Libby had her psychic antenna up and running the other day. She felt the need to call David and ask him if he’d heard anything from the Council about our planning permit application. Lo and behold, a permit decision arrived the next day.
What is the permit decision?
The full title of the document we received is a Notice of Decision to grant a permit. The really exciting part is the word “grant”. That means we have the Council’s support to go ahead with the project, subject to meeting attached conditions.
At first sight, opening several pages of conditions was quite daunting. However, once our heart rates settled a bit, they are more like a laundry list of details.
Specifics listed in the Notice.
Many of the items relate to protecting the wellbeing of neighbours and existing vegetation. During the construction phase, what are our plans for site deliveries, parking for workers, etc? How are we going to ensure construction debris doesn’t end up in the stormwater drains? There are strict guidelines on the steps that must be taken to protect the roots of neighbouring mature trees. What surface will be used for driveways? What are the design features of the carport for Unit 3 that will prevent any damage to the roots of our Swamp Gum?
Other items relate to the finished look of the development. What finishes and colours will be used for the dwellings? The final landscaping plan has to include a minimum number of canopy trees for each property. This is consistent with our goal of providing groves of trees at the front and rear of the block and planting trees within each property.
One item of interest in the landscaping plan is that the canopy trees must be at least 1.5m tall when planted. I’ll have to talk to the folk at the CRISP nursery to see if they have indigenous plants that tall. I’ve only purchased seedlings from them. Perhaps we’ll have to get native trees from another nursery.
What happens next?
We think it will be about 3 weeks before we move to the next stage of an approved planning permit. There are two reasons.
First, the permit decision notified our neighbours that the Council believes the conditions in the Notice address their concerns. They are worried about the impact of our new driveway on the mature trees located on their side of a shared fence. Our neighbours have 21 days to decide if they want to take the matter further with an appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
The other reason is we need to marshal our forces to produce a bit of paperwork that is needed for the final approval stage. Three weeks seems reasonable.
This is an exciting milestone in our project. The team is gathering around for the final push on the planning permit. That means everyone is in place, ready for moving straight onto the building permit.
Oh, did I mention that David is itching to start dismantling this house so he can find out what’s useful for the new ones? Looks like we will soon need to find somewhere else to call home, temporarily. …………………. Any offers? Our kids don’t seem keen for us to move in with them. We’ll be on the look-out for a nearby rental property.