Which track will my DA be assessed in? - Code, merit or impact?

The ACT planning system has a track-based system for assessing developments.

There are three assessment tracks:

  • code: code track applies to simpler developments that meet all the relevant rules in the Territory Plan.  With the increase in development types that can now be considered exempt, there are few developments that are currently considered in this track.
  • merit: most developments fall into this track including applications to vary a lease. Multi-unit and commercial developments are usually considered under the merit track, as are single houses when they do not meet all the relevant rules of the Territory Plan.
  • impact: for developments that have a major impact on the environment of the ACT. This track has the highest level of scrutiny and notification.

The track a development falls into depends on a number of factors including its location, size and the possible impact on the surrounding area.

To find out what development is allowed on your land, find out what your land use policy or zoning is. You can do this using ACTMAPi (For a step by step guide to using ACTMAPi click here).

By clicking on the Territory Plan written statement link in ACTMAPi, you can access the relevant development table for your zone which lists the minimum assessment track a development can be considered in.

Once you know the zoning, you should also refer to the relevant development tables in the Territory Plan for detailed information about the types of developments allowed in that zone. This link takes you to the list of zone and development code classifications in the Territory Plan.

The table also includes the applicable development code. This code lists elements such as building and site controls, setbacks, allowable encroachments, built form, materials and finish, vehicle access, parking etc.

Note: the development code document has two columns headed rules and criteria. This clearly defines the differences between the exempt and merit tracks for single dwelling developments.

  • To be considered as exempt you must abide by the rules in the left column.
  • If you choose to follow the criteria as shown in the right column, your application must be assessed in the merit track (with the associated additional notification)

By checking the relevant development table and code you should be able to make the decision about which assessment track your development will be in.

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