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Testimonials

Central Coast client (lapsing [...]

"I can't thank you enough for the huge effort you personally put into achieving the successful outcome in the last two weeks. It was stressful for me but from the first time I spoke with you I knew I was in the most capable of hands. Your professionalism and never say die attitude is a very calming influence on your clients and I look forward to referring other people to your consultancy."

Waterfront owner

"You’re good at what you do."

Satisfactory resolution

“May I take this opportunity to thank you for involvement in this complicated matter which is now at a conclusion. There is no doubt that your assistance has been of immense help.”

Another satisfied client [...]

"thank you very much Helen for meeting with us in Sydney and for all the great work you’ve done so far. You’ve put us in a strong negotiating position with our neighbour."

Waterfront owners with [...]

"...we do appreciate all you have and are doing for us re this situation. It has not been an easy task for you, and your preparation for Tuesday's site meeting was great, as has been all your other work."

Central Coast client on [...]

"Thank you again for such prompt service and high quality work. We will definitely be in touch soon to discuss the next steps"

Central Coast client [...]

"Helen, thanks again, you were the best thing to come out of this whole episode I really appreciate what you did for us."

Central Coast client [...]

"A quick email of thanks for your time today. You certainly do know your stuff!"

Subdivision battle

“You kept the Council staff honest by not letting them get away with a sloppy assessment that wasn’t fair and that had errors of fact. Then you tackled the Councillors! Well done.”

Building a portfolio

“You gave me strategic advice that I hadn’t heard in any of the investment seminars I’d paid good money for. It was well worth while having a couple of planning sessions with you.”

Sydney/Central Coast Client

"This is such great news! Thank you so much to Helen for the hard work and the quality of the submission and follow through that I have no doubt significantly contributed ... Collaborating made such a difference."

Subscriber

A phenomenal job done with this newsletter, and right up to date with the Federal Budget.

Apparent breach by a [...]

"Once again I can’t thank you enough for your interest in this situation. It is certainly very distressing (and could have become very expensive)."

Rezone then subdivide

“You protected our interests throughout. … Tactically skilful and technically knowledgeable, and you know the system. We relied on your skills and knowledge and we’ve obtained the desired result.”

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FAQ

• Do I need approval for my development or building project?
Simple buildings like a small cubby house will not require approval. Some other projects will not require approval but will require certification as complying development if they fit within the NSW guidelines. Everything else requires approval, usually from Council. Some projects require approval from multiple authorities (eg liquor licence, anything in a bushfire or mine subsidence area or beside a highway, creek or waterway). Sometimes it is better to obtain all the State approvals or exemptions prior to lodging an Integrated Development Application with Council (eg jetty).

• How can I find a property that is suitable for my project?
Focus on the permitted land uses within each zone, as described in an area’s Local Environment Plan (www.legislation.nsw.gov.au then EPIs, then look for the first letter of the local government area). You may need to check the LEP’s Dictionary (at the end) to find a land use definition that lawfully fits your project. You will need deep pockets, a long lead time and a good town planning consultant if you like a block but the use is prohibited there.

• A real estate agent says I can put my business into these leased premises, but the previous tenant was a different type of business. What do I have to do?
We would submit an application to Council for a “change of use”, with documentation to justify your business proposal. Avoid signing an unconditional lease before approval has been gained.

• I have received a breach notification letter from a public authority about my property/ business. What happens next?
Talk to us, or to your lawyer rather than ignoring the letter. Stop doing whatever has been objected to. Usually breach notices are staged, with a notification of intention to breach coming first, which we would stall (if possible). An application seeking approval to do what you want to do is likely to follow, in order to remediate the breach.

• What right do I have to object to my neighbour’s project?
Adhere to the notified deadline for Council’s receipt of submissions. Develop your arguments and obtain professional advice: some aspects can be objected to successfully, others cannot because they meet the planning rules. Usually, you can lobby and address staff, Councillors, the Joint Regional Planning Panel or Planning Assessment Commission about your concerns (especially the impact of the proposal on you or others nearby).

• To what extent can details of my project break the planning rules? The rules simply do not fit my site.
Some variations are possible, and there are 3 escalating methods for appealing planning standards at the application stage (before going to Court). Focus on achieving the planning objectives.

• What reports will be required with each application?
Check Council’s website for DA guidelines, or DA matrix or similar. The required reports for different types of development will be listed as “yes, no, maybe”. Be cautious about relying on verbal advice from Council.

• What is the process for changing the zoning on a block or otherwise gaining approval for what I want? This is too highly regulated for me!
It is a long process, starting with a Planning Proposal. Check:
http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Plans-for-Your-Area/Local-Environmental-Plans/The-Gateway-Process

• Where can I do best in property development and what are the risks?
Call us: that is a long conversation.

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