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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2002 Week 1 Hansard (13 December) . . Page.. 297 ..

Development approvals

(Question No 10)

Ms Tucker asked the Minister for Planning, upon noticce:

In relation to minor amendments to development approvals under section 247 of the Land (Planning and Environment) Act 1991:

(1) How many minor amendments have been.approved in (a) 2000, and (b) since the beginning of 2001, and (c) what is the number as a percentage of the total number of DA approvals for these periods.

(2) What was the nature of each of these amendments, ie type and location of the building originally approved, how the minor amendment changed the design of the building, why the minor amendment was necessary.

(3) What public consultation, if any, occurs in assessing an application for a minor amendment; eg. with neighbours.

(4) What notification, if any, is given to persons other than the applicant eg to neighbours, of an approval of a minor amendment.

(5) How does PALM assess whether a minor amendment will not cause a significant increase in the detriment to any person, as required in paragraph 247 (2) (c) of the Land Act.

(6) Which positions in PALM assess and/or approve applications for minor amendments.

(7) What checking or auditing is undertaken within PALM to ensure that amendments approved under section 247 of the Act are only for genuinely minor circumstances.

Mr Corbell: The answers to Ms Tucker's questions are as follows:

(1) PALM approved a total of 4293 Development Applications (DAs) in the year 2000. Of these 7% involved section 247 amendments. To date this year (2001) 4826 DAs have been approved. Of these 20% involved section 247 amendments.

(2) Minor amendments to development approvals usually relate to minor design changes to buildings and/or landscaping implemented during the construction phase of the project. Minor amendments generally include items such as the addition or deletion of a window, internal alterations (moving internal walls, altering the layout of a bathroom, kitchen or ensuite), minor changes to ground lines or height above ground level, porches and steps, the additions of minor elements like pergolas, and changes of external materials.

Considering the number of applications determined by PALM over the 2000/2001 years, it is not practical to provide the individual details of each approval.

(3) The criteria which must be satisfied for the approval of a minor amendment are clearly set out in subsection 247 (2) of the Land Act. Subsection (3) clearly defines the persons who should be given notice of an approval.

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