On 12 February 2015 the Development (Assessment) Variation Regulations 2015 were made and came into operation.

 

The Development (Assessment) Variation Regulations 2015 seek to clarify and remedy some of the consequences from two recent judgements of the Environment, Resources and Development Court.

The Regulations have two key impacts:

  1. Clarifying that a new application for development authorisation is not required for variations to an approved plan that are considered by the relevant authority (in most cases, the Council) to be minor in nature.

For example, if Council has issued a Development Plan Consent for a dwelling and the subsequent building rules application shows a minor change to the roof pitch, the Council may consider this to be a minor variation that does not warrant a new planning application to be lodged and assessed.

  1. Authorising private certifiers to grant Development Plan Consent for a land division, where that land division provides for an approved Residential Code complying dwelling.

To be eligible as a Residential Code complying development, the site, and any balance of the allotment, must each at least meet the minimum site area and any minimum frontage requirements prescribed in the relevant Development Plan

In circumstances where a Development Plan Consent for a land division has been granted by a private certifier, the Council is still required to assess the technical requirements for a land division consent under the Development Act.  The conditions that must be satisfied for land division consent include:

  • the allotments resulting from the division may be lawfully used for the purposes proposed by the applicant;
  • open space will be provided, or a payment will be made in accordance with the requirements imposed under this Act;
  • adequate provision is made for the creation of appropriate easements and reserves for the purposes of drainage, electricity supply, water supply and sewerage services;
  • the requirements of a water industry entity under the Water Industry Act 2012 identified under the regulations relating to the provision of water supply and sewerage services are satisfied;
  • where land is to be vested in a council or other authority—the council or authority consents to the vesting; and
  • requirements set out in regulations are satisfied.