10 September 2021

Eurobodalla residents warned of likely development delays

| Sally Hopman
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Eurobodalla Shire Council HQ @ Moruya

Eurobodalla Shire Council has warned of possible Development Application delays. Photo: Eurobodalla Shire Council.

People looking to lodge a Development Application (DA) with the Eurobodalla Shire Council are urged to double-check their information is correct to avoid possible delays.

With the region experiencing a vibrant housing market, incorrect information on existing DAs or those still a work in progress, will delay approval processes, the Council warned on Thursday, September 9.

The region’s strong housing market means council’s development assessment team was already inundated with DAs and associated queries, on top of an already increased workload because of the NSW Government’s new Planning Portal requirements.

Council’s Development Services Manager, Gary Bruce, said the increased demand meant DA processing was taking longer than usual which was why it was critical for people lodging new applications to ensure all information was correct so further delays could be avoided.

He urged applicants to thoroughly review all documentation prior to lodgement.

“We are seeing a lot of plans coming into council that are either deficient or straight out incorrect, and this adds to the delays,” Mr Bruce said.

He said the strong real estate market meant council was receiving firm interest from developers – including for some larger projects in Batemans Bay and Narooma.

“We’re fielding increased phone calls and emails and holding more pre-lodgement meetings – all during a pandemic,” he said.

“We’re hoping the community can be patient with us as we work through these and many other challenges.”

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He said the current situation was not helped by the NSW Government ruling that all DAs must be submitted through the NSW Planning Portal from July 1, rather than directly to local councils.

“The NSW Planning Portal has meant a significant administrative burden for council where we are currently updating our own system and the NSW Planning Portal,” Mr Bruce said.

“Prior to the portal mandate, council had an e-planning solution where applicants could lodge applications directly with council from their home or business. The duplication and added complexity of working from two systems has now meant that accepting a DA can now take longer than we’d like.”

To help ensure all new DAs meet the requirements, applicants are invited to contact council’s development help desk prior to lodgement so all queries can be answered. For more information, call 02 4474 1231 or email [email protected]

Further information about the DA process is also available online at www.esc.nsw.gov.au/property

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I have every sympathy for the workers in the planning department but waiting eight months for a DA to build a domestic house is really over the top and must be contributing to the housing crisis across the Eurobodalla.

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