FAQ Planning - Permits and Appeals
Important information concerning the interpretations of legislation and other policies is contained in this page. It is recommended that the Disclaimer be read in conjunction with the information provided.
One of Waratah-Wynyard Council's core activities is to regulate the use and development of the land in its municipal area.
The Planning Approval process regulates 'use' and 'development' of land by assessing proposals against council planning schemes and the State's planning legislation. It particularly examines the impact of the proposed development or use on the surrounding area.
Reference is made throughout this template to the Guide to the Resource Management and Planning System. This pdf document is stored on the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC) website.
Find out more about planning schemes in the Making and Amending Planning Schemes template on this website. A Building template is also available, covering related issues.
Planning and development is regulated by a suite of legislation known as the Resource Management and Planning System (the RMPS). The main Act governing planning in Tasmania is the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 .
Supporting legislation is listed under question 1 in 'Making and Amending Planning Schemes'. (Back to FAQ List)
Generally, a Planning Permit is required before undertaking any use or development of land. Applications for a Planning Permit are assessed against council planning schemes and the State's planning legislation. The Planning Permit application process is detailed on the State Government's Tasmanian Planning Commission website.
You should always contact the council to find out whether you need planning approval for any use or development you might be considering. Council will be able to advise whether a Planning Permit is required first before you make a Building Permit application.
Waratah-Wynyard Council's Town Planner can be contacted on (03) 6443 8316.
A Building Permit is required for the construction and alteration of buildings. The proposed work is assessed against the requirements of the Building Code of Australia .
A Building Permit is required for the vast majority of structures and buildings with the exception of some minor works. Plumbing permits are also part of the building permit process.
Again you should always check with council before commencing any building, plumbing, demolition or repair works. Waratah-Wynyard Council's Building Department can be contacted on (03) 6443 8316. (Back to FAQ List)
The council planning scheme details the types of use and development that require a Planning Permit and what is exempt from planning approval.
All land use or development is categorised in the planning scheme as exempt, permitted, discretionary, or prohibited. These terms are defined in the Guide to the Resource Management and Planning System (Chapter 4, pp 25-27).
Exempt: Refers to any land use or development listed in the planning scheme that does not require planning approval from the council. For example, garden landscaping for an existing residence may not require a Planning Permit.
Permitted: Refers to any land use or development that is allowable under the planning scheme and for which council must issue a Planning Permit with or without conditions attached.
Discretionary: Refers to any land use or development that, according to the planning scheme, council may choose to either refuse or permit according to its discretion. Council is obliged to advertise the use or development in the local newspaper after which there is a period (generally 14 days) for any person to make a written representation to council regarding the application before a decision is made.
Prohibited: Refers to any land use or development that is not allowable under the current planning scheme. (Q5 in Making and Amending Planning Schemes - for further details)
You should always contact the council to find out whether you need planning approval for any use or development you might be considering. (Back to FAQ List)
Before applying for a Planning Permit (also commonly referred to as a Development Approval) you should consider the following steps:
Talk to council planning officers about your proposal. The officer will give advice on the parts of the planning scheme relevant to your application and the information you need to provide in your application.
Fill out and lodge an application with your local council. When lodging an application you also need to submit the following:
Three copies of the plan, drawn to scale, including the details as required by council.
Other documentation including letters, plans and reports relevant to the development.
Contact council's Planning Department to find out the specific information you are required to provide. (Back to FAQ List)
Waratah-Wynyard Council requires planning fees to be paid at the time of lodging the application.
With any application, the council planning officer usually examines the plans and conducts a site assessment, checking the plan details and the likely impact of the proposal on the streetscape and adjoining properties and other relevant issues.
The council development engineer will check details such as vehicular access, parking and traffic impacts.
Depending on the type of development proposed, the council environmental health officer will check issues such as site drainage, waste disposal and any licensing requirements to ensure that any requirements of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA)are met.
Further information about EMPCA is available on the Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment website.
Depending on the nature of the proposal, council may need to seek advice from other agencies on issues such as heritage or compliance with fire regulations. Once all the assessments are completed the council planning officer writes a report.
A decision is then made by a senior officer or council committee (if they have the delegated authority to do so), or by the council itself.
All land use or development is categorised in the planning scheme as 'exempt', 'permitted', 'discretionary', or 'prohibited' (See Q3 for further explanation of these terms). Statutory Rule No. 262 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 1993 requires a 'discretionary' application to be advertised by:
notice in the newspaper
notices put up at each public frontage of the land
notices to each adjoining owner and occupier of land
and allows 14 days(for a development application) for representations to be received.
Council must consider those representations and either refuse the application, approve it or approve it, subject to conditions, within the allowable 42-days. This time may be extended with the agreement of the applicant and the Council.
The applicant, or anybody who has made a representation may appeal the decision to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (the Tribunal).
For cases where planning approval is discretionary the process is outlined in the flowchart in the Guide to the Resource Management and Planning System (Chapter 4, p24). (Back to FAQ List)
Under Section 54(1) of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 the council can request further information from the applicant. The request must be made in writing and must be served on the applicant within 21 days of the council receiving the application. The 'clock stops' and the 42-day timeframe does not begin again until the additional information is received and is to council's satisfaction.
'Permitted' applications that comply with the planning scheme do not need to be advertised and there is no third party right of appeal.
As explained above in Q6, only 'discretionary' applications are advertised by:
notice in the newspaper
notices put up at each public frontage of the land
notices to each adjoining owner and occupier of the land.
See Q3 for explanation of the terms 'permitted and 'discretionary'.
These applications must be placed in an area that is open to public inspection. They are usually placed in a public area near the Development and Planning Services section of the council offices. Persons have 14 days to make representations to council on the application. (Back to FAQ List)
You can only make a representation about a council planning application if it is a 'discretionary' application. See Q3 for an explanation of 'discretionary'.
This means it must be advertised and persons have 14 days from the date of this public exhibition to lodge a representation with Council. This must be done in writing and should state the reasons why you consider it necessary to support or reject the application, or to request consideration of some issue(s).
Contact council Planning Officers to discuss your concerns. (Back to FAQ List)
If the application is 'permitted' there will be no notification to adjoining property owners and occupiers.
If the application is 'discretionary', adjoining property owners and occupiers will receive direct notification as required by Regulation No. 11 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Regulations 1993.
See Q3 for explanation of the terms 'permitted and 'discretionary'. (Back to FAQ List)
If you are the applicant and unhappy with the council's decision, either because your application was rejected or you consider the attached conditions unacceptable, you can lodge an appeal with the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal , (the Tribunal).
If you lodged a representation to an application within the 14-day public exhibition period and are unhappy with council's decision, you can also lodge an appeal with the Tribunal. (Back to FAQ List)
Planning appeals are lodged with the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal. This is an independent tribunal established under the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993 , and is commonly referred to as 'the Tribunal'.
Under Section 61 of the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 , if you are the applicant or representor (person who lodged a representation) you must appeal to the Tribunal within 14 days of council serving notice of the decision.
To do this you must fill in a form which can be obtained from the Tribunal web site or from the Tribunal office at Level 1, 144 -148 Macquarie St, Hobart, Ph: 6233 6464.
The fee associated with the appeal must be lodged to ensure the appeal is valid. The current fee is $57. But as this fee may change annually, it is best to check the amount with the Tribunal at the time you lodge an appeal.
A notice is published in the Public Notices Section of the local newspaper, (normally on Saturdays), informing people of the notice of appeal and the date set for the directions hearing. Each person who made a representation can be a party to an appeal and will be notified in writing by the Tribunal.
Joining as Party to an Appeal
If you miss the timeframe for making a representation to council regarding a planning application, but somebody else has done so, you may be able to join that appeal. This is called being joined as a party to the appeal.
You must be able to satisfactorily demonstrate to the Tribunal a proper interest in the subject matter of the appeal and a genuine reason why you might have been unable to make a representation during the appeal period.
Please be aware that there may be other jurisdictional issues with these applications that must be considered and it is recommended that you contact the Tribunal or seek independent legal advice. The Tribunal office is at Level 1, 144 -148 Macquarie St, Hobart, Ph: 6233 6464. (Back to FAQ List)
The Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993 established the Tribunal and guides the running of appeals.
The appeal process generally involves five stages as outlined below.
Usually within two weeks of receiving a notice of appeal the Tribunal convenes a Directions Hearing. This is a preliminary hearing aimed at scoping the main issues of the appeal, who will be involved and if mediation should occur. You must bring 5 copies of the list of issues you wish to raise.
At this hearing, directions will be issued on:
who may join as parties to the appeal
any jurisdictional matters raised
what issues may be raised in the appeal
whether mediation should occur and, if so, when and where a mediation conference will occur
the date, time and place for the final hearing of the appeal
what evidence will be put in writing and provided to the other parties and to the Tribunal
what other documentation may be exchanged between parties and given to the Tribunal
The Tribunal provides mediators to assist parties to negotiate an agreed outcome rather than going to a full appeal hearing. The mediation conference is confidential and the Tribunal is not told what is said at the mediation conference.
The majority of appeals are mediated and don't go to a full hearing.
If mediation fails then the appeal will be heard at a full hearing of the Tribunal. At a full hearing, you may engage the services of a legal practitioner and/or relevant expert witness eg consultant planner. Talk to Tribunal staff for guidance on available expert advice and whether you require such assistance. You are also at liberty to represent yourself.
The Tribunal usually consists of two or three members: the chairperson and two members with relevant expertise. The chairperson, who runs the hearing, is usually a legal practitioner.
Evidence is normally presented in the following order:
the parties who applied for the development or use, that is the subject of the appeal, including evidence from any witness
the decision making authority (eg the local council), including evidence from any witnesses
any other parties to the appeal, including evidence from any witness.
Each party has the opportunity to ask questions of any person who provides evidence to the hearing. The Tribunal Chairman or members may also ask questions. The evidence presented by witnesses must be in written form (a 'proof of evidence') with copies given previously to the opposing parties and to the Tribunal.
After questions by the opposing party, the party that called the witness may ask more questions if necessary to clarify issues. Each side then gives a final submission to summarise their case.
Following the hearing the Tribunal members conduct a site visit, usually without the parties being present, and then prepare a written decision stating the reasons for the decision. This usually takes a few weeks. The parties are then notified in writing. The Tribunal may decide to uphold the appeal or amend the original decision with additional or changed conditions, or dismiss the appeal.
Awarding of Costs
The Tribunal makes out an order of the appeal costs. The Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993 describes the factors to be considered in allocating costs. In most cases each party covers its own costs.
Under Section 25 of the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal Act 1993you may appeal the Tribunal's decision to the Supreme Court but only on a point of law. You must do so within 28 days of the Tribunal making the decision. (Back to FAQ List)