Planning your Development
Local government has a major role in the management and control of development activity. A variety of approval and enforcement requirements are administered through your local Council.
It is acknowledged that many people see restrictions and approvals required by regulation as a nuisance. Yet, this is really the only way a complex, modern society can operate for the greater good of the broader community.
This information is to help you avoid the approvals pitfalls and to assist in bringing your development proposal to a successful conclusion.
What is planning?
Planning is the name given to the system of regulations that guide all new development. Regulation is contained in our Planning Scheme, this shows where development can take place, what sort of development is expected and sets out the standards it must reach.
Planning in Meander Valley sets out to balance the needs of development with the needs of conservation in one of the most beautiful areas of the State.
Aims of our Planning Scheme include:
- Ensuring sustainable development in the Meander Valley - that is ensuring the needs of the present residents are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
- Strengthening and diversifying the local economy, including identifying sites for development and creating opportunities for investment and job creation
- Promoting and protecting the important primary industrial sector of the economy
- Allocating sufficient land for housing and ensuring its location is appropriate and provides choice and high levels of amenity for residents
- Assisting in maintaining the vitality and viability of our small towns and rural settlements
- Protecting the environment and biodiversity of our unique area
- Providing sites for community facilities and protecting areas of important open spaces
- Assisting with the maintenance and enhancement of the important built heritage of the Meander Valley ensuring new development is compatible and sympathetic
- Assisting with development of the growing tourism based industry.
Each provision in the scheme assists in some way towards these goals. Each development proposal in the Meander Valley is checked against these goals and approvals are given where development is consistent.
The public suggest changes to the Planning Scheme by making an application to Council. Changes are made from time to time to keep the Scheme relevant and to take account of new circumstances. Changes have to be agreed to by both the Council and Government before they take effect.
What Applications are Required?
You may require an approval if considering any of the following:
- Subdivision of land
- Development on land
- Change of use of land or premises
- Alterations to existing use or works
- Building work including internal alterations and additions
- Plumbing work including connection to sewer or drains, and septic tank installation
- Food or personal service activities
- Alteration to crossover and kerb lines
The list is not exhaustive. If you are unsure whether your proposal requires planning permission you should contact the Planning section on 6393 5320. For most developments, contacting us before you apply will allow an easier determination to be made and may highlight some of the likely issues or requirements that need to be addressed.
Step 1 PLAN YOUR MOVE
Be clear what you want. The golden rule is, ALWAYS CHECK WITH US FIRST.
Step 2 NEVER ASSUME
Things are not always as they first appear.
Step 3 DISCUSS YOUR PROPOSAL WITH US
There are many professional people available who can assist. Seek their help. Correct advice may influence your decision to proceed, or affect the nature of your project. Involve Council staff in your discussions. One visit is often not enough. Friends are great, but their advice is not always the best where development or building issues are concerned.
Step 4 CONSULTING YOUR NEIGHBOURS
If you decide to submit a planning application it is a good idea to tell your neighbours and show them the plans you intend to submit. Many difficulties arise due to misunderstandings between neighbours so early involvement can often alleviate disputes, improve schemes and clarify matters.
For discretionary approvals Council is required to write to all neighbours informing them of your plans.
Making an Application
- Applications may take several weeks to process. You can keep delay to a minimum by:
- Carefully reading all NOTES or GUIDELINES supplied by Council before submitting your application
- Making sure you supply the required documents, plans, specifications and explanatory information
- Obtaining the owner's consent in writing to the making of the application
- Paying the correct fees (Click here to go to the current fees and charges web page)
- Submitting a complete copy of the your title including the schedule and map
- If information is omitted your application will almost certainly take longer to determine. If vital information is left out it may not be possible to make any decision. You will be asked to supply more information if necessary.
Have Council check your application before it is lodged
Remember, the Council and the community does not know your land or your proposal like you do. Make sure you put them in the picture by supplying:
- Details describing the LAND and BUILDINGS including its location area and measurements. Your plans will need to be drawn to scale with dimensions clearly marked.
- Enough details of you PROPOSAL for other people to be able to understand exactly what is proposed, and what impacts it may have.
Properly considered the impact of your proposal on your neighbours, and the wider environment; and considered measures to avoid harm or nuisance?
Failure to do so is a common cause of delay, refusal and appeal disputes. With good design you should be able to do what you want, without adversely affecting your neighbours or the environment.
Complied with the relevant State and Local regulatory requirements?
Some applications must be advertised and put on display for public comment and allow time for people to make representations. You should allow for this extra time in your planning.
Some applications may have to be referred to other government bodies for comment.
Council will endeavour to determine your application without delay.
Do not start work before a decision is made on your application.
For further information please contact our Planning Department on 6393 5320.