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.
Impact assessment is a more comprehensive assessment process then Code Assessment. Impact assessable applications must be assessed against particular ‘assessment benchmarks’, any matters outlined in the Planning Regulation 2017, or may be assessed against any other relevant matter, such as planning need. A person’s personal or financial circumstances are not considered to be planning need. Part 5 of the planning scheme can assist in determining the category of assessment, and some of the assessment benchmarks to which your application must have regard. For further information on assessment benchmarks, see Fact sheet: Understanding assessment benchmarks.
Council requires impact assessable development applications to be publicly notified so that submissions from the public may be lodged during the public notification period. Any properly made submissions are considered in the preparation of a planning report and subsequent decision to approve or refuse a development application.
Stages of impact assessment
The Development Assessment Rules stipulates the assessment process for development applications. These processes have a number of ‘parts’, which may apply to impact assessable development. These parts can include:
- Application – a ‘properly made’ development application being made to Council, see 'How to submit a properly made development application' for further information.
- 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.
- Public notification – the ‘how’ and ‘when’ for publicly notifying a development application. This can include public notice via newspaper, at the premises and contacting adjoining landowners. Anyone has the opportunity to make submissions about the application during this period.
- 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.
Further information can be found in Fact sheet: The Development Assessment Process.
Impact assessable applications may be decided by Council officers who have been granted delegated authority by Council to decide applications of this nature. In circumstances, where the application has received properly made submissions that cannot be readily addressed through conditions, 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 Impact Assessment requirements and procedures, please phone Council’s Technical Advice Officers on 131 872, or visit your nearest Customer Service Centre.