More and more projects require Development Approval these days (or a Planning Permit, as it’s called in some states) before consent to construct a building can be obtained.

Approval to develop land – whether it be for a new building or changes to an existing one – will depend on the proposal’s compliance with an increasingly complex range of local Council controls. In the domestic arena, these controls generally relate to the preservation of neighbourhood character and the continued enjoyment of amenity for adjoining and nearby property owners.

Development controls can dictate building height, open space provision, vehicle accommodation, boundary setbacks and material selection, just to name a few.

Proposals requiring a Development Approval/Planning Permit are often advertised so that neighbouring property owners can see that an application has been made and can lodge a formal objection to the proposal if they wish – say if there is potential detriment to their amenity. Many people take the opportunity to object, but will often do so on the basis that they simply don’t like the fact that building work has been proposed nearby.

Any such objection is ill-informed.

If you want to lodge a meaningful objection to a proposed building it must address local development controls to be taken seriously. You will need to thoroughly review plans and specifications for the project, assess them against all applicable local development criteria and prepare a reasoned statement outlining the basis for your concern.

An unreasonable objection has little chance of influencing the decision-makers. Further, objections raised after the building has been built have even less chance of changing the outcome.

If you need advice about a proposed development, ask an Archicentre Australia architect.