Legal classification of development

How does the legal classification of development impact on the approval process?

Development can be classified into three different types:

  • Development permitted without consent – the name of this category may be misleading. Despite not requiring a development consent for your development, you may still be required to achieve specified development standards, seek approvals under other legislation, or complete an environmental assessment.
  • Development permitted with consent – this category requires consent from the local council, or in some instances a consent may be obtained from an accredited certifier. This category of development will require an environmental assessment before it is approved.
  • Prohibited development – this category of development cannot be carried out with or without development consent. It should be noted that there can be exceptions to this rule – development known was State significant development may be approved by the Minister if it is partly (but not wholly) prohibited.

If you are intending to develop land, one of the first steps is to ensure that your development is of a type that is permitted without consent, or permitted with consent. If your development is of a type that is prohibited, it may be difficult or impossible to obtain regulatory approvals.

It is also important to make sure that you choose the most efficient approval pathway. If your development has minimal environmental impact, it may be possible to classify your development as “development permitted without consent” and remove unnecessary regulatory assessment.

If you are considering how you can develop your land, it may be best to speak directly to the consent authority, liaise with a town planner, or seek legal advice.

If you would like legal advice, you can contact Alyce Kliese directly by clicking here.

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Alyce is a civil engineer and a practicing lawyer, who has a desire to share her insights on the legal and practical realities of the development industry.