Clients are required to make an appointment with planning and development staff for any advice in relation to a planning and/or building matter. Please note that over the counter/telephone advice will be given on matters of a general nature and will not encompass any design information and/or complex planning issues.
Advice in relation to building matters will generally be in relation to methods to comply with deemed-to-satisfy provisions of the Building Code of Australia. Council’s building surveyors are not permitted to design any buildings or to design solutions to building issues that involve alternative solutions. Clients are advised to acquire the services of structural engineers and/or architects for any design matters other than aforementioned.
For complex planning matters, a pre-lodgment meeting is recommended. A pre-lodgment meeting provides the prospective applicant with the opportunity to discuss and receive feedback from Council on the technical and merit aspects of a development proposal. This occurs following a preliminary assessment by staff of submitted plans and documents detailing the proposal.
Although pre-lodgment meetings are not mandatory, they are encouraged by Council because they
- Are the most appropriate and transparent means of dealing with enquiries of a complex or site-specific nature, or where formal feedback is being sought on a specific development concept or proposed plan
- Are an opportunity for Council to advise the applicant of strategic objectives for the development of the area
- Allow for any potential issues to be dealt with prior to the formal lodgment of a DA, and
- Enable Council to provide relevant information to the applicant to assist in resolving any issues prior to lodging an application
Conducting a pre-lodgment meeting may assist in reducing the assessment times of DAs. Where possible, during the pre-lodgment meeting, Council officers will suggest alternative and acceptable solutions for the applicant to consider.
A pre-lodgment meeting is for discussion and clarification purposes only and may not identify all possible issues. It is not, in any way, intended to preempt a final decision in relation to a development application.
Additional pre-lodgment meetings may be required at a later time, if considered necessary. This usually occurs with large, complex proposals and allows additional or revised information and documentation to be reviewed prior to submission of the DA. This ensures the completeness of the DA and assists to minimize delays.