Steffan Harries

Change Applications

Need to change your approval? You might need a s81 Minor Change, s82 Other Change, or Generally In Accordance?

Sometimes, you might want to make changes to a development approval you’ve received or ask for more time to complete the required development before the approval expires.

What is a Change Application?

In certain instances, you might encounter an aspect of a property project that is not possible to deliver, needs to change due to cost-implications, or even an error in a condition of the approval. According to the Queensland Government’s Planning Act 2016, you can make changes to a development approval in the following situations. The Planning Act 2016 allows for various methods of changing an approval via a Minor Change (s81) or an Other Change (s81 – i.e. something that isn’t Minor), we’ll take you through what they both mean.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Depending on your approval type, a Minor Change could be a few hundred $, or easily a few thousand $. 

Sometimes, we find that it can be cheaper/easier to lodge a whole new application. Get in touch with one of our planners to see how we can assist.

An ‘Other change’ is something that isn’t ‘Minor’. It is essentially a whole new application with the assessment being limited to the changes that you’re putting forward. That said, most small amendments to a plan will have a flow on effect to impact upon the whole application. As such, in rare instances is an ‘Other change’ better to lodge than a whole new development application.

Under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, a ‘Minor Change’ was called a ‘Permissible Change’ which is now superseded by the Planning Act.

Minor Change (s81)

A change can be considered minor if it meets the following criteria:

  • It does not result in significantly different development.
  • It does not involve prohibited development.
  • It does not change the assessment process from code assessment to impact assessment.
  • It does not introduce new grounds for assessment by a referral agency.
  • It does not introduce a new or additional referral agency.

A minor change to the development would not be considered significantly different if the change:

  • Does not involve a new use.
  • Does not apply to a new parcel of land.
  • Does not drastically alter the built form.
  • Does not change the intended operation of the development.
  • Does not affect traffic flow or transportation networks.
  • Does not introduce new impacts or increase the severity of known impacts.
  • Does not remove an offset component.
  • Does not impact infrastructure provisions.

When applying for a minor change, it is assessed according to Section 81 of the Planning Act 2016. It is important to note that, as per Queensland Government legislation, a minor change application does not require public notification.

Steffan Harries has extensive experience in assessing s81 Minor Changes.

How to lodge a Minor Change application

Steffan Harries can assist in the lodgement of your Minor Change application, but if you were looking to expedite the process, we have listed the processing of a minor change application below for your reference:

  1. Clearly specify the type of change being made to the development approval.
  2. Complete the application form in its entirety.
  3. Pay the applicable fee.
  4. Provide a clear description of each change and specify the conditions they affect.
  5. Clearly mark all changes on the relevant plans, using methods such as “clouds” or highlighting.
  6. Submit a complete set of plans, including all pages, rather than just the amended ones.

Other Change (s82)

If you wish to request a change to the development approval that involves substantially different development (referred to as an “other change”), you can submit an other change application.

The assessment of an other change application follows the guidelines outlined in Section 82 of the Planning Act 2016 and the Development Assessment Rules. The processing time for other change applications is similar to that of a new development application and may require public notification of the proposed change. Sometimes, it is easier to lodge a whole new application vs. lodging a Other change.

To ensure a prompt processing of your other change application, please adhere to the following requirements:

  1. Clearly specify the type of change being made to the development approval.
  2. Complete the application form in its entirety.
  3. Pay the applicable fee.
  4. Provide a clear description of each change and indicate the conditions they affect.
  5. Clearly mark all changes on the relevant plans using methods like “clouds” or highlighting.
  6. Submit a complete set of plans, including all pages, rather than just the amended ones.

How to lodge an Other Change application

Steffan Harries is available to assist you with lodging your Other Change application. However, if you prefer to expedite the process on your own, we have provided the processing steps for an Other Change application below for your reference:

  1. Clearly specify the type of change being made to the development approval.
  2. Complete the application form in its entirety.
  3. Pay the applicable fee.
  4. Provide a clear description of each change and indicate the conditions they affect.
  5. Clearly mark all changes on the relevant plans using methods like “clouds” or highlighting.
  6. Submit a complete set of plans, including all pages, rather than just the amended ones.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Assuming your approval is valid, or the use has lawfully commenced, you can lodge a Change to the existing approval.

In rare instances, we find that someone’s approval is actually limiting what they could do as lawful under the current Act or planning scheme. In that instance, we sometimes recommend people formally Cancel their existing approval. We would never recommend that you make this judgement yourself, so please get in touch with one of our planners today!

Generally in Accordance

When carrying out development work, it is important to ensure that it aligns with the conditions and approved plans of the development approval. The term “generally in accordance” is used to allow for minor deviations from the approved plans.

Generally In Accordance (GIA) is a concept that allows for changes to occur to an approved development where completely inconsequential to the original approved conditions and documents. Some Council regions have adopted a formal process for assessing requests for GIA changes, whereas some Council’s allow the decision to be made by a private consultant at their discretion.

Deeming a change to an approved document as Generally In Accordance with the approval is a subjective decision and completely opens the decision maker to issues in the future should another authority deem the change to require a formal Change application.

If you anticipate making small deviations from the approved plans, it is advisable to seek preliminary advice before assuming something will be accepted as “generally in accordance.” Steffan Harries is always happy to provide our opinion and advice.

Need assistance with a Change application? Let us take care of your Minor Change application so you can get started on your project as soon as possible!

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