6 steps to speed up council approval


bernadette tnGetting council approval for your renovation can be a tedious process but paying thousands in interest, week in, week out while you jump through hoops trying to get approval is worse.

Blogger: Bernadette Janson, The School of Renovating

So I figure sharing some tips for plain sailing through the approval process, saving delays and money is anything but boring!

Here are my tips to help the process along:

Get a local architect
You need someone who has a lot of experience in the local area. This is really important because planning laws can be complex and you need someone who has worked with them repeatedly and understands the players and the likelihood of getting your plans approved. You do not want to be relying on trial and error.
Which brings me to the next point.

Don’t expect miracles
Many projects qualify for a fast-track approval process (Complying Development Certificate) provided they comply with certain criteria. If you do need to go down the full Development Application path be aware that the more you challenge the planning laws the more likely you are to have delays. You need to weigh up the cost and the benefits of spending extra time pushing the envelope.

Book a pre-DA meeting
Most councils offer pre-DA meetings where you are able to have your plans reviewed by council’s planners. If time is of the essence it is a good idea to schedule one to have your renovation plans reviewed prior to submitting to improve the likelihood of them being passed by council. Of course there are never any guarantees but the cost is minimal and it’s well worth the time and effort.

Visit your neighbours
Before you submit your plans it is wise to visit the neighbours and field any objections upfront. While some might say that’s playing devil’s advocate, it is better to know of any issues than to wait six to eight weeks and then have to go back to the drawing board. If you resolve the issues before you submit to council then you should have a much smoother ride.

Complete the documentation
When you finally submit to council, make sure your documentation is complete. If information is missing, the process may stall unnecessarily. Go through the documents with a planner when you are submitting and make sure you have met council requirements.

Engage a town planner
If you are planning to push the limits, then maybe you should consider engaging a town planner. Independent (town) planners differ from council planners as their focus is to work strategically to give your project the best chance of being approved.  So if your plan is likely to be contentious, it may be wise to invest some time and money on an independent planner to avoid getting the knock-back. As with the architect, make sure the person you engage has extensive local knowledge.

Whatever approach you decide to take, it is wise to take all available precautions to help the process because knock-backs are costly when you consider the cost to redesign and resubmit as well as your usual holding costs.

About Bernadette Janson

Bernadette Janson is a lover of renovating and the director Of The School of Renovating.

She knows that women get a raw deal with superannuation and the majority are facing a poorly funded retirement, particularly those on the wrong side of forty. he average superannuation payout for an Australian woman is $37,000 which is a fraction of what she makes on just one project. Her mission is to inspire, motivate and empower women to rise above the statistics and create for themselves a brighter financial future.

Bernadette’s passion began as a hobby twenty years ago while raising her four children when she discovered her flair for turning very ordinary houses into stunning family homes that are beautiful both aesthetically and functionally.

Bernadette teaches renovating as a powerful and flexibility way to fast-tracking your retirement savings while keeping risk to a minimum. To find out how renovating could fast track your retirement visit http://www.TheSchoolOfRenovating.com

6 steps to speed up council approval
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