When is a Planning Permit usually required?
You will usually need to obtain a planning permit from Council whenever you want to change the use for an existing building. The Council planning scheme details the types of use and development that require planning approval and those that are exempt. The planning scheme for the West Tamar municipality is the West Tamar Interim Planning Scheme 2013. It can be found at the following link. You should always contact Council to find out whether you need planning approval for any use or development you might be considering. Council will also give you advice on the information you will need to provide. In the first instance contact a planning officer on 6323 9300.
Planning Application Form
The Planning/Development Application Process
To apply for a planning permit (also commonly referred to as a development application or DA) you must lodge an application with Council. Before you submit the application you should talk to one of Council's planning officers about your proposal. The officer will give advice on the parts of the planning scheme relevant to your application and the information you need to provide to help them assess it. It is also recommended that you talk to your neighbours and inform them of what you are proposing, especially if the proposal will need to be advertised. Most neighbours appreciate the courtesy of being informed and it provides an opportunity to become aware of potential problems and perhaps sort them out before you are committed to a particular design.
If your application is straightforward and for example involves a change of use with little structural alterations to the building, you may not need professional assistance. In many cases though it is wise to get professional assistance in preparing the application, especially where detailed drawings and/or site analysis is needed.
Any planning applications that are assessed as seeking a variance (known as a discretion) of the planning controls will require statutory notification. An application does not need to be advertised if the proposed development is permitted under the relevant planning scheme.
To meet statutory requirements notification must be by:
letters to adjoining property owners,
sign(s) on the subject site and
a notice in the local newspaper.
Council advertises in The Examiner and also includes details of currently advertised applications at the following link.
Any person or parties have the right to make a representation in support of or against a development application. Representations must be received within statutory timeframes (specified in the notification but usually 14 calendar days).
The Council can only approve, refuse or modify an application on legitimate planning matters as outlined in its planning scheme and relevant legislation. Similarly it can only consider objections that relate to legitimate planning grounds. The basis on which the Council can refuse an application relates to the discretions being sought. For example, a proposal may be refused on the basis that it does not meet the height requirements of the planning scheme. If an issue with overshadowing because of the height of the proposal is identified that would be a legitimate issue under the planning scheme. However an objection because the proposed material or colour was considered unsuitable is not a relevant issue under the scheme and would not be treated as a valid planning ground on which to refuse or modify the application.
The Council can decide that certain modifications should occur to reduce or remove any impacts on neighbouring property. For instance this could be requiring vegetation screening of a boundary to reduce overlooking. Such modifications can only occur if it does not substantially alter the proposal.
If you have a general planning enquiry please contact one of Council’s planning officers on 6323 9300 or use our Contact Us form to email you enquiry. Please include your telephone contact details within the email should Council officers need to speak with you directly.