Transitional issue in lodging development applications
6 December 2012
The recent amendments to the Sustainable Planning Act which took effect immediately on the date of assent (22 November 2012) have created a transitional risk for clients and solicitors lodging development applications.
Provisions of the Act have commenced without corresponding provisions having taken effect in the Regulation and the approved forms have not yet been updated by the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. The existing forms are now inconsistent with the Act, particularly Question 9 of IDAS form 1 and the various development assessment checklist forms. For Question 9 and the related notes at the end of the form (Does the application involve a state resource?) the regulation is currently inconsistent with the Act.
Applications made that do not use the approved forms and that do not contain the mandatory information required in those forms will not be properly made (see ss 260 and 261). The danger is that this might pass unnoticed by the assessment manager and only be discovered at a very late stage.
Solicitors advising clients in this area might like to consider whether it is preferable to delay lodging development applications until the forms have been correctly updated. If applications have already been lodged, consideration could be given to contacting the assessment manager at an early stage regarding a minor change to the application and resubmitting those parts of the application that require the approved forms once they issue. For applications lodged from 22 November 2012 that include Crown land, note that ‘owner’s consent’ is now required (not State resource consent).
A representative of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning advises that it is anticipated that the static forms will be available by next week and the interactive forms before 21 December 2012.