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Three things construction project managers need to know about town planning

August 29, 2022

Three things construction project managers need to know about town planning

Project managers are notoriously time poor and often take responsibility for all tasks of a project being completed on time and within budget. Town planning approval usually represents an arduous but necessary aspect of their projects and here are three tips that can make this process more seamless:

1.      Know what you need town planning approval for.

Town planning approval may only be required for a very specific aspect of the project. Very often on smaller scale renovations or fit out projects it is only a very niche item that requires town planning approval, such as new business identification signs. Demolition and minor works such as erecting internal walls will not require planning approval and can be completed without the need to await planning approval. This can save time on a project and allow some works to be done while the planning approval is pending. You can self-assess whether or not the works you are doing requiring a planning permit by following this video on our LinkedIn page and you can contact our office if you would like to confirm what works can be done without needing a planning approval.

2.      Provide the correct planning information.

The type of information you lodge for planning approval is based on what triggers the planning approval. Council only want the information that is relevant to a town planning application. If you provide superfluous information to council about the project, it heightens the prospects of receiving a request for further information and a consequent delay in your application. Some typical examples of superfluous information include a floor finishes plan, an electrical plan and a reflected ceiling plan. The granular level of detail demonstrated on these plans is not what council require for a town planning application and receiving this unwanted information can have a negative impact on the timeframe of the application. We encourage you to provide a specific set of town planning drawings for planning approval to reduce the timeframe to receipt of approval.

3.      Consult with your Building Surveyor.

It is widely known that a building permit is required for construction. It is the responsibility of the licenced building surveyor to ensure they have sighted the necessary town planning approval and approved plans for a project if the approval is triggered. You may have all the necessary documentation for a building approval to issue but unless the building surveyor confirms that they are comfortable that a town planning permit is not required then you will incur delays getting started on the project. You should consult with your surveyor early to check if they believe town planning is required and if there is any ambiguity please contact our office to confirm.   

Getting proactive on town planning requirements in consultation with our team can help prevent downtime on a project by identifying those aspects that require planning approval early and allowing some of the onsite works to begin early.