When you want to put up a building on a property or construct an extension to an existing structure, you need to submit a development application to the city council and wait for approval. If the development plan meets the local regulations, it is approved and you can proceed with the project. However, there are instances where you may want to make changes after receiving the go-ahead from the authorities. These may include making minor alterations to the design of the building or extending the time within which the construction is to be completed.
If you need to make any minor or major changes to a previously approved development application, you need to inform the local council first. Here is what you need to know about the town planning process to ensure that you remain on the right side of the law while building development property.
Understand permissible changes
The Sustainable Planning Act (SPA) regulates the types of changes that are permissible against an approved development application. While the law does not require you to submit a new application for review, it requires that any changes you wish to make to the existing plan be minor. In this case, the following alterations are not considered minor as they may substantially affect the development:
- Adding a prohibited development to the application
- Referral to agencies that were not originally included in the application
- Introducing new grounds for assessment by a referral agency
- Creating a public notification while the previous application didn't have one
If the changes that you wish to make do not fall in the above-mentioned categories, you can submit a "minor change" application. However, if they involve making substantial changes to the development, you will submit an "other change" application to the local authorities for consideration.
Complete the required form
After identifying the kind of change that should be made to the development plan and whether it is a minor or major alteration, you can proceed to complete the required form. You can get this form from the local authorities. Provide a clear description of the changes that you want to make and how they affect the condition set. Also, give a complete set of the development plans, not just the ones that need amendment. Pay the stipulated fee and submit your application.
Work with a professional planner
There are instances where the required alterations do not meet the set criteria. In this case, you may have to submit a new development application for consideration. It is a good idea to work with an experienced planner. Their understanding of the SPA and local legislation will come in handy as you lodge an application.