Categories of Assessment
Development proposals can be subject to different categories of assessment. A category of assessment will specify the process that a development proposal must go through. If a development approval is required, the proposal can either go through a ‘code assessment’ process or an ‘impact assessment’ process.
For further information about categories of assessment, see Fact sheet: Categories of development under the Planning Act 2016.
Code assessment can also be known as ‘bounded assessment’. This is because it can only be assessed against particular ‘assessment benchmarks’. This means you can be assured that your application will only be assessed against the specific requirements of the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme, or any matters outlined in the Planning Regulation 2017. Part 5 of the planning scheme can assist in determining the category of assessment, and the assessment benchmarks to which your application must have regard. In the Toowoomba Region, the majority of assessment benchmarks will be the codes contained within the planning scheme.
For further information on assessment benchmarks, see Fact sheet: Understanding assessment benchmarks.
Stages of Code Assessment
The Development Assessment Rules stipulates the assessment process for development applications. These processes have a number of ‘parts’, which may apply to code assessable development. These parts can include:
- Application – a ‘properly made’ development application being made to Council;
- Information Request – the formal opportunity for Council to request further information about the application;
- Referral – the process for when an additional agency is required to assess elements of the development application;
- Decision – when all information has been lodged with Council, and Council can approve (full or in part), approve (full or in part) with conditions or refuse a development.
Code assessable development applications are not required to be publicly notified i.e. advertised for public comment.
Further information can be found in Fact sheet: The Development Assessment process.
Code assessable applications are generally decided by Council officers who have been granted delegated authority by Council to decide applications of this nature. In limited circumstances, where the application is contentious, ‘of interest to Council’ or it demonstrates substantial non-compliance with the relevant codes, an application may be referred to a special meeting of Council for a decision.
For further information about Code Assessment requirements and procedures, please phone Council’s Technical Advice Officers on 131 872, or visit your nearest Customer Service Centre.