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Bayside City Council has announced that as of 3 August, a new “pre-application service” for future planning applications will be introduced. The service is designed to help applicants:
- Obtain a clearer idea about whether a planning application is likely to be successful; and
- Understand what information is required to be submitted with their application, which will ensure faster processing times post lodgement.
The three levels of service or pre-application options to be provided include:
- Suitable for small scale applications (extensions to single dwellings and dual-occupancy development).
- There will be no fee for this level of service but no written advice.
- Discussions will occur via phone or video call, with Council to make contact within 10 business days upon lodgement of a pre-application request.
- Suitable for more complex residential developments (e.g. 3 or more dwellings, commercial developments, apartment developments).
- $250.00 fee with written advice provided.
- Council will make contact within 3 business days, meeting to be arranged within 10 business days, with written response provided 5 working days after meeting.
- Suitable for complex mixed-use developments, large scale residential or commercial development.
- $2,000 fee with written advice provided.
- Referral to relevant internal departments.
- Confirmation that if all the requested information is provided with the formal application, it will proceed straight to notification once the application has been lodged and the fee paid.
- Council will make initial contact within 3 business days, meeting to be arranged within 10 business days with written response provided 5 business days after meeting.
For some these charges may be infuriating given the existing costs associated with lodging a planning application, including the MPL and statutory planning fees. However, the proposed changes to Bayside’s pre-application process have the potential for significant time and therefore cost benefits for future applications. For our client base involved with larger-scale development within Bayside, the opportunity to by-pass the ‘request for further information’ stage of an application and proceed straight to advertising is appealing.
The challenge for Council will be to follow through in providing professional, consistent advice that withstands the pressure of politics or objectors ‘gone mad’. We look forward to participating in this new process and providing feedback as to its success and value. For further information, please call your ratio: contact to discuss further.
Author: Simon Martin, Director: Planning
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