The pre-lodgement stage is the front end of the development assessment process. If you get the front end right you are likely to have a simple DA process. Giving council an assessment-ready application, with all required information will not ‘guarantee’ approval – however, it will promote an efficient process, saving time and money, for both you and council.
The development potential of your site is determined by its characteristics and the planning controls that apply to it.
There are several ways you can determine the controls that apply to your site.
When you are planning and designing your project, you should analyse your site and how it relates to development on adjoining lands and the streetscape. This will help you understand its development capacity.
A Site Analysis plan shows the key characteristics of your site and its relationship to adjoining land. The plan will show information such as: the path of the sun; the location of buildings, trees and other key features on both your site and adjoining sites (including the street); and considers the relationship to your neighbours (such as privacy and overshadowing). The slope of the land, creeks and drainage are key issues which can impact how and where you can build on your land.
Your street will have its own character, which is created by the lot size and shape, the form of buildings (e.g. setbacks, height) and the landscape character. There may also be heritage values due to the age and style of buildings. A Site Analyses will help ensure that any development you undertake fits within that character.
A Site Analysis can be carried out by an architect, draftsperson or designer. An example of a Site Analysis is shown on the next page.
Project homes can be a cost effective and simple way to get a new home. When choosing a project home make sure you consider:
You should also be aware of the cost implications if you need to change the plans to suit your site or if you have to do extensive site works.
In preparing your DA you may need an architect or building designer to prepare (and cost) your plans, plus a number of specialists, depending on your site and your proposal e.g. land surveyor, engineer, town planner.
You can find experienced people by:
As you move to construction you will need a principal certifying authority (council or private), a principal contractor (builder) and any relevant sub-contractors.
Most councils provide a range of pre-lodgement services many of which are free. Depending upon the complexity of your proposal, once you have gathered information you can:
Building a home can be expensive. In your budget you should consider all potential additional costs which may apply to your development. These could include:
Ask council at an early opportunity about other costs.
When you are preparing your plans think about how it will look from and impact on ‘next door’ and across the street. Once you have a clear idea of your proposal, you should discuss it with your neighbours. Ideally, you should contact them early in the process. Consider issues such as privacy, solar-access, views and visual impacts – especially if you are proposing to vary the LEP standards.
Most councils have a notification policy and will notify your direct neighbours once the DA is lodged.
The type of information that accompanies a DA will vary depending on your proposal and site – when you speak to your council in the pre-lodgement stage you will be advised of information they require. This may include:
Your DA should address all relevant matters, up-front, in your Statement of Environmental Effects. This will help to avoid additional information requests, and will help to ensure an efficient and smooth process.
Page last updated: 01/04/2020