Zoning And Subdivision Enquiries
While Council staff can assist with verbal enquiries as to location of properties and zonings and advise generally as to minimum subdivision area, formal, written applications are required for a zoning certificate called a "Section 149 Planning Certificate". A Development Application has to be lodged for a subdivision. Subdivision applications are considered on their merits and there may be issues that emerge through the assessment process which determine the ultimate decision of the Council.
Existing Holding Entitlements
Existing Holding entitlements and subdivisions of existing holdings are not processed by verbal enquiry. A formal written Development Application (DA) has to be submitted for an existing holding search as well as consideration of the DA for subdivision. These applications are determined by the Council and not by staff.
Outstanding Orders And Building Condition
Information relating to outstanding orders or the condition of a building on a property are issued by the Council on formal application for an Orders Certificate or a Building Certificate. Where a Building Certificate is required, a recent survey by a registered surveyor has to be lodged with the application and the fee paid.
Property Charges And Rates
A formal application in the prescribed form for a Certificate under Section 603 of the Local Government Act is required to be lodged for disclosure of any outstanding rates and charges owing on a property to bona-fide purchases. Council staff are not at liberty under the Privacy Act to disclose financial transactions of a property owner, other than to bona-fide purchases who obtain the above certificates and pay the prescribed fee.
Enquiries concerning conveyancing transactions require the lodgement of an application for the above certificates and may require referral to different departments of Council. The comments by an individual staff member may not encompass all of the conveyancing transactions which are required to be in writing for the necessary certificates.
The verbal advice given by staff is to assist with facilitating the necessary information for Council to make a determination on a specific proposal. Verbal comments and advice given by a Council staff officer is not a development consent or a "guarantee in principle" of a development consent to any verbal enquiry. A specific development application with plans and specifications has to be considered on its merits and it is for the Council to make that determination. On certain development proposals, the Council may have to refer the application to other Government agencies before making a decision.
THIS STATEMENT HAS BEEN PREPARED SO THAT PERSONS MAY UNDERSTAND THE LIMITATIONS IMPOSED ON COUNCIL STAFF IN RESPONDING TO VERBAL ENQUIRIES AND NECESSARY LAWS TO BE OBSERVED IN GRANTING OF CERTIFICATES AND CONSENTS.