The most common question asked by my clients is “what are my chances of development approval?”. The answer is more complicated than ‘you are guaranteed approval’ or ‘never going to happen’ due to the nature of Council’s assessment processes.

As a private planner we can only guarantee approvals where you are fully compliant with the local legislation. Those who are not 100% compliant run the risk of having to negotiate with Council, or worst case, have their application refused.

Planners can provide you with the best solutions and advice available but all private consultants and their clients are at the mercy of Council’s decision makers. These decision makers are people. Whilst we would like to think of Government agencies as machines, those within them will work at different speeds, will have different interests and will take on political instruction at different levels.

When discussing chances of development approval it is also important to remember the general rule of any investment –

Anyone considering to do any type of development application needs to weigh up the risk v reward. Can you spend 10k in the hope of making 100k or is the risk of losing that 10k with no outcome too much? Can you risk 15k in the hopes of achieving your non-compliant dream house? Do you have another option?

As a private planner, we can lower risk but we cannot remove it entirely.

Tips to reduce risk and application stress

  • Find a planner you can trust. Their advice will reduce your risk.
  • Have a backup plan. Be ready to negotiate.
  • Determine how much money you could stand to part with should the approval not be granted.

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