Councils uncooperative - who to call?

We are interested in doing a dual occupancy with my dad in the logan/ipswich area, Qld. We want to buy a block of land with a house already on it with subdivision potential and then building a 2nd house on the block. Being very green to this, we have many questions. We have tried to ask the council for information. However they seem very uncooperative. Is there any where else we should be looking to for information, like a private town planner? Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 
okay - dual occ is 2 dwellings on one title. under the BCA, this falls under a Residential Building and not a Residential Dwelling.

generally dual occ's are joined duplexes, side by side or one on top of the other. they need to meet all commercial fire codes as well.

a strata property development is more like what you sound like you want to do - as in, have one house on a large block, renovate the front, chop the back off and put another house there - each one operating independantly from each other.

this may be why council were unhelpful - your terminology may have thrown them off (remember the lowest common denominator principle) and they have an absolute DISDAIN for dual occ and they can't double the rates.

food for thought - and my advice is, always seek independant planning advice.
 
We are interested in doing a dual occupancy with my dad in the logan/ipswich area, Qld. We want to buy a block of land with a house already on it with subdivision potential and then building a 2nd house on the block. Being very green to this, we have many questions. We have tried to ask the council for information. However they seem very uncooperative. Is there any where else we should be looking to for information, like a private town planner? Any recommendations would be appreciated.

Blue Card makes some good points Vampii. We have recently received dual occupancy approval in Redbank Plains through Ipswich council. We could have done attached duplex, but we managed to get through a separate unattached 4,2,2 dwelling.

We employed a town planning consultant that was familiar with the Ipswich council terminology and the DA went through in only about 3-4 weeks. Ipswich Council have weird rules for dual occupancy/sub-division regarding block sizes, but we are just thankful they have given approval.

Maybe consider talking to a town planning consultant ... I'm sure they can smooth the way for you.

Martin
 
logan/ipswich?

You say Logan/Ipswich. These are two separate cities. Which city council are you dealing with?
 
Hi mystery/martin, is it possible to pm the details of your town planning consultant please? It would be much appreciated
Hi Kit, we are looking at both Logan and ipswich areas and asked both questions. Ipswich seems to be more flexible than Logan and have more reasonably priced properties on sale with subdivision potential, so we are tending a bit more towards Ipswich. We are looking at semi rural properties of between 1-5 acres.
 
Hi mystery/martin, is it possible to pm the details of your town planning consultant please?

Not a problem, .... done.

Regarding you looking to buy 1 to 1.5 acres, ... Have you considered starting with smaller projects? Personally I'd rather learn from mistakes on a small project and build up to larger ones as I gain knowledge rather than make errors that could cost huge dollar losses due to lack of experience.

Maybe start with a couple of sub-division or triplex projects first and see how it goes ... Maybe I'm just thinking conservatively because of my age, but I imagine that with larger developments you would need many years of development experience and knowledge.

Martin
 
Hi mystery/martin, is it possible to pm the details of your town planning consultant please? It would be much appreciated
Hi Kit, we are looking at both Logan and ipswich areas and asked both questions. Ipswich seems to be more flexible than Logan and have more reasonably priced properties on sale with subdivision potential, so we are tending a bit more towards Ipswich. We are looking at semi rural properties of between 1-5 acres.

out here at ipswich there arnt many properties of the size you require for sale ,if there are they will be high priced or out in the wilderness where demand isnt so flash
 
Thank you very much Martin for your recommendation.
The reason why we are doing this is because my dad has cash from selling his house 6 months ago and all of us are currently looking for a PPOR. My fiancee and I have wanted to buy an acreage property for a long time so we thought that by pooling our resources we could get 2 houses on a block and in essence share the land so that it becomes a little cheaper for both parties. Really it is to help my dad out a little as well.
All we want is a 3 bedroom house and a 4 bedroom house on a block, we aren't very interested in developing townhouses or anything as complicated as that. We don't even have to subdivide straight away, maybe only when we want to sell in the future. We do hope to make a small profit out of subdividing when we do sell.
Some of the suburbs that we have looked at under the Ipswich council that have small acreages include Chuwar and surroundings & Camira and surroundings. An example of what we are looking for, and we did see this on realestate.com.au that sold at $500K is a 3.4 acres property with a 4 bedroom house on it which had plans in council for subdivision into two 1.7 acre blocks.
Any advice would be much appreciated as we are super green to this. Thanks
 
Not a problem, .... done.

Regarding you looking to buy 1 to 1.5 acres, ... Have you considered starting with smaller projects? Personally I'd rather learn from mistakes on a small project and build up to larger ones as I gain knowledge rather than make errors that could cost huge dollar losses due to lack of experience.

Maybe start with a couple of sub-division or triplex projects first and see how it goes ... Maybe I'm just thinking conservatively because of my age, but I imagine that with larger developments you would need many years of development experience and knowledge.

Martin

Mystery- please could you p/m the details of your town planner as well

Thanks
 
You were saying that Council seemed "very uncooperative"
I wonder if many people realise that many town planners are reluctant to help potential applicants unless these applicants have got independent advice in the first instance.

Most planners I have worked with over the years consider that they are not being paid to be the applicant's consultant and actually do the planning for them, they consider that they act for Council only and that an applicant must come up with a scheme which can then be commented on. This attitude seems to be part of "planning culture" from what I can see.

There is a second side to this attitude. Planners are reluctant to suggest things or have "design input" often because it can come back on the planner at the end of the assessment and the applicant can say that the plannner "made them do it like that" and when things go wrong, the planner can wind up knee deep in it.

I haven't had this problem and have often been helpful in the upfront design phase (a fact I generally keep from my bosses due to this old predjudice). I guess that I have been careful and lucky in that this has never backfired in me so far (touch wood).

So, always get you scheme up and running design-wise first by using the planing controls to work out what is possible. Then you are in a position to go to Council with your scheme and get proper advice. Most Councils would have semi-formal design review panels where you can take your draft sketches to get critiqued and get written advice showing you how to proceed. Definitely take advantage of this type of thing if it's avaiable.

Planning consent is always one of the most critical bottlenecks in the development process, it's VERY important to know how to play the game.

Good Luck :)
 
Town Planners usually Charge about 2k for a small project and they will deal with the council to comply with all the requirements.

Development application process depends on a number of factors:
1. the type of development.
2. the level of assessment.
3 the location, zoning, overlays of the property,
4. topography of the property.
5. are there any referral agencies.

Each property is different so keep in mind that if someone got an approval in two months, it might take longer for you. Each lot is different even if they are next door to each-other.

it is highly unlikely that a development application is approved in less than a month unless the development application is subject to the Risksmart process.

the Risksmart process is basically where the approved town planner writes the development application and assesses the development application at the same time. this can result in development applications completed within a couple of weeks. Keep in mind that the risksmart process only applies for certain applications in certain council's.

i would contact the council and ask if they have the risksmart process

Some Good town planners that work in the area:

Cottrell Cameron and Steen Surveys (ccssurveys.com.au) and Ken ryan and associates.

regards
Antonio
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Top