From development applications through to complying development certificates, the size and scale of the development, along with relevant planning controls will determine which of the assessment pathways is most appropriate.
Local development is any type of development which requires development consent under a Local Environmental Plan (LEP) or State Environmental Planning Policy (SEPP), by way of a Development Application (DA) approval.
Complying development is a fast-track approval process for straightforward residential development. If the application meets specific criteria, it can be determined by an accredited Private Certifying Authority (PCA).
When planning a renovation or building works to a home, many people don’t realise that they may need a Development Approval (DA) before proceeding. Many forms of development require approval from Council:
A DA is a formal application made to Local Council, to seek the granting of consent for the development. The approval and prescribed conditions set out by Council are based on the scale of the project, and each DA consent is based on its own merit and will have its own unique set of requirements.
During assessment, Council Officers will determine if the proposal meets the relevant zoning and planning controls for the local area; as well as its potential impacts to the surrounding environment and the amenity of neighbouring properties.
Following endorsement from Council, approval documentation including a ‘Notice of Determination’ (NOD) and set of stamped ‘approved’ plans will be issued. The NOD will outline conditions specific to the development site (e.g. the requirement for a Geotechnical Report due to poor foundation conditions), along with standard conditions relevant to all sites (e.g. compliance to the Building Code of Australia requirements).
While receiving the development consent is worth celebrating, it does not mean that building work can actually start immediately; before construction:
The CC includes the detailed building plans and engineering details and specifications. The plans will need to contain a lot more information than the approved DA plans, to allow the builder to work directly from them; therefore the construction drawings will need to be updated to detailed construction plans, and the building must be consistent with them and the development consent.
A Complying Development Certificate (CDC) is essentially a Development Application and Construction Certificate rolled into one. However, under complying development the approval process is fast-tracked by eliminating Council’s involvement, as well as potential neighbour objections.
Rising in popularity due to changes to the CDC code and the State Government’s rationale to “reduce red tape”, the number of developments that are code assessed rather than merit based have increased significantly.
Complying development is also subject to conditions of approval to protect surrounding uses during the construction period and the life of the development; but the application and approval process is a more straight forward and faster method.
Not all projects will be suitable for complying development; for example, alterations and additions to a heritage listed home or a new duplex construction are not compliant to the code. However, if the project is appropriate and has been designed in line with CDC controls, a private certifying authority can be engaged to assess and certify that the design fully complies. Once this assessment is complete the certifier will provide a regulatory checklist, outlining the requirements to be met before construction can commence.
Similarly to a DA, you will be required to engage the services of certain consultants and pay a set of fees in order to gain the final approval.
The DA and CDC approval process can be time consuming and convoluted, if you don’t know what you’re doing or even where to begin. The best results are gained from continued contact with Council or the Accredited Certifier. The benefit of working with The Site Foreman and a dedicated Client Services Coordinator is that we follow the progress of the assessment through to gaining an approval. All information, instruction or request from Council or the Certifier is addressed and handled by us, freeing up valuable time for our Client and making the application process hassle free.
Our Architectural Design Package fees are fixed and based on the budget estimate for the cost of construction. Our team have extensive knowledge of Local Council controls and State legislation. They stay abreast of ever changing regulations, to ensure that your project is designed within the guidelines, and with the view to gaining approval for your Development Application (DA) or Complying Development Certificate (CDC).
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