Pitfalls with Development Applications

What are some common pitfalls and important considerations when it comes to development applications?

Five common pitfalls are summarised below.

  1. The type of application – there are a wide range of approval pathways available and it’s critical to ensure applications are on the most efficient pathway so that assessment can occur in a timely manner. Some considerations include:
    • Is the proposal best considered to be local development, integrated development, or designated development?
    • Is the proposal State significant development or State significant infrastructure?
    • Are you lodging an application for complying development or is the propsoal exempt development and no application is required?
    • Are there other legal mechanisms available that could facilitate approval?
  2. Accurate and Consistent Documentation – in particular:
    • what works form part of the application;
    • what land will the works be carried out on; and
    • consistency between reports prepared by various consultants.
  3. Owners Consent – providing owners consent:
    • in the correct form, especially if it is the consent of a company or other business structure.
    • at the correct time (being before the determination of the application – the Courts have said it is ok to lodge an application without owners consent however it must be provided before the application is determined).
    • if it is required (in some instances it is not required such as where works are proposed on Council land).
  4. Other approvals that may be required – the Courts have said that in most instances it is up to an applicant as to whether further approvals are sought with a development application or at a later time. In some instances there may be preferrable to seek these approvals with the development application. At other times an applicant may decide that it is preferrable to seek these approvals once they have obtained a development consent.
  5. Addressing all the legal requirements of a clause 4.6 variation request – there have been a number of decisions handed down by the Courts in relation to the legal requirements of a clause 4.6 variation request. These requests are often scruitinised by assessing officers, lawyers and the Courts and so it is critical to ensure any request addresses all requirements so that development consent can be granted.

If you require some advice or assistance with reviewing a development application or any of the matters above please click here to contact us to discuss further.

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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.