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When Are You Eligible for a Refund of Your Development Application?

Waiting for your application to get reviewed can seem like an eternity. However, if the process takes too long, you may be eligible for a refund. Find out more below.

Getting a development application reviewed is a complex process that takes time. 

Depending on the territory, it takes up to eight weeks to review smaller applications with less than nine units. Meanwhile, the average waiting time for major applications or those with 10 or more units is around 13 weeks. 

But if the council also needs to assess the environmental impact, the process could take up to 16 weeks. 

Stats show that for minor applications, 16% of applications take less than eight weeks to complete, and 18% take over 24 weeks. Meanwhile, larger applications take a bit longer – 15% get reviewed in less than eight weeks, while a whopping 44% take over 24 weeks.

Why the variations?

An array of factors can impact the turnaround time.

It doesn’t always have much to do with the quality of the application. The problem can also lie in a high number of applications or if the application volume suddenly skyrockets one year without any equivalent resourcing change. 

Also, taking the matter to the committee can drastically increase the waiting time. 

For minor applications, the development officers can make their own decisions. But other times, they need to attend committee meetings. And each missed meeting adds about a month of waiting time until the next one takes place. 

But if the review process takes too long and interferes with your development plans, you may become eligible for a refund.

This article explains everything you need to know about the process.

Property Development Application Checklist

The best thing you can do to minimise the waiting time is to include all the relevant details in your property development application. 

As you may already know, the application is submitted online. And here’s a list of steps you should follow to ensure you create a robust application:

Step #1. Choose Your Development Location

Once you start a new development application, you’ll be asked to provide location details. Use the “Address Search” field to enter the location of your development project. 

Step #2. Add Applicants Details

Add details about the person or business who is legally responsible for the application. You can add yourself or someone else. 

Step #3. Provide Contact Details

You’ll need to provide contact details for the primary contact, landowner, and invoice contact. 

The primary contact receives all communications during the application assessment. 

Meanwhile, the landowner(s) is an individual with an interest in the land and registered on the Certificate of Title. 

The invoice Contact is the person in charge of receiving direct communications for all financial matters. This is typically the same person as the primary contact. 

Step #4. Provide Development Details

Here, you should include the following development information:

  • Current use – describe the elements present on the site before the development application 
  • Proposed use – what will be on the site after the development application 
  • Development cost – a dollar value of the application 
  • Proposed Development Details – more detailed description of the proposed development

Step #5. Choose Development Elements

The development elements let you specify what exactly you wish to develop. Just select a corresponding element from the list you’ll see on the screen. 

As you choose an item, you’ll be prompted to explain what your project will do to the site in more detail. For example, for the “New House” element, you’ll need to input more information about the brush fence, driveway modification, sewer information, etc. 

Step #6. Choose Consent Timing 

The consents required will be determined based on the information you supplied. You can apply for multiple consents when submitting your application or do just one and apply for the remaining ones later. This includes Land Division, Planning, or Building consents. 

Once you choose the consent(s) you want to apply for at the time, select who will do the assessment (assessment manager, independent assessor, etc.).

Step #7. Acknowledge Declarations

Acknowledge the declarations like the “Electricity Declaration” or the “Native Vegetation Declaration”, if available. Make sure your proposed building isn’t contrary to any of the available regulations. 

Step #8. Upload Documents

Upload all the documents like insurance policy copies, technical drawings, pre-lodgement agreement, reports, CITB receipt, or consents already granted. Note that all the documents and drawings must be in electronic format such as a PDF.

Step #9. Review and Submit 

The system will let you review your application, add details, or make edits before submitting it. So, make sure to check it. 

Do note that these requirements apply for South Australia procedures and may differ slightly depending on your territory. 

Explaining the Withdrawal Process

You can withdraw your application if your application has not yet been approved. Once you submit your withdrawal, you’ll receive a confirmation of your withdrawal request by email. 

Local authority goes over the information you sent them, and they can either contact you back for additional information, cancel the request, or confirm the cancellation. And if they notice an error with the request, they can either contact you or cancel the request. 

The average time for reviewing withdrawals is around 26 weeks. However, the exact timeframe may differ across municipalities. Also, the factors mentioned earlier play a role in whether your withdrawal will be processed on time. 

Now, you might be eligible for a refund if you were made to wait too long for your application to be reviewed or if you meet other state or local-specific criteria.

Create a Robust Application to Avoid Potential Issues

Getting a development application accepted takes time. The review process can take anywhere from eight to 26 weeks. Keep in mind that the volume of applications, number of complaints, and overall application quality can hugely impact the turnaround time.

If you wait too long to receive your approval, you may be tempted to withdraw your application. However, doing so isn’t always the best solution. Instead, it’s preferable to create a standout application that will make the reviewer’s job easier. 

Using Archistar in the planning process and getting accurate data allows you to limit errors and ensure you don’t miss anything, eliminating your need to withdraw your application.

Also, with our services, you can discover profitable sites all within minutes. Get high-definition visualisations of Australia’s largest planning and zoning database on a single fast, high-fidelity map. Once you have pinpointed a profitable opportunity using our advanced filters, you can then instantly assess the site for due diligence and feasibility. Speed up your next development project with Archistar.

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