PRELIMINARY ISSUES – check the validity of the application

  • Notification (see r.9, Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 2014)
    • Have signs been erected on all subject lots?
    • Have all adjoining neighbours received letters?
    • Does the notice properly describe the development?
  • Information requirements
    • Check the planning scheme requirements for information that must be included with a development application.
    • If any part of the development is on Crown Land, check that the CLS has given written approval to the application.


  • Check the zoning
  • Confirm the appropriate classification of the use or development – is it ancillary to an existing development? Does it fall within exemptions?
  • Confirm the status of the development (permitted, discretionary, prohibited)
  • Assess the development against the specific development standards for the zone. E.g:
    • Are setback / height / density restrictions satisfied?
    • Have traffic, access and parking issues been addressed?
    • Will the proposal impact on amenity / character?
    • Have water disposal, runoff and sewerage issues been addressed?
  • Assess the development against any relevant Codes. E.g:
    • Is the development near a waterway or coastal reserve?
    • Are any heritage properties affected?
    • Is the development within a prescribed attenuation distance?


  • Check whether any State Policy provisions apply
  • Check any relevant Council policies / bylaws
    (e.g. does the Council have a policy on maintaining public access to the beach, protecting recreation areas, promoting tourism or encouraging public transport?)
  • Is the development a Level 2 development? If so, it must be referred to the EPA.  If not, should it be referred to the EPA on environmental grounds?
  • If the proposal involves vegetation clearing, will a Forest Practices Plan be required?
  • Will any threatened species be affected?
  • Will the matter need to be referred under the EPBC Act?
  • Are any heritage places affected by the proposal? If so, is it necessary to get a works permit from the Heritage Council?
  • Will access to / egress from the proposal affect a State highway? If so, State Growth will need to assess the proposal.
  • Is there any further information that should be requested to understand the impacts of the development? (for example, have sufficient geotechnical studies been done to be sure that the land is stable?)


  • Our job is to assess the proposal against the planning scheme.  We’re experts in planning, but you are the expert on local conditions – the most useful things you can tell us are about what this place is like right now, and how this development will change that.  That information will help us to do our job and make sure we’re applying the scheme correctly. 
  • Offer solutions – are there conditions that would help to address your concerns? (for example, would you be happy if the operating hours were limited, access was restricted to one side of the property, the scale of the development was reduced or pollutants were stored and removed, rather than discharged into the neighbouring creek?).
  • Be really clear about what you want – ideally, in a summary at the start of your representation.  Understanding what you hope to achieve (e.g. refusal of the development, relocation of some of the components of the development, reduced hours) helps us to assess your representation against the planning scheme criteria.
  • Petitions don’t influence planners (though they may influence Councillors!) – we are concerned about the planning issues, so it is less important how many people raise an issue and more important how relevant that issue is.

Click here for a sample representation to Council.