Please click on the headings below to view the desired information...
The assessment of DAs often requires multi-disciplinary input from different parts of Council, beyond the main town planning and building assessment officers.
Download the Overview of Tweed Council’s Development Assessment Systems Fact Sheet (18kB PDF).
The NSW Planning system sets out how a DA must be assessed. These criteria fall under a series of headings generally known as 'matters for consideration'. For those interested, these matters are contained in section s79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (1979) (the Act).
For a copy of the Act go to Section 79C of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.
These are known as environmental planning instruments (EPIs) and are important statutory controls for assessing a development application.
Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) such as the Tweed LEPs 2000, 2012 or 2014 contain legal restrictions for the use of land. For example the land use table contained in these instruments sets out what you can and cannot do on your land. If what you want to do is prohibited in the zone, Council cannot grant consent to your application.
LEPs or deemed instruments may contain development standards such as floor space ratio, height limits and others. These are known as statutory standards. Council takes the position that an application should comply with these standards.
If you feel that in your particular situation there is strong justification to depart from a statutory standard you must lodge an objection to the standard under State Environmental Planning Policy No. 1 (a SEPP No. 1 objection). This is an Instrument under the Act that Council must consider before consenting to any DA which is inconsistent with a statutory standard. The SEPP No. 1 objection must be lodged with the development application.
The Land and Environment Court, directions from the State Government and the Act have defined how a SEPP No. 1 objection should be written and how the justification to the departure from the statutory standard in the EPI must be framed.
Should you need to submit a SEPP No.1 objection you will need to obtain the services of a consultant town planner or other land use professionals who are familiar with the requirements of the EPI and SEPP No 1.
In brief however, a SEPP No. 1 objection must support the departure from the statutory standard by identifying the objectives of that standard and resolving whether or not, in the particular circumstances of the case, its strict imposition is reasonable and necessary in terms of those objectives.
Further it will be necessary to demonstrate that the development proposed, despite the departure from the statutory standard, is consistent with the objectives of the Act. Applicants should understand that the grounds put forward for the departure need to be compelling, as Council will view any departures from a statutory standard as a serious matter.
From time to time Council will review its LEPs. During that review, Council is required, to ensure that development proposals are not only consistent with existing LEPs, but the future planning intentions of Council and the community as indicated in a draft LEP.
DCPs are non-statutory instruments which provide more detailed guidance to development. As such they are not contained in EPIs but are applied consistently by Council in the determination of DAs. Council's position is that development should comply with standards contained in DCPs. However, it is recognised that standards within a DCP are intended to have a degree of flexibility and may be varied if a convincing case is put to Council that in the circumstances of the particular application the objectives of the standard are met despite the area of non-compliance.
It is also important to note that DCP standards often seek to control the impact that your development might have on your neighbour’s property. The most common impacts that arise here include whether your development will unreasonably overlook or overshadow your neighbour’s house or land, or if you will block out an important view. For this reason DCPs will contain minimum solar access controls and objectives to protect views and privacy.
Another common issue is the scale or size of your development and whether, because of its size, it will unnecessarily or unreasonably dominate your neighbour’s land from a visual perspective, or compromise the existing streetscape. DCPs will contain controls such as maximum heights, minimum setbacks and floor space ratio standards which aim to ensure that development proposals are consistent with existing development in your locality.
In a similar way to a SEPP No. 1 objection, Council will carefully consider how your development performs against the objectives of the standards when making a decision as to whether or not a departure from a DCP standard should be granted.
It is always important to realise that DCP's are developed in consultation with the community and reflect both community and Council's expectations for development of land in the Local Government Area. A departure from a DCP standard will be carefully examined and you cannot be certain that a non-compliance will be permitted.
This is a very broad consideration and requires that Council assesses how your development responds to its urban or natural setting. In particular, Council is required to assess how the development relates to the character of the neighbourhood.
This does not necessarily mean that the development has to be identical to other buildings in the street. It does mean that in terms of height and size the development should reflect the character of the locality.
Often, if a development largely complies with the development standards and objectives contained in the relevant LEP and DCP, Council is able to say that issues of scale and height are satisfied. However if a design is seen to be overbearing or out of chararacter within its locality - mere compliance with statutory and non-statutory standards does not guarantee that your application will be supported.
Other issues that often arise under this consideration include matters of solar access, visual and acoustic privacy and view corridors. Once again these matters are usually dealt with in the DCP. If a development is found to be acceptable in terms of the LEP and DCP Council is generally able to conclude that it is satisfied that this consideration has been met.
This consideration requires that Council assess development against matters which are known constraints that limit development on certain land. In larger developments, and Masterplan sites, Council must consider issues such as transport demands, reticulated services (such as water and sewerage), open space and recreation to name a few.
In other developments, Council may need to consider issues such as natural hazards including flooding or land subsidence or the effect of heritage listings.
In addition to those matters listed above, Council is also required to consider submissions to the application, whether made by concerned residents or state authorities or instrumentalities.
Some developments may also require approval by another authority (eg the Heritage Council or the Department of Environment and Conservation.) This is known as Integrated Development.
In these cases, Council must refer the application to the relevant authority and seek its general terms of approval.
DAs for Integrated Development must include an extra set of drawings, a Heritage Impact Statement, if applicable, and additional fees.