How to nail your planning application.

A planning application is required when your proposed structure or build intends to vary the R Codes or the Council’s Local Planning Policy or Scheme.

When submitting a planning application, it is important to create a picture for council and make it easy for them to visualise your design and your idea, and then couple this with justifications as to why the proposal should be supported.

In order to nail your planning application there are a few key items to include with your application.

Firstly, ensure you have downloaded the current planning application form from your local council’s website. Then ensure it has been completed, signed and dated. This may seem like a trivial step and obvious to some, but it is surprising how often this step gets rushed or glossed over without it being completed properly.

Next, ensure you have done your homework and written a cover letter or justifications against the R Codes or Council’s Local Planning Policy or Scheme that you intend to vary. This means reading up on the relevant code, policy or scheme and then justifying to council why the variation is required and should be supported. It is important to remember here that councils do not like to support too many variations on one proposal. So if your design will vary any codes, try to minimise the number of variations in order to have the best chance of approval.

Lastly, communication is key. Because you won’t be presenting a power point presentation to a room of planning officers, you need to communicate your proposal to council via other means. The saying ‘A picture says a thousand words’ is a great little key here! If you have the means, include some 3D renders of your design. This can communicate to council your design better than anything you can write up, and will allow the planning team to see your vision clearly.

If you include these key items and do your homework, the planning application process may just move along smoother than you thought. With planning application statutory times being 60-90 days, anything you can do to help the process along is a step in the right direction. And if you’re not sure about any of the above, you can always book an appointment with the planning team at your local council, or please drop us a line – we love to help.