approval for second dwelling

Who is the best go to department/person to find out firstly what the requirements are to have a pre-existing structure approved to live in and what would be the expected cost. It was I believe the original building before the home was built. I have read a lot of the comments already regarding new granny flat laws and development applications and am still not sure how to find out what the Building Code of Australia's requirements are and other legislation from local council if that's the way to go. It seems there is no clear or consistent information available or I don't know where to look.
 
From what I have read and from what I have been advised to do by experts is to go visit your local council first. Have a chat with them and tell them your plans, they will help put you on the right track.

Be honest with council and you will find they are a great help. They seem busy all the time, but be persistant with your questions and you will get answers.

Cheers

Mick
 
Good luck with Newcastle council. 3 of us have spoken to them on the exact same issue and received 3 different answers. :rolleyes:

If I were you I would turn up in person and go speak face to face - don't be fooled into accepting the response that "it is on the council web-site". It might be - but I always ask for the link - I find it very difficult to navigate.
 
Thanks, I did contact the council and they directed me to the dept of planning website so its difficult to know exactly what you are looking at applies to each individual. Will take advice on board and go to their offices.
 
Who is the best go to department/person to find out firstly what the requirements are to have a pre-existing structure approved to live in and what would be the expected cost. It was I believe the original building before the home was built. I have read a lot of the comments already regarding new granny flat laws and development applications and am still not sure how to find out what the Building Code of Australia's requirements are and other legislation from local council if that's the way to go. It seems there is no clear or consistent information available or I don't know where to look.

Hi infooverload,

If its a secondary dwelling (granny flat) there are 2 ways it can go:
1. You'll be required to submiyt a DA. The compliance matters wont be listed on the Newcastle Council nor the Planning Dept's website. The only way is to either have the BCA and to study it (got 4 years?) or to employ a Building Expert. You can try a Private Certifier in your area or a knowledgable draftsman. The advantage of the latter is that same person can then prepare and submit your application for approval. Overall Cost: Approx $3,000

2. If the structure (granny flat) seems to be compliant as it stands, you can apply for a Building Certificate which is cheaper and faster than a DA. This involves getting a Registered Survey and applying for the Building Certificate with a simple form from Council. They will then do an inspection of the 'Part' of the land which has the granny flat. If it fails in some way (insulation, sealing, drainage, piling, Fire-Separation etc etc) they'll ask you to bring these works up to standard before issuing the BC. Cost: approx. $800 (assuming no issues with compliance).

I hope this helps you. Good Luck.

Brazen.
 
Hi Brazen
Thank you for the information. I have contacted a couple of certifiers and they directed me back to the council, with advice from council that unless the building complies with the BCA I might be wasting my time and money. I was able though to get some more positive info from another source who told me that I should try and get a planning consultant to have a look at it for me - so I think that is along the lines that you are explaining. You really have to be savvy to understand a lot of what is expected and try not to be disheartened with conflicting information. I am keen to do this properly so I will use your information. Thanks again - wish me luck!
 
Top