Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 5 May 2011) . . Page.. 1902 ..
heads-up to local residents that building is about to commence where there has not been a requirement to notify them of the proposal.
In terms of minor and major notification, the Planning and Development Act and its Regulation aligns a level of notification to the likely impact of the development. Minor notification means that the adjoining lessees are notified that a development is proposed and the DA is placed on the ACTPLA website for access only by those lessees. For example, a single house that does not meet the rules of the single-dwelling residential code but addresses the criteria is subject to minor notification. Ultimately, the notification of this sort of DA is limited because the likely impact of that development is contained to their immediate neighbours. It is unlikely that the neighbour two doors down or 200 metres away will be impacted by the development. In these cases, only adjoining lessees are notified, and only they receive web log-on details to access the plans and related documents.
Widening the requirements for minor notification, as Ms Le Couteur suggested in the draft amendments I have seen, would, in my view, be over-complicating the notification arrangements for developments that have a relatively contained impact. As I have just foreshadowed, PABLAB No 2 will propose a trigger to erect a notice on site where building work will occur, which will alert neighbours further afield that work is commencing.
Importantly, where the broader neighbourhood and community are likely to be impacted by a development, such as a dual occupancy or a multi-unit development, the DA is subject to major notification. Major notification requires that adjoining lessees are notified, that a sign is placed on the block, that a notice is placed in the daily newspaper—and, since we have only choice, that is the Canberra Times—and the DA is put on the ACTPLA website. More people are actively notified because the likely impact of the proposal is greater. But it is important again to remember the distinction between notification and consultation.
So far, I have spoken about the notification of DAs, which is the statutory responsibility of ACTPLA. However, when it comes to consultation with the community on proposed developments, it is important to remember that this is the role of the proponent. I believe Ms Le Couteur and I are in agreement that the requirements for proponent-led, pre-lodgement consultation for certain developments should be legislated.
But it is important to get these requirements right so that they properly benefit the community without unfairly burdening the planning system or proponents. This is not just a matter of legislating the requirement for a DA lodgement form, nor is it a matter of adopting proposed amendments to the Planning and Development Act that, frankly, we have had less than 24 hours to thoroughly review. I think it is imperative that the requirements for pre-lodgement consultation are meaningful but are not unnecessarily onerous and that any consequences of legislation in this area are carefully considered.
As such, the Planning and Land Authority, at my direction, is investigating options, and I will be introducing further amendments to the Planning and Development Act later this year to legislate the requirement for pre-lodgement consultation for certain