Reforms to the building approvals process for single residential housing will reduce time delays, giving owners and builders greater certainty about when building work can start.
Announced by Commerce Minister Michael Mischin MLC to come into effect in mid-2015, the Instant Start initiative will allow registered builders to start construction upon lodging a certified permit application while the application was processed by local government.
The changes recognise that certified applications have been verified by competent independent experts to be compliant with planning and building requirements.
With the lack of certainty about the time taken to grant an approval being a significant cause of cost, delay and frustration for the home building industry and its clients, these changes have been welcomed by builders and home owners alike.
As a builder, you will no longer have to tolerate uncertain start times and will be able to schedule subcontractors in the most efficient way. You can be confident in starting work because both planning and building compliance have been verified before you submit an application. Your clients could potentially save hundreds of dollars a week in mortgage costs on land and in rental costs.
Instant Start will be available to registered builders only as soon as the required amendments to building and planning regulations are made, which is expected to take six months.
The Department of Planning and the Building Commission will work towards a system of planning verification over this period.
Instant Start will apply initially to single residential buildings as defined by the R-Codes. Certified building permit applications must be accompanied by verification that planning consent is not required. Department of Planning is investigating extending private sector involvement to planning assessments requiring the use of discretionary decision making.
Instant Start will also apply to home renovations when they are carried out by a registered builder.
These reforms pave the way for electronic lodgement and processing of building applications. This will reduce variations in requirements between local governments and remove the current manual processing period needed to assess applications for completeness and compliance.