THINK TANK: The Southern Downs Regional Council believe free pre-lodgement meetings for development applications can help speed up the process.
THINK TANK: The Southern Downs Regional Council believe free pre-lodgement meetings for development applications can help speed up the process. ChickiBam

Got a development idea? Here's how to fast track it

SPEEDING up the development application process could be as simple as meeting with the Southern Downs Regional Council before lodging it.

The council offers free pre-lodgement development application meetings, which could help encourage development in the region.

Meeting with a council offer, the applicant is able to raise queries and seek clarification for the proposal.

The advice can then be used to strengthen the application before it is formally submitted.

Director of Planning, Environment and Corporate Services Ken Harris said pre-lodgement meetings helped speed up the approval process and facilitate further development and investment in the region.

"Many councils in Queensland charge for pre-lodgement meetings, however Southern Downs Regional Council offers this service for free,” Mr Harris said.

"In most cases pre-lodgement discussions reduce the need for council to issue an information request as part of the application process and allow a decision to be made more quickly because all of the relevant information required has been submitted.

"The process gives the applicants an understanding of the planning process which outlines council's position on the development so there are limited unforeseen matters that arise for the applicant during the assessment/decision process.

"The pre-lodgement discussions create transparency between Council and the applicant to build a good relationship.”

Mayor Tracy Dobie said pre-lodgement meetings encourage investment into the region.

"Something what discourages developers and businesses from investing is red tape and delays in getting the necessary approvals from Council,” Cr Dobie said.

"These meetings allow developers to avoid challenges and delays in their application, which encourages further investment and growth in our region.”

The meetings are most suitable for larger development applications.

Applicants are able to submit a rough concept plan and cover letter outlining the proposal with their contact details.

Once this is received, a planning officer contacts the applicant to organise a meeting, with an engineer, environmental or health officer if necessary.

Meetings can be requested by calling 1300697372 or sending an email via mail@sdrc.qld.gov.au.



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