Page 3991 - Week 13 - Wednesday, 30 October 2013

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Dear Mr Doszpot

I refer to your letter of 17 September 2013 in which you seek information regarding my indication on 10 April 2013 during Question Time, that I had requested the preparation of an amendment to the Planning and Development Regulation 2008.

As you correctly state, the purpose of the amendment is to restrict the availability of certain development approval exemptions for significant development works on dwellings with common walls. I am pleased to advise that I expect the amendment will be made and come into operation in the near future.

It is proposed to amend the DA demolition exemption provision in s1.100B of schedule 1 of the regulation to remove its application to the demolition of duplexes. Related amendments in connection with significant alternations other than demolition are also being considered.

The proposed amendment on demolition will mean that the demolition of one of the dwellings in a duplex will require development approval under the Planning and Development Act 2007. This will ensure that such demolitions are fully assessed by the planning and land authority as well as providing an opportunity for public representations on the development application. It will also ensure that any conditions relating to the demolition, such as common wall rectification works, can be set as appropriate by the authority.

Thank you for your interest in this matter.

Madam Speaker, I think that does address the issues Mr Doszpot has raised in his question today. Of course, I will be providing him with a copy of this correspondence that I have just signed.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Doszpot.

MR DOSZPOT: Minister—and I will be quite happy to give you further dorothy dixers—can you tell us the details of the amendments that you are planning, the details of the amendments pertaining to the common party wall issue?

MR CORBELL: As I just indicated in my previous answer, the amendments will require that anyone wishing to demolish one half of a duplex gets formal development approval. Therefore, rather than requiring simply a building certifier, because it is currently exempt work in terms of DA approval, that would mean that up front someone wanting to demolish one half of a duplex will have to satisfy the Planning and Land Authority that, firstly, the rectification following demolition is to the appropriate standard in terms of that common party wall. Secondly, it will mean that the person residing in or owning the other half of the duplex is aware up front of what their neighbours are proposing to do and will have the opportunity to comment on that before any approval is considered. I think that would address a lot of the problems that we saw arise in relation to the Yarralumla incident.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mrs Jones.

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