Thud! That was the sound of our planning permit application paperwork hitting the desk at the Council offices. After months of work, Libby and David put all the bits and pieces together and hand delivered the package. The Eagle had landed!
Contents of our planning permit application.
The Planning Permit application form is a deceptively simple looking document. It is the skeleton around which the paperwork builds.
Admittedly, our application was a bit more complicated than others since we had two extra items for consideration. One item was a request for subdivision while the other was asking for a third easement (site of the new storm water drain).
To ensure everyone reviewing the application was aware of the sustainability credentials, there was more than the basic explanation and a set of drawings. We also had:
- Owners’ statement of purpose – This is an explanation of our design philosophy and how we planned to meet those objectives.
- Property report – Given that Maroondah is encouraging residential builders to aim higher with regards to sustainable design, we felt it was important to explain exactly how we met, or exceeded, their expectations.
- Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard – BESS is computer modelling that shows our plans compliance with state of the art sustainable design. We were very pleased with a 71% score, taking us above best practice and into the “excellence” category. More on BESS in a future post.
- NatHERS energy rating summary – The program showed our final design had risen to an 8.4 rating after we’d adjusted a few of the input parameters.
What happens next?
Submitting the planning permit application is another significant milestone in our project development.
We were pleased to see an article in the local newspaper that Maroondah Council prides itself on having one of the shortest review times in Melbourne. On average, it takes just 27 days between receipt of an application and a decision by the Council. We are looking forward to the helpful staff at the Council maintaining this excellent record.
Apparently Nelson Mandela had the same thought about what happens next. We’ve climbed a long way and feel good about reaching this point. Will the planning permit approval process be a relatively smooth plateau or another hill to climb? We prefer the former but are prepared to work our way through the latter.
Although the planning permit is our number one priority, we are already thinking about the next stage which is the building permit. That’s another step taking us closer to the start of construction.
Time taking its toll.
Being so focused on getting the planning permit application ready, we didn’t notice that the last main section of the old side fence was getting wobbly. We’d removed much of the fence last year as it looked so decrepit.
Last week, an overnight storm huffed and puffed and blew the fence down. Just like the house of sticks, the fence didn’t put up much of a fight. It looks relieved to lying down. Given our experience with taking a fence apart, reducing the structure into a pile of palings and supports didn’t take too long.
Now we just have the garage between ourselves and the units next door. We’re going to be seeing a lot of each other. Over the next couple of years, they are also going to have front row seats while the lawn is turned into some very attractive dwellings.
The look of our property has changed significantly over the last year or so. It’s been reduced to an old house surrounded mostly by lawn, waiting to be turned into something wonderful.