There are between 250 - 300 development applications lodged with the Town of Walkerville every year. These range from simple extensions to residential homes through to land division applications.
Each of the following activities require a development application:
- A change in the use of land or buildings
- The creation of new allotments through land division
- Building work (including construction, demolition, alteration and associated excavation/fill)
- Cutting, damaging or felling of a significant tree
- Specific work in relation to State and Local Heritage Places
- Other acts or activities as declared by the Development Regulations
The development assessment process will generally require:
- lodgment of an application form, a Certificate of Title, and payment of fees (which will vary according to the type of development and consent being sought)
- plans and details of the proposed development
- technical building plans
The Town of Walkerville then has the task of:
- assessing the nature of the proposed development (whether it is 'complying', 'non-complying' or to be considered 'on merit')
- completing the assessment processes (including whether the public needs to be notified of the application and consultation conducted), and
- deciding whether to issue a Development Approval or not.
Development Assessment Panels
Pursuant to Section 56A of the Development Act 1993, the Council has established a Committee known as the Town of Walkerville Development Assessment Panel, (Development Assessment Panel) for the purpose of acting as the 'relevant authority' (as that term is defined in the Development Act, 1993) in respect of all development control matters.
The Development Assessment Panel operates separately from Council as a development assessment authority and has its own procedures, terms of reference and protocols.
Membership of the Development Assessment Panel consists of the following members:
Ms Skye MacDonald - Presiding Member
- Mr. Douglas Johnston
Ms Stephanie Johnston
Mr. Ross Bateup
Ms Carolyn Wigg
Mr. Gianni Busato
Mr. Rex Adams
The Development Assessment Panel meets every second Monday of each month at 5:30pm in the Walkerville Town Hall at 66 Walkerville Terrace, Walkerville.
The business to be considered at the Development Assessment Panel meeting, is set out on the Agenda.
Applications for Development Plan consent are assessed against the zoning policies and controls in the Walkerville Development Plan. The assessment process will vary depending on whether the proposed development is determined to be 'complying', 'non-complying' or 'merit' (see below), and whether it requires public notification (see below).
Applications for building rules consent are assessed separately as this involves an assessment of the structural details of a building.
Once the necessary consents have been granted for both planning and building stages, the Town of Walkerville can then issue the final Development Approval. The building work can then proceed.
Complying & non-complying development
The Walkerville Development Plan outlines what sort of development may or may not occur in different zones. This is done through council-wide and zone-specific policies, principles, objectives and standards, and also through lists of complying and non-complying kinds of development within each zone.
Where a land use or activity is defined as non-complying, it will generally not be granted approval. This is because it is a kind of development that is not considered to be appropriate in that zone.
Public Notification - Category 1, 1a, 2 or 3 developments
There are four categories of public notification. Category 1, Category 1a, Category 2, and Category 3 forms of development.
Category 1 covers 'development' which is exempt from public notification, and usually relates to uses that you would expect within a zone. Examples might include:
- Detached dwellings in residential zones
- Development of a specific form which is encouraged within a specific zone (ie shops within a Centre Zone)
Category 1 covers 'development' which requires limited public notification, usually to the immediate affected landowners. Examples might include:
- Detached dwellings or outbuildings built on, or within close proximity to, side boundaries.
Category 2 covers 'development' which requires limited public notification to owners or occupiers of land adjacent to a proposal. Examples include:
- Development on land which abuts a different zone boundary
- Significant trees (if Council is undertaking the development)
Category 3 developments require that a public notice is placed in a newspaper and any person can make a representation on the application. Persons who make representations in relation to Category 3 must be heard if they request it as part of the submission. A representation to a Category 3 publicly notified proposal has an appeal right against the decision.
Appeals against decisions on development applications are heard by a specialist Environment, Resources and Development Court.
The Walkerville Development Plan is the development control document used for the assessment of development applications in the Town. It contains the rules that control what can be done on any piece of land within the Town, and the criteria against which applications are assessed.
The Development Plan outlines what sort of land use is envisaged for particular zones (eg Residential, Town Centre), and various objectives, principles and policies controlling and affecting the design and other aspects of proposed developments. These policies cover a range of social, environmental and economic matters. The Development Plan also spells out the 'desired character' for different parts of the Town.
Amending the Development Plan
The Walkerville (CT) Development Plan is regularly amended to reflect updated policies, introduce changes to zoning, or to implement a new vision for future development of the Town.
Amendments to the Development Plan occur through the Plan Amendment Report (PAR) process. The PAR document consists of:
- an Explanatory Statement at the beginning, summarising the need for the amendment and the nature of the proposed changes;
- a Statement of Investigations explaining the investigations undertaken in putting together the draft PAR document, and including a summary of the conclusions and justification for policy change; and
- Amendment Instructions, which is a section that contains the proposed amendments to the Development Plan. This includes the technical instructions that explain the changes that need to be made to the relevant Development Plan as well as policy and mapping changes.
The steps that a PAR must go through before any changes can be officially made to a Development Plan include:
- Defining the scope of any changes at the beginning (Statement of Intent or Initiation)
- Undertaking investigations and preparing the draft PAR document
- Releasing the draft PAR for consultation with government agencies and the public
- Allowing at least two months for written comments to be submitted followed by a public hearing, to allow people to make verbal as well as written submissions
- Review of all submissions and changes the draft Report as appropriate in response to submissions
- Submitting the revised PAR for approval.
The PAR process can take anywhere between six months and several years, depending on how complicated or contentious the proposed changes are, and whether revisions are required at various stages.
In some cases the proposed policy/zone changes can be very sensitive, such as protecting buildings that might need to be heritage listed. In these circumstances PARs are given 'interim operation' status. This allows the proposed changes to take legal effect at the start of public consultation. Interim operation acts as a holding measure; it also prevents applications being lodged while the policy change is being publically debated. Interim operation status can last for no more than 12 months. Interim operation status can be removed before the 12 months if the policy change is considered inappropriate, or the interim policy can be replaced by an approved PAR, provided this PAR has gone through the whole PAR process.
The PAR process includes an opportunity for anyone to make:
- a written submission
- a verbal submission.