So that we can better understand your project and your needs we will be asking you a variety of questions to assess whether we can help you move forward on your project, or whether we can refer you elsewhere.
The questions that we ask you will help both of us get more clarity on what the next steps would be for you to get closer to your goal. During the discussion we may recommend a Preliminary Planning Assessment, on a fee basis, to further determine the likelihood of your project being approved through council.
Your complimentary consultation will not be a sales pitch to use our services. It will simply be an initial conversation to see if you and your project are a good fit for what we do. If we think you are a good fit, then we will suggest that you proceed with a Preliminary Planning Assessment.
Just to let you know in advance, we are highly selective who we work with and our ideal clients are those who are open-minded, willing to listen and are open to receiving expert advice that leads them down the path to reach their goals.
We know how valuable the right approval can be, how monumental it is to you and your family.
Every week someone tells us, ‘I wish I had found you years ago’, or, ‘If only I knew you existed, I wouldn’t have wasted so much money’.
Remember, the cost of inaction in life and in property is real and a huge opportunity cost. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We are here to help.
A Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA), and its Project Strategy session, originally conceived by Council Approval Group, is a property analysis report and planning discussion on your property.
Not only is the purpose of this step to help you make a well-informed decision about the potential development options of your property (there are usually more than one or two options or even a combination of development options available), but it also predicts the sleekest course for an approval and anticipates the smoothest way around and through any anticipated “speed bumps”.
A Preliminary Planning Assessment generally answers the following questions:
A Preliminary Planning Assessment is essential for you to:
01. Avoid wasting time and money on an application only to find out later that the development you want is not permissible or is unlikely to be approved
02. Help you to find the easiest way to achieve your selected development option
03. Allow you to discover if there is a development scenario that is better suited to your needs or is more valuable than the option you have in mind
04. Better understand the towning planning laws that apply to your property
05. Explore and expose any planning law loopholes.
06. Receive preliminary advice on the likelihood of your preferred development option and its viability based on our 50+ consecutive years of experience
Consider what we like to call “the prescription without diagnosis is malpractice” parable to help explain this question.
You call up doctor A and explain that you’re ageing and every 24 hours you seem to be getting a day older and ask what the strategies are that can slow this process down. Without asking any questions about your lifestyle or health history, doctor A quotes a ridiculous dollar amount and says that you need an unnecessary yet immediate emergency procedure and alludes that it might literally cost you an arm and a leg.
You have never been so motivated to get a second opinion!
You then call doctor B (like Council Approval Group) and explain your situation using the exact same words. Unlike doctor A, doctor B takes the time to ask you the right questions and talks you through the proper procedure of making a professional and more accurate diagnosis, explains why working together could be the right fit, and is willing to help you every step of the way. And for a small initial fee, the foundational research could be done for further diagnosis. It’s only then that doctor B says they can know what’s really going on and how to tackle it.
Council Approval Group, like doctor B, only prescribes the full “treatment” (or the plan going forward for a development application, for example) once the primary research has been done—that’s the Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA).
The PPA stipulates what development type or business use is associated with your property. Our team scrutinise each planning instrument to expose every possible development potential available to the property. Excitingly, there is often more than one development opportunity, some superior to others.
The PPA identifies and highlights the probability of issues or hurdles that could come up and how to navigate them.
You can see why it would be a mistake, often an expensive mistake, to jump straight to a development application before having the initial report carried out on your property.
The PPA report acts as a roadmap to help you navigate the subsequent stages of a development application and to offer you the options for the highest value and best use of your property. We believe this step is crucial to the success of any project.
As our Principal, Max Fragar, says, “in property the most expensive advice is free advice”.
Plans are usually indicative of what planning laws apply to your property.
The benefit to getting a Preliminary Planning Assessment completed on your property before doing plans is that it allows you to discover the following:
If you do talk to council, one of three things is likely to occur. Either you will become discouraged because you can’t get the answers you need, or you’ll give up because the council duty planner tells you what you want to do is not possible, or you cannot understand the language.
They say that “a council town planner will tell you what you can’t do, a consultant town planner will tell you what you can do”.
Many people make the wrong assumption that council officers are there to help you deconstruct the planning rules and provide insight into how to interpret and decipher planning law. Sadly, it is in fact the opposite. A council planner’s job is not to find ways for you to do a project, and they can’t be seen as overtly encouraging a project.
Our team of expert town planners can unravel and interpret planning law to help you discover the best possibilities for your property. All can be revealed in a Preliminary Planning Assessment and Property Strategy Session that exclusively targets the potential development options available to you.
If you’re prepared beforehand with some real opportunities that are permissible on your property before talking to council, you’re already ahead of the game.