Changes To Planning Schemes
The Importance Of Keeping Abreast Of Changes In The Regulations
Just like cities are constantly changing and growing, so are Planning Schemes. They need to adjust and adapt to change and growth. Accordingly it is important for a designer to be aware of potential changes in the planning regulations prior to commencing designs.
The actual process of how council changes it’s planning regulations is a complicated and lengthy process, outside the scope of this article. What is important, however, is that if a change happens once a design is finished and prior to applying for a planning permit, then a complete re-design will be needed.
Depending on the size of the project this could cost 10’s of thousands of dollars and a potential delay of between 6 months to one year.
Interestingly we were phoned the other day by an enquirer asking us if we can help him as he was having trouble obtaining a permit for some units in Moreland. He indicated that the problem was that Council would only allow him to erect one vehicular crossover, yet the designer had a design with two. We were aware of the change in regulations and knew that it had taken place towards the end of January 2015. I asked the enquirer when was the application submitted. He said July 2015. What!!!! A whole 6 months after the regulations came into effect!
The enquirer had indicated that the designer told him the regulations had just been introduced. It is true that it is difficult to know all the ins and outs of the planning regulations as we are living in an age of constant change and I feel sorry for the new designers as much of this is not taught at universities, it is learned by making mistakes. But this is costly as the last I heard on the example quoted is that the Client was suing his designer for not doing his due diligence for a refund of his fees and for delay costs.
Unfortunately this is only one of the many pitfalls of designing and obtaining planning and building permits.