Pre DA consultation guidelines FAQs

What feedback was received during consultation and how was this considered?

Feedback received during the consultation period was largely positive and supportive of the guidelines.

Some changes were made to the guidelines as a result of feedback received, including:

  • Identification of a two-phase engagement process for larger developments. This aims to encourage ongoing engagement and ideas from the community from the early stages of a project.
  • The ACT Government will host a ‘consultation webpage’ providing one place for the community to be informed about all pre DA consultations occurring in the ACT.
  • Reference to Community Councils noting their important role in the community and that they should always be given the opportunity to have input if they wish.

Why aren’t more projects being required to undertake Pre DA community consultation?

While it is not proposed that the scope of projects that require Pre DA community consultation be changed or expanded at this stage, the operation of the Guidelines and the Pre DA community consultation process will be reviewed over time to ensure they are effective and meeting community standards.

What types of developments need to undertake community consultation?

Only large developments that are likely to have an impact on the community are required to undertake Pre DA community consultation. The kinds developments are set out in Section 20A of the Planning and Development Regulations 2008 and include a development with 7000m2 (or greater) of floor area, structures that are taller than 25m, and buildings for residential use with 3 or more storeys and 15 or more dwellings.

Why are the guidelines being introduced?

Improved planning and urban design outcomes can be achieved if genuine feedback from the community is incorporated into the design of a proposal before it is submitted as a development application. The guidelines set clear expectations for industry and the community about how engagement will occur for significant projects in the ACT.

Why have guidelines not been made until now?

The guidelines were prepared in response to community feedback and a renewed emphasis on community consultation andengagement and incorporate community feedback. The guidelines support other Government initiatives aimed at bringing the community into the planning process, such as the recent Gungahlin Planning Refresh and the Woden roundtable.

How will the guidelines be enforced?

Developers will be required to submit a consultation report with a Development Application that summarises the consultation they undertook with the community and how the guidelines were met.

What happens if a developer chooses not to comply with the guidelines?

Prior to an application that requires Pre DA community consultation being lodged, the planning and land authority will check that it includes a consultation report. If a developer has not submitted a report in accordance with the guidelines the authority could chooseto not to accept the application, request further information, or ultimately refuse the application.

When will the guidelines come into effect?

The guidelines come into effect on Wednesday 8 November 2017, following consultation in July and August 2017.

Do these guidelines affect the notification processes for development applications?

No. These guidelines apply only to Pre DA community consultation for certain prescribed developments. All development applications are still required to undergo a notification process by the independent planning and land authority in accordance with the PD Act.

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