Although it is not mandatory, Council recommends that potential applicants request a 'Pre-lodgement Meeting', particularly for developments that are complex in nature. A pre-lodgement meeting is a meeting between prospective applicants and Council's technical staff to discuss a proposed development prior to lodging the application . The meeting provides prospective applicants with an opportunity to discuss and receive feedback from Council on the technical aspects of the development proposal.
To arrange a pre-lodgement meeting, please contact the branch office most appropriate to your development to make an appointment.
Application for Development Advice
Council provides a service where written advice is provided in regards to the development potential of a property. You may ask for any information regarding the development potential, however the most common requests are advice on subdivision and dwelling house potential.
Below explains some information that is commonly sought as part of Development Advice.
Subdivision Potential - Rural Areas
Council will carry out a search to determine whether the legal ability exists for Council to approve of a subdivision in a rural zone under the provisions of its local environmental plan. This is a preliminary search only and no irrevocable decisions should be made upon such advice. A full assessment of Council’s legal ability to approve the Subdivision will only occur upon lodgement of a Development Application. At this time other considerations (eg access, natural risks, environmental effects etc.) must be taken into account. The legal ability to approve the subdivision does not guarantee approval. A formal development (subdivision) consent is the only guarantee that Council will as per conditions of development consent permit a subdivision of the land.
Development Potential - Rural Dwelling
Council’s legal ability to approve a dwellings in rural zones are governed by certain regulations. Council will search its records to determine whether it has a legal ability to approve a dwelling on the subject land in the event of a development application being lodged. Council will not tell you it will approve a dwelling but only whether it has the legal ability to approve a dwelling on the site.
Existing Use Rights
Some land uses may continue even though they may be prohibited by the current zoning of the land but only if:
a) The use was established prior to the introduction of a planning instrument which requires that development consent be obtained for such a use, or
b) The use was approved under a previous planning instrument but is now prohibited by a new instrument (or an amendment to the instrument).
Council will search its records to determine whether an “existing use right” exists. Whilst Council will endeavour to answer your enquiry, legally the onus remains on the applicant to prove existing use rights.
Note: Any expansion, enlargement, intensification, alteration, rebuilding or change of an “existing use” requires Development Consent.