If you’re thinking about designing and building your dream home, you’ve probably heard the term “town planning” thrown around a lot? But what exactly is a town planner? The truth is that town planning is an integral part of the process, with your town planning application determining whether your project can go ahead as planned or whether you’ll be back to the drawing board.
Below, we’ll go over the town planning process in detail and why it’s so important that you and your custom home builder get it right.
Town Planning Approval
Town planning is when the local council assesses your building plans and determines whether it will be an appropriate development for the area. Before you acquire a building permit, you’ll need a town planning permit, demonstrating why it’s such an important step for a project. They will take into consideration various factors such as traffic, shadowing, noise, visual appeal and impact of views when making their decision. All of these factors and more will be taken into account for them to make their final decision.
Every local council has different laws, regulations, and visions for the future of their district, so it’s hard to say what will pass and what won’t in specific terms. A good custom home builder will have experience working with the council you’re hoping to build within, giving them insight into what they’re looking for and what to avoid.
The Different Stages:
Many different steps go into the town planning process, and it can often take up to several months to complete. Make sure you factor this into your project and give you and your team plenty of time to get it right.
Find a land surveyor
To get started, you’ll need to work with a land surveyor to conduct both a feature and level and re-establishment survey. A feature and level survey involve reviewing the contours and ground level of the land, identifying conjoining structures such as current buildings and fences as well as showing trees and vegetation currently on the land.
A re-establishment is used to show the position of the land’s title boundaries and how they interact with the already established fences and buildings along these boundaries.
Work with your architect
After this has been done, pass the results onto your architect who can then begin using the information from these surveys to begin plotting out your construction project.
Get your planner involved
Your town planner and architect will have to work closely together, with your planner providing feedback on council expectations relating to your project. Some architects will be able to take on both of these tasks by themselves, although before approving this you’ll want to make sure they’re qualified to do so.
Once your architect has received the appropriate feedback from your planner, they’ll be able to begin drafting up your home’s preliminary drawings.
Complete a town planning report
Once your town planner and architect are happy with the progress they’ve made and have come to an agreement on the design and structure of your home, the town planner will then complete their town planning report. This will then be submitted to and assessed by the council, and will also include your preliminary drawings.
Eventually, you’ll receive an RFI (request for further information) response, with questions that you and your town planner and architect will need to answer as soon as possible. The quicker you respond the better, as this will speed up the overall planning process and allow you to (hopefully) start construction sooner.
If you answer all of the council’s queries to their satisfaction, they will then issue advertising on your property. In Victoria, this lasts for 14 days and involves the proposed planning application being placed out the front of the development site. This allows the neighborhood to voice any concerns that they might have regarding your project.
If you have objectors, the council will review their concerns and consider whether or not they have any merit. If they do decide this, you’ll have to amend your plans accordingly. If they do not agree with the objectors, the objectors have 28 days to appeal this decision to VCAT and a hearing may be called.
If no objections are made, you’ll be able to move forward with your project and a planning permit will be issued. Most of the time, this will come with conditions that will have to be met by your architect and town planner, and once these are resolved they will need to be submitted to the council. Once you receive back your endorsed plans, you can begin on the working drawings and move closer towards construction.