3 Important things to remember with council approval and landscaping.

Navigating the local council bureaucracy is the last thing anyone wants to be bogged down with, especially when it’s putting the brakes on an exciting project. However, it’s a necessary hurdle that you’ll most likely encounter along the way, and getting it right can save time, money, and stress. Here are the three most important things to keep in mind as you plan your landscaping project. 

  1. Know if and when approval is needed

Probably the first thing to check is whether you need council approval in the first place. To this end, the best advice is always, check. Whether it’s a new pool fence, adding a gazebo, or even shifting your patio area, you’re most likely going to need approval. 

While everyone’s vision, design, and space are different, setting up a meeting with your local council is the first step. Sometimes just receiving the go-ahead from an over-the-counter consultation will be all you need to get the job done. Depending on the size and nature of your project it could require much more paperwork and may play out over several weeks or months.

  1. Get your head around the process

Once you know that approval is required, speak with your developer. Inquire about the planning approval and building approval. Keeps in mind that these are two different approvals that must be filed separately at your local council. Make sure you keep all your planning and notes together in one folder, this makes it easy to answer questions if called upon to do so. 

It also helps to know exactly why planning approvals are necessary. Planning approvals are in place to minimise the impact of a proposed development on surrounding lots, and the environment more generally. This can take anywhere up to a few months to get done. Building approval is normally applied for once you have your planning approval in hand. You’ll receive building approval when all the structural demands and physical building site concerns have been accounted for. This process can take anywhere between 10-25 business days. By hiring a third-party surveyor to certify your plans as per the national construction codes of Australia, you can apply with a certified application. This should fast track your building approval at least by a few days. 

  1. Move quickly and manage expectations

While gaining council approval is often a lot of box ticking, it ultimately counts towards something real and tangible, so make sure you’re happy with the fine print.

Having all your documents in order and submitted in time will ensure you get the best possible turnaround. Local councils, especially in growing suburbs, are renowned for taking their time with planning approvals. Landscape design in Perth is a constantly changing game, forever locked in a dance with local council officials, disgruntled neighbours, contractors, and planners. Give yourself the best shot at a speedy approval by clueing yourself in on the rules. For more details on how the process works in your suburb, contact your local council.