Back to Back Issues Page
KHB-Zine, Issue #011: Development application guide
November 01, 2017


Welcome to the November edition of KHB Ezine.

This month....
Compiling a Development Application for Submission

Early PS: if you are reading this on a phone, turn it sideways to enable landscape view, it's easier to read.

This guide is for owner builders of kit homes. Your development application (DA) establishes whether you can legally build a dwelling on your property, and whether you can build your specific dwelling on your property. Investigations, research, meetings, surveys, plans, designs and reports are all part of the application.

Your local authority's website will have a building and planning page containing all the factsheets, development packs, profomas and guidelines for the area you are planning to develop within. Find your way to the page and download the application packs. Included will be a DA Checklist: very useful.

The major form is a construction/development application that requires your personal, owner and owner builder details, land details, estimated value of work (a guide is provided), a simple description of the development, details of the proposal including land area, floor area, number of storeys, dwelling materials to be used: cladding, roof, floor, frame, and sewer management options.

This form also asks for documents. Lots of documents, and 3 copies of each. Depending on your region, some will be grouped together, others will have more.

1. A scaled site plan
Draw a plan of the dwelling and garages situated on the land. Add distances, land boundaries and setbacks, major vegetation/trees. Site contours are good too.

2. House plan including shed plan
The kit home provider will provide copies of the house plans, including elevations, floor plans, floor slab layout, and sections. Submit the garage plans at the same time as the DA to save further fees.

3. Statement of environment effects
This form allows you to outline the environmental impacts of your development and the way in which it will operate. It refers to how the development complies with zoning, privacy invasion, discharge of stormwater, character of the neighbourhood, any effect from the property access point, vegetation clearing, erosion control during works, property risk reduction eg bush-fire or flood provisions.

4. Basix committments
This is an Australian certificate which confirms the proposed development will meet requirements for sustainability. It asks that the builder commits to water storage, energy and thermal comfort through natural ventilation, insulation, lighting, cooling and heating.

5. Stormwater plan
A simple plan showing the placement of water tanks, pipework, swales and drains that direct stormwater away from the dwelling and from adjoining properties.

6. Waste water/system plan
A detailed plan drawn by the plumber that outlines the proposed sewer or septic system that complies with the property and dwelling situation and size. It needs to show dwelling outlets, underground pipe, tanks, drain fields, reed beds etc.

7. Waste management plan
A proforma is usually provided that uses a table to break down all of the material used on the build and what will be done with leftovers. This can include reuse, recycling, or disposal. A plan also needs to be drawn of the site showing entry and exit pints for delivery vehicles, reusable wood/steel site, excavation material site, recyclable site, a rubbish containment setup and where the sediment control mechanism will be constructed.

8. Bushfire threat/Fire safety plan
This is a form that calculates the bushfire-attack-level of the proposed site. Sometimes a plan of the Asset Protection Zone around the site is required as well as a written submission outlining what standard of building materials will be used. Those materials may include, steel insect screens, thicker window glass and metal window frames, steel roofing, blueboard cladding, steel gutter guard, steel house frame, concrete slab and fire fighting provisions.

9. Vegetation controls (clearing)
This form may be part of the environmental impact form in some areas and describes the tree and vegetation clearing required to situate the dwelling on the site. A plan is sometimes required showing where trees are to be removed and which trees will be retained. This can also be part of the Asset Protection Zone plan.

10. Land survey
Up to four documentents supplied by the surveyor including a Cadastral Records Enquiry Report showing the land parcel in the street, parish or district, a title search report, a boundary marked plan of the property, and a contour plan.

11. Application for residential/rural address
A simple application for an address to be allocated rather than a lot number. Very important if you want utilites to be installed.

12. Application for driveway access crossing
In some districts, an engineered plan of the driveway access crossing from the road into the property is required. It may require a pipe/rural crossing, dish crossing, kerb layback, bitumen sealing etc. A proforma is usually provided for this application.

13. Principal certifying authority (contract)
The council requires nomination of someone to certify the building works, namely the slab footings, rough in plumbing, septic piping, constructed frame, plumbing, and final occupation. This is done via a contract with the council or a private certifier of the owners choice.

After DA acceptance, the next step is obtaining a construction certificate to proceed. For this certificate the council needs:
1. An owner builder permit
2. A3 size house plans
3. Concrete slab engineering and plans, cut and fill plan and soil tests
4. Frame engineering specifications and plans including wind ratings and tie down details.

This looks to be a mountain of red tape, but all can be achieved by an amateur builder with little professional input. Try to avoid being talked into expensive professional assessments for fire dangers or environmental impacts unless directed to do so.

It takes me about eight weeks to fully compile these documents, mostly because of the need to get soil testers, plumbers and surveyors on site, but also to get their completed documents. The fully drawn house plans take time to be completed as well.

Need a short ebook on owner building? Your big bonus, just for being a subscriber, is personal access to my Free Ebook:
Kit home groundwork: 5 Crucial Steps.

Download your free PDF version HERE and use your personal password khb9631 (lower case letters-expires in 7 days). If you miss out just contact me.
I'm happy for you to share this file with a friend, but please don't upload it.

For a full experience kit build ebook check out Steel Yourself here.

Follow me on Facebook here and if you like the page...please "like and follow" it!

warm regards

Back to Back Issues Page