Sometimes, information needed to properly assess a development application is not provided. Under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, Council as the Assessment Manager may request further information via an Information Request. Where further information is required, it must be requested within the following timeframes:
- Impact Assessable applications and Code Assessable applications (with referral agencies) - within 10 days of an Acknowledgment Notice being issued
- Code Assessable applications (with no referral agencies) - within 10 days of lodgement.
The Act allows for extension of the above timeframes.
External referral agencies can also make Information Requests. These are sent directly to an applicant, with a copy forwarded to the Assessment Manager. Some of the commonly requested information includes:
- investigations into potential flooding and/or overland flow;
- stormwater disposal;
- unclear plans or lack of plans required to assess the development;
- adequately addressing the Planning Scheme Codes;
- site access, parking and manoeuvring.
If your development application does not have the information needed for assessment, it may take longer to process than a well-made application. Under the Act, you have six months from the date of the Information Request to send the information to the Assessment Manager. The information you provide is then assessed.
The application may be refused if the information provided in response to the information request is insufficient to allow for proper assessment of the application.
Under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, referrals may be required to Queensland Government departments and authorities such as the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Department Environmental and Heritage Protection. There are three types of referrals:
- Concurrence agencies - assess the proposal and may impose conditions of development. Concurrence agencies may also direct Council to approve an application with or without conditions, issue a preliminary approval only, or refuse an application.
- Advice agencies - assess the proposal and can recommend conditions and/or determination of development.
- Third party advice agencies - may have an interest in an application.
Referral agency requirements or conditions must be received by Council before a decision can be made on an application.