Desperately seeking approval
Love it or loathe it, I completely understand the need for Complying Development approvals.
For those who are not familiar with the concept, Complying Development legislation allows you to bypass the usual council approval process of notifying the neighbours and advertising changes to your property as long as any work you’re planning falls within certain predetermined guidelines.
Some love it because you can get approval in 10 days, others hate it because building projects can spring up next door without notification.
Its introduction was the result of the frustration so many of us have experienced in having to go through the often expensive process of submitting plans for changes to our own homes that are relatively straightforward.
I can’t be the only one to wonder whether the whole process couldn’t be handled with a great deal more common sense and a lot less expense.
Having been through Development Applications both large and small, I know that common sense is often in short supply.
One time, after submitting pricey architect-drawn plans to the local council, I could only get as far as the front counter when they were rejected. Rather than giving us an equally professional response, I was handed a roughly drawn approximation of what would be more acceptable to the assessors.
We were required to go back to the (expensive) drawing board.
At that time, a process for pre-approved designs would have been a godsend, as would have been information on local builders, architects and tradespeople with a good track record, rather than the hit and miss approach that still seems the norm.
All for a price, of course.