In a Queensland first, Townsville residents can now lodge development applications for low-risk residential structures on their properties and receive an approval on the same day.
In a move to reduce approval times for developments meeting certain criteria, Townsville City Council is shaving days off application assessment with the introduction of Same Day Approvals.
Planning and Development Committee chair Mark Molachino said the move aligns with Council’s goal to improve the connection between residents and Council.
“We identified low-risk applications that could be processed quickly and investigated solutions which make better use of Council’s digital tools,” Cr Molachino said.
Residents can now use Council’s website to submit applications that meet certain criteria, and then receive an approval on the same day of lodging.
“State legislation sets a 10-business day timeframe for Council to assess certain applications, but our Planning and Development team have found ways to drastically reduce that.
“It’s about connecting people to what they need, and sooner,” Cr Molachino said.
The two application types which can be processed as Same Day Approvals include:
· Secondary road frontage encroachments
· Side/rear boundary encroachments (where there is no residential neighbour)
A secondary road frontage encroachment is where a property contains two road frontages (generally a corner lot), and the landowner seeks approval to build within the legislated distance from the property boundary. State legislation requires a six-metre setback from the property boundary, but Council has the authority to relax the distance.
A side/rear boundary encroachment relates to the landowner seeking approval to build within the legislated 1.5 metre required distance from the property boundary, where the adjoining property does not contain a residential neighbour.
“If the neighbouring property is park land or a commercial property, it’s possible for an applicant to request approval for a structure to be located closer to the property boundary” Cr Molachino said.
Our residents will be able to fill out an electronic application on Council’s website, and if the application meets the eligibility criteria it will be processed and approved on the day of lodgement.
In addition to the electronic lodgement option, walk-ins are also welcome at Council’s Customer Service centre at 143 Walker Street, where residents with development enquiries will be able to ask questions or get clarification from a member of Council’s Planning and Development team.
“Having a chat with a Planning and Development team member will assist residents in realising their development opportunities and provides a great customer experience for the community” Cr Molachino said.