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Understanding the application process


All development applications must be sent to Council for their approval, but what is the process? 


Before applying for a development permit, you can have what’s known as a Pre-Lodgment meeting with Council. This meeting allows you to discuss your proposal with Council before applying, saving you time and money. They will provide you with some feedback on the proposal and let you know if it is something that can be approved.  

1. Application 

The first stage of lodging an application is to ensure that it is properly made. Council will make sure that the application is properly made before entering it into their system. If some information is missing or not filled out correctly, Council will issue an Action Notice and let you know what needs to be fixed. If the application has been properly made, Council will issue a Confirmation Notice to let you know that everything was done correctly. 

2. Referral (only needed in certain applications) 

In some instances, you might require a referral for your application for it to progress. Some referral agencies include the State Government (SARA), Waterway Authorities (Gold Coast Waterway Authority) or Utility providers (Queensland Urban Utilities). If referral is needed for the application, Council will not be able to progress to the next stage unless this has been received. If your application does not require referral, it will skip this stage in the process. 

3. Information Request (potential) 

In this stage, Council can ask you to provide further information about your proposal. They will issue what’s known as an Information Request, which will outline all of the information that Council is looking for. Once you have provided Council with this further information, you can progress to the next stage. However, if Council does not require any further information, it will skip this stage in the process. 

4. Public Notification (only needed in certain applications) 

In certain circumstances, you may be required to go through the Public Notification stage. This stage is only needed if your application is ‘Impact’ assessable. Public notification means that you must inform the public about your development by providing letters, signs and even an ad in the local newspaper. This allows for the community to make submissions to Council about their view of the development, which will be considered when making a decision. If public notification is not needed, it will skip this stage in the process. 

5. Decision 

This is the last stage of the application process. In this stage, Council will use all the previous stages of the application process to determine if the application should be approved. Depending on the Council, it can range from 25-35 business days. Once a decision has been made, Council will contact the applicant and provide them the decision notice, which outlines if the development is approved, approved in part, approved with conditions or refused.  

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