Development Decision Process

When a development application is lodged with Council for assessment, Council's officers must first determine the category of the proposal. These are:

  • Schedule 1A - Building Only
  • Residential Code Complying
  • Development Plan Complying
  • Merit
  • Non-Complying
  • Land Division
Schedule 1A - Building Only Development

These proposals do not require planning consent but are assessed against the technical standards set out in the Building Code and other relevant legislation.

Legislated timeframe for development consent is 20 business days (4 weeks).

Residential Code Complying

Proposals that fit this criteria automatically receive planning consent. Building consent may be required.

Legislated timeframe for planning consent is 10 business days (2 weeks) and 20 business days (4 weeks) for building consent.

Development Plan Complying

In some cases development applications can be 'complying' under the Development Plan. Although in these cases  planning consent is automatic you will still need to lodge an application with Council and generally building consent is required.

Legislated timeframe for planning consent is 10 business days (2 weeks) and 20 business days (4 weeks) for building consent.

Merit Development

The Development Plan lists what types of development are allowed in each planning zone and what types of development are not allowed. If your proposal is not included on either list it means that the type of development is subject to the 'consent' of Council and is assessed on its merits. Sometimes neighbours will need to be notified (Category 2), or in the case of more complex developments, the application will be advertised in the Advertiser newspaper (Category 3). In most instances building rules consent will be required.

Legislated timeframe for planning consent is 40 business days (8 weeks).
NOTE: Where an application requires further information or is referred to an external agency, the time limit is extended.

Non-complying Development

If an application is received for a type of development which the Development Plan lists as inappropriate in a planning zone, the proposal is categorised as 'non-complying' for that zone. The applicant must show good reason why the application should go ahead and even if the Development Assessment Panel approves the proposal, the State Government must give its concurrence.

Land Division

If you are undertaking a land division, boundary realignment, community title etc  you must lodge your application with the Development Assessment Commission.  Once your application has been processed it will be forwarded to Council for assessment and decision.

Who makes the decision and when?

Council, Development Assessment Commission, the Minister or a Private Certifier (in some instances) is the relevant authority responsible for assessing your application and issuing an approval.

Schedule 1A Building Only and Residential Code Complying applications can be assessed by Private Certifiers for planning and building consent and then lodged with Council for development approval.

In the case of Crown development, the Minister or, when an Environmental Impact Statement or a major project is declared under the Act, the Governor are also 'authorities' but their involvement is the exception rather than the rule. Mostly it is Council that is responsible for making decisions.

There are set time limits specified in the legislation depending on the nature of the development. Within these time limits decisions must be made. Applications for routine developments that require an assessment can generally be dealt with quickly (see time-frames above). Where an application has to be referred to a government agency, the time limit is extended to 14 weeks; for land division proposals, 12 weeks. Where possible, the City of Mitcham will assess applications in less time than allowed, depending largely on the complexity of the proposal and the issues it may raise.

If the relevant authority does not make a decision within the prescribed time lines, you can apply for an order from the Environment, Resources and Development Court requiring a decision to be made, as set out in the Development Act.

How will a decision be made?

The Council is responsible for ensuring a prompt decision on development applications, and is available to assist and advise with the following:

  • an initial assessment of the proposal to determine the category and explanation of the approval process;
  • how to complete your application form, what fees need to be paid, and what information you need to provide to support your application;
  • whether the Council will notify neighbours and ask for their comments about your application (for developments which may have an impact on others);
  • the best way to shape your application for a positive outcome

Council decides whether proposals are suitable in terms of the Development Plan. The assessment of any application must be made on the basis of the planning policies contained in the plan. The assessment process is guided by the content and substance of the planning policies.

However, a Development Plan Consent cannot be granted if the authority believes that the proposal is 'seriously at variance' with the plan's policies.

Delegated Approval

Delegated approval by officers can occur upon satisfactorily meeting policy criteria and not receiving any objections as a result of public notification.

Development Assessment Panel (DAP) Approval

Applications will be referred to the Development Assessment Panel for a decision if policy criteria are not satisfied and/or objections have been received.

How are Elected Members involved in decisions?

If policy is not met, or objection(s) are received, then the Development Assessment Panel decides the application. The Development Assessment Panel is the ultimate decision maker with the power of discretion, and accordingly you should take the opportunity to make a personal presentation of your arguments at the Development Assessment Panel meeting.

Development Assessment Panel

The City of Mitcham's Development Assessment Panel:

  • comprises of three Elected Members and four Independent Members who sit as the Panel;
  • is a public forum and has the role of hearing representations from the community, assessing and determining development applications;
  • meets at 6.30 pm on the 1st Thursday of each month.
Hearing of Submissions By The Panel
  • those items/reports for which there are members of the public wishing to speak will be dealt with and heard by the Panel in the order of the agenda;
  • objectors will be heard first with the applicant (or their representative) heard last;
  • each person has three (3) minutes to make their presentation to the Panel;
  • at the conclusion of a presentation questions may be asked by the Panel members; the presenter is then asked to rejoin the Public Gallery;
  • after all the presentations for the particular item are heard, the Panel will debate that item to enable those in the Public Gallery to know what the decision is.

Regarding the Building Rules assessment, the requirements of the Building Code and/or relevant legislation must be met.

What if I don't like the decision?

Sometimes applicants don't agree with the decision, such as if the proposal was refused outright or conditions attached to a consent are unacceptable to the applicant. If the type of development has been assessed as Category 2, only the applicant has a right of appeal against the DAP determination. If the application is Category 3, objectors can also appeal. If you don't agree with the decision or conditions you can lodge an appeal with the Environment.Resources and Development Court. You only have 2 months to do this - it is not openended.

Please note: no appeal rights are available for decisions made on non-complying developments.

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City of Mitcham -ABN 92 180 069 793
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Last date modified: 2016-10-22T19:12:38
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