and represents a scale used to determine a building's risk of catching on fire. As the name suggests the scale is specifically concerned with bushfires. A BAL is used in the assessment of constructing buildings in areas which are likely to experience bushfires. A BAL rating can determine whether a CDC is possible or not. The BAL rating effects the type of materials & methods of construction.