The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - Home - - FRONT PAGE - With ed­i­tor Robyn Willis robyn.willis@news.com.au

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.

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