Steffan Harries

Public Consultation

Does your development need public consultation? What does it mean?

Public notification is crucial for development applications, allowing the local community to understand and provide feedback on proposed developments. Let Steffan Harries explain the process and how to make a submission in this helpful guide.

When is Public Notification required?

Public notification is an essential requirement for specific development applications to ensure that the local community gains a better understanding of proposed developments in their area and has the opportunity to submit their feedback.

Not all development assessment processes include public notification (PN). It is mandatory for impact assessable development applications and those that involve a variation request.

During the public notification period, community members can submit their feedback on a development application to the assessment manager, who considers these submissions during the decision-making process. To be considered “properly made,” submissions must be in written form, relevant to the topic, signed, and submitted within the designated timeframe. Additional information on participating in the feedback process for development applications is available.

For impact assessable and other relevant applications, submitters who make a “properly made submission” have the right to appeal the decision in the Planning and Environment Court.

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proposed development public notice

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, you can make a submission on any development application that has been lodged to Council. That said, Council do not need to take your concerns into account and you will not have any appeal rights should Council approval it anyway!

Most of the time, your town planning consultant will do your public notification as part of their service. Sometimes, it can also sub-contracted to consultants who specialise in public notification.

Steffan Harries completes all of our public notification requirements in-house.

Unfortunately, we rarely, if ever offer our services to assist in lodging a submission on behalf of someone opposing a development application. But, we provide a great amount of resources to help you write your own submission on our website here.

What is required when undertaking public consultation?

The responsibility for fulfilling the public notification requirements lies with the applicant. These requirements encompass the following:

  1. On-site public notice: A sign is prominently displayed on the premises throughout the public notification period. The sign includes details about the proposed development, specifications, and visual representations such as pictures or diagrams.

  2. Adjoining lot owners’ notice: A scaled-down version of the on-site sign is prepared to fit on an A4 page. This notice is provided to owners of lots adjoining the premises. It contains information about the proposed development, specifications, and visual representations.

  3. Newspaper publication: A public notice is published in a local newspaper that circulates in the vicinity of the premises under review. In cases where no local hard copy newspaper exists, the notice may be published in an online local newspaper, on the assessment manager’s website (if available), or in a state-wide hard copy newspaper.

The applicant is responsible for ensuring compliance with these public notification requirements. Steffan Harries has extensive experience in undertaking public consultation throughout Queensland.

The DA Rules provide clear guidelines on the commencement and conclusion of the public notification period, as well as the specific requirements for public notices. These requirements encompass the size, content, and format of both on-site signs and notices published in newspapers.

To assist with compliance, the state government maintains and offers templates for public notifications. These templates serve as a helpful resource for creating the required public notice on the premises and in the newspaper, ensuring consistency and adherence to the guidelines.

Think you're eligible for an Exemption Certificate? Get in touch with one of our town planners to confirm today!

Making a submission

All Council’s welcomes submissions from the public, allowing individuals to formally express their support or opposition to a development application. These submissions serve as valuable comments on the proposed development.

You have the opportunity to make a submission on any type of development application. It’s important to note that while you can submit comments on all applications, the right to appeal Council’s decision is specifically applicable to impact assessable applications and change applications that have been advertised for public comment.

Grounds for a submission

When submitting your comments to Council, it’s crucial to provide clear and specific reasons to support your stance. Simply stating your dislike for the proposed development is insufficient. Instead, focus on relevant planning issues that are integral to the decision-making process.

Consider addressing the following planning aspects:

  1. Consistency with Planning Scheme: Evaluate whether the proposed use aligns with the intended purpose of the area as defined in planning scheme.

  2. Compatibility and Design: Assess whether the scale and design of the development harmonise with the surrounding built environment.

  3. Street Presence and Adjacent Properties: Examine how the development interacts with the street and neighbouring properties, ensuring a suitable interface.

  4. Traffic and Parking Considerations: Identify any potential traffic congestion or parking issues associated with the development.

  5. Hours of Operation: Discuss the impact of the proposed commercial activities on operating hours.

  6. Drainage Patterns: Evaluate how the development may influence drainage patterns within the area.

  7. Environmental Considerations: Assess how the development aligns with planning scheme objectives regarding the protection and enhancement of the natural environment.

By focusing on these planning-related aspects, you can provide valuable insights to Council, aiding in their decision-making process.

When to lodge a submission

For development applications that are advertised for comment, there is a specified notification period during which you can submit your comments. It is essential to lodge your submission before the closing date to maintain appeal rights. Please note that submissions received after the closing date do not have the ability to appeal.

The notification period dates are communicated through the following channels:

  1. Advertising signs: Look for signage at the property that is the subject of the application. The signs will display the relevant dates.

  2. Local newspaper notice: Check for a notice in a local newspaper that provides information about the notification period.

  3. Letters to adjoining owners: Adjoining property owners will receive letters containing details of the notification period.

To ensure that your submission is considered and your appeal rights are protected, be mindful of the specified dates and submit your comments accordingly.

How to make a properly made submission

Assessment managers thoroughly consider all submissions when reviewing an application. Only properly made submissions are granted the legal right to appeal Council’s decision through the Planning and Environment Court.

To ensure your submission is considered and eligible for appeal, it must meet the following criteria:

  1. Electronic or written submission: You can submit electronically using Development.i or provide a signed, written submission (depending on the Council process)

  2. Include relevant information: Your submission should clearly state which aspects of the plan or proposed development you support or oppose and provide reasons for your stance.

  3. Provide personal details: Include the name, residential address, and email address of each person making the submission.

  4. Submission deadline: Ensure that your submission is received by Council before the closing date for submissions.

Council’s online platform simplifies the process of submitting a properly made submission. It allows you to access all the relevant documents and plans for a development proposal and submit your response. Once submitted, you will receive immediate confirmation of receipt.

By following these guidelines and utilising the Council online platform, you can submit a properly made submission and participate effectively in the assessment process.

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