Lodging An Application
What needs approval?
The Development Act states that no development can begin unless it has the approval of the relevant authority, which in most cases is the City of Mitcham, including:
- any construction, alteration or addition to a building or structure;
- a change in the current use of the land;
- land division;
- anything that modifies a designated heritage item or place is development as defined in the Act and therefore requires Development Approval;
- advertising signage; or
- any significant tree damaging activity.
Certain minor activities or building work are excluded by Regulation from this definition and do not need approval. However, you should always contact Council first to make sure. These exemptions are quite limited and normally you can expect that an application will be required.
The approval process involves separate assessments against various criteria. The first is against planning policies covering the area in question and is known as the Development Plan Consent (Planning). The second is against technical standards set out in the Building Code and/or the SA Housing Code and is known as the Building Rules Consent (Building). These two consents make up the Development Approval you need to proceed with your development.
It is important to understand that you cannot start work on any development until the relevant authority issues this approval notice. Otherwise you can be liable for heavy penalties including exemplary damages and/or a daily fine for each day the offence continues.
How do I make an application?
You must complete the single development application form that covers all types of development proposals, including planning and building.
The development application form is lodged with Council (unless it is for land division) either personally or by post. You must also include all relevant plans and supporting information. Although the form can be signed by you (the applicant) or your agent, you should also have the landowner sign it to avoid possible delays.
Are there any costs involved?
When you make your application you will need to pay a lodgement fee. If any other fees apply, you will need to pay them too, as Council is not required to deal with your application until all fees are paid. Council can then register your application and begin assessing it against the provisions in the Act.
See Information Sheet 3 for the type of information required with your application.
What happens with my application?
Firstly, Council checks that all the information needed to assess the proposal is included with the application.
If not, you will be advised as to what other information you need to supply.
If the public needs to be notified of your proposal, Council will do so - see Information Sheet 9. It will also refer the application to other government agencies where necessary.
This depends on the type of development and its location.
The Regulations specify when this is necessary. From this consultation, reports are put together and taken into consideration. Only then can a decision be made. This must be done within certain time limits. These reports can be binding on Council or of an advisory nature only, depending on the type of development and its location.
The above information is advisory and a guide only to give you a general understanding of the key points associated with the approval system. It is recommended that you seek professional advice or contact the City of Mitcham on 8372 8888 regarding any specific enquiries or for further assistance concerning the use and development of land. Being properly prepared can save you time and money in the long run.