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  FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR SINGLE RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS  
     
   
   
  What is DA (Development Application)?

Most building and demolition work requires a Development Application to be lodged with Council (unless it is Exempt or Complying development)

Examples of types of development requiring development consent are;

  • Construct a new building or structure, including outbuildings, swimming pools, retaining walls etc
  • Add to or alter an existing building
  • Demolish a building
  • Any works proposed on a heritage item or within a heritage conservation area
  • Change the use of an existing building or premises to another use
  • Subdivision of land (including strata)
  • Erection of advertising or other signage
  • Carry out excavation, earthworks or filling
  • Any other uses that fall under the definition of "Development" in the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act


  • To find out more:

    Majority of council websites have detailed information sheets that explained DA and its process

    Below are examples from Warringah Council website:

    Lodging a Development Application in Warringah
    http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/plan_dev/documents/LodgingDAinWarringah.pdf

    The Development Application Process

    http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/plan_dev/documents/DA_PROCESS.pdf

    After Development Consent - What Do I Do Next?
    http://www.warringah.nsw.gov.au/plan_dev/documents/AFTER_CONSENT_PROCESS.pdf
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      How does the process work?

     
    STAGES
    Design
    Documentation
    Construction
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      How long will my project take?

    DESIGN: To estimate the time to complete a design is difficult, as the design process is not a mechanical process, however it is recommended that for a residential design a period of 6 months be allowed.

    DEVELOPMENT APPROVALS: Recent surveys have indicated that the average approval time for many Sydney Council’s is in excess of 100 days.

    DOCUMENTATION: We recommend that a period of 3 months be allowed for documentation after the development approval. While it is possible to commence documentation during the approval process (fast track) there is a risk that the parts of the documentation completed will be superseded by development conditions or failure to gain an approval which may result in additional consultant’s fees.

    TENDERING: A period of 6-8 weeks should be allowed for tendering and tender negotiation. After the builder has been selected a further period of 2 weeks should be allowed for the preparation of contract documents for signing and the site establishment by the builder.

    CONSTRUCTION: The following guide assumes a minimum of abortive time and does not include delays caused by inclement weather or unknown site conditions.

    $350,000      6 months
    $750,000      9 months
    $1M              12 months
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      How much will my project cost?

    Records of recent
    Construction Cost per Square Meter Sydney indicate that new houses and additions are costing between $2,000/m² to $4,800/m² excluding demolition, terraces, balconies, external services and landscaping. Reports of $9,000/m² for prestige luxury housing are becoming more common.

    Alterations to existing buildings are more difficult to analyse but where substantial work is proposed we have found costs to be equal to those of new building due to the need to match existing, constrained work areas and limited access.

    Please note, these costs can provide no more than a rough guide to the probable cost of building, as costs can vary significantly based on site conditions, level of fitout and design.
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      What fee do you charge?

    The fee for full architectural service will be in the order of 6 to10% of the final building cost which is defined as the total cost of the building works excluding GST but including the cost of any approved but later abandoned work. The fee percentage will increase slightly for works less than $200,000 and decrease slightly for works over $1M.

    Alterations and additions will incur the additional cost of preparing measured drawings of the existing building. A measured drawing will be carried out by our office at any hourly rate and will usually cost in the order of $1,000.
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      Can I obtain partial service?

    Yes, we provide partial service and fees will be based on a percentage of the total fees.

    Assuming the total fee has been agreed at 6% of the construction cost.
    Break up consist of:


    Design Stage
    Documentation Stage
    Construction Stage
    2% of the construction cost
    2% of the construction cost
    2% of the construction cost

    NOTE: All costs and fees referred to are exclusive of GST

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      Any other costs?

    Design:


    Detail survey in the order of $1,000 to $2,500.
    The Preliminary Opinion of Cost from a cost consultant will cost in the order of $800 for projects under $1M.

    Other items may be required included:
    Consultation with townplanner, Pre-DA meeting and etc


    DEVELOPMENT APPROVALS:

    Council Application and Advertising Fees in the order of $1,000 to $3,000
    'Soft' landscape plans prepared by a Landscape Architect in the order of $1,000 to $2,000
    Stromwater design prepared by a Civil Engineer in the order of $1,000 to $2,000

    BASIX & NatHERS Energy Efficiency Rating reports in the order of $1,000

    Other items may be required included:
    Land & Environment Court Appeal, Heritage Reports, Traffic Report, Acoustic Report, Arborist Report, Fauna Report, models, photomontages and etc


    DOCUMENTATION:

    The Detailed Opinion of Cost from a cost consultant will cost in the order of $1,200 for projects under $1M.

    If geo-technical report is required to investigate the sub surface conditions on a site this will cost in the order of $2,000 to $5,000 where reasonable access exists.

    Structural engineering design and documentation will be required to prepare tender documentation. For projects between $200,000 and $1M allow an amount in the order of 1.2% of the construction cost.

    Principal Certifying Authority to issue Construction Certificate will cost in the order of $1,200

    Other items may be required included:
    Mechanical engineer, Council bonds, contributions and etc


    CONSTRUCTION:


    Structural engineering periodic site inspections will be required. For projects between $200,000 and $1M allow an amount in the order of 0.4% of the construction cost.

    Principal Certifying Authority to carry out site inspections will cost in the order of $1,000

    Other items may be required included:
    Arborist inspections, lighting specialist and etc
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      What is BASIX?

    On 1st July 2004 the New South Wales government introduced the BASIX (Building Sustainability Index) into the development approval process for new homes.
    BASIX is aimed at ensuring each dwelling design meets the following targets compared with the average home:
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25%
  • Decreasing water usage by 40%
  • A BASIX Certificate is required for all new residential dwellings in NSW.
    All alterations and additions in NSW, that require a development application, will require a BASIX Certificate from 1st October 2005.
    For more information visit:
    http://www.basix.nsw.gov.au/information/index.jsp
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      What is the BCA?

    The Building Code of Australia is produced and maintained by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) on behalf of the Australian Government and State and Territory Governments. The BCA has been given the status of building regulations by all States and Territories.
    The goals of the BCA are to enable the achievement and maintenance of acceptable standards of structural sufficiency, safety (including safety from fire), health and amenity for the benefit of the community now and in the future.
    These goals are applied so that the BCA extends no further than is necessary in the public interest, are cost effective, easily understood, and are not needlessly onerous in its application.
    The BCA contains technical provisions for the design and construction of buildings and other structures, covering such matters as structure, fire resistance, access and egress, services and equipment, and certain aspects of health and amenity.
    For more information visit:
    http://www.aib.org.au/buildingcodes/bca.htm
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      Any other questions?

    If you have any other questions please contact David Lin
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