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Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA)

How Does A Preliminary Planning Assessment (PPA) Help Me?

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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:

  • What is the quickest and easiest path to get approval for the development option I would like to achieve?
  • Are there any planning law loopholes that might simplify the approval process?
  • What are the planning laws that apply to my property in the context of my ambition?
  • What are my chances of success?
  • What major hurdles should I be aware of and what hoops will I need to jump through to achieve approval?
  • Is there a better project than I have thought of?

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 aging 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:

  • The quickest and easiest path to getting approval for the development option you would like to achieve
  • The best development option for your property
  • If there are any loopholes that might simplify the approval process
  • The planning laws that apply to your property in the context of your ambition.
  • Your chances of success.
  • What major hurdles you should be aware of and what hoops you will need to jump through to achieve approval

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 the council, you’re already ahead of the game.

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