BCC – Introduces Stringent New Rules

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The Bad News:

Brisbane City Council have recently implemented the “Suburban Construction Management Task-force” [SCMT] which is part of their Development Assurance Unit and still in its infancy. It is slowly being rolled out. In truth, it’s not really bad news, though some developers will surely view it as such. The reason for its implementation is to ensure a project’s compliance with approved plans and conditions.

At present the task-force are randomly checking projects for compliance at the Plan Sealing stage. They are checking things like

  • Balcony and deck sizes
  • Landscape screening
  • Car parking space widths
  • garage door heights

Just to name a few. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Presently, inspections are being carried out on a random basis. Each inspection will be carried out by an audit team.

Problems will arise if they find that the actual built form differs from what was approved. This could result in a demand for physical or structural changes, or at the very least a requirement to apply for a modification to your DA. This may require a report from your specialist consultant [e.g. Engineer, Town planner] to back it up. It’s easy to see how this will result in delays and extra costs at this very critical stage of the project.

We understand that BCC’s intention is to bring some of these random audits forward to the prior stage – commencement of works – which will be triggered sometime after the pre-start meeting takes place. This will be random and could apply to operational works and/or building works.

The Good News:

Here at SCM we do, as a matter of practice, carry out these checks on projects that we manage from inception. This is a normal part of our management process and always has been which is why our fully managed projects usually sail through Plan Sealing without delay. Many people do not fully understand the development process and hence do not fully understand the benefits of the services we provide or the potential benefits to be had.

At times we are engaged to handle the Plan Sealing of projects that we haven’t managed so naturally we won’t have been able to ensure compliance along the way. Therefore Plan Sealing in these circumstances is often a longer more onerous process and therefore potentially a little more expensive.

If you want your project to sail through without complication and delays get us involved early in the piece. We will ensure that, as far as is possible, you have a trouble free, arm chair, ride.

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