SOUTH Australian Planning Minister John Rau last week announced that new laws introduced to streamline planning approvals for code compliant new housing are now in effect, as part of government measures to reduce red tape and stimulate the construction industry.
The Development (Private Certification) Amendment Bill, which was passed by Parliament late last year, amended the Development Act 1993 provide for the private certification of planning applications for low-risk, low-impact residential development.
The new laws remove the restriction on private certifiers granting development plan consent and introduce a new provision requiring a relevant authority to accept that a proposed development complies with the provisions of the appropriate development plan to the extent that such compliance is certified by a certificate from a private certifier.
As a result of the changes, applicants will now be able to seek all necessary development approvals (building and planning) for a home covered by the residential code through a private certifier.
"This will make things easier for home owners who are seeking planning approvals who are forced to wait months by some councils," Mr Rau said, adding that the changes will reduce waiting times to less than two weeks for certain planning applications.
"Private certification laws are in response to a request from the building industry, which employs many South Australians."
The Minister said the new laws build upon recent changes to the planning laws designed to streamline housing approvals (including new homes and extensions to existing homes).
"Last year, the Premier conducted a round table with the building industry and private certification was one of the proposals suggested. The Government took on board this advice and we have now delivered on these changes," Mr Rau said.