FAQs

The legislation governing development across NSW is varied and complex.  There is no single source providing rules to development, and diverse local, state and national planning controls must be adhered to. MB Town Planning can help you navigate those complex rules and advise whether a proposal is feasible under the planning controls.

MB Town Planning can also provide valuable guidance on how to design a development that suitably responds to its context. With a solid understanding of local, state and federal government processes and obligations, we can provide strategic advice throughout the approval process to achieve optimal outcomes and reduce delays.

Each development and site is unique. The size of a project does not necessarily dictate its complexity. It is important to first understand the feasibility and complexity of a project prior to determining the scope of our services. An initial consultation allows clients to determine the level of service they require and helps to highlight any major issues from the get go.  Time and effort spent at this point is invaluable, saving considerable time, money and heartache down the track.

Works that are not “complying” development or “exempt” development will require consent from Council or another consent authority. MB Town Planning offers a range of consultation services to determine the most appropriate approval pathway for your development.

MB Town Planning can help to objectively assess a proposed development and determine whether the proposal would unfairly affect your property. We can write a submission on your behalf to address the town planning controls and any potential adverse impacts of the development.

MB Town Planning can also coordinate the objection process and advise you of your rights as a property owner. MB Town Planning can represent your case at assessment panel meetings, and act as an Expert Witness in court proceedings.

Typically, our current lead time to begin a project is two weeks after payment of the deposit invoice. Estimated time of completion can depend on the timeframes of other required consultant outputs, and access to information from Council. Once we have all the necessary inputs from the regulatory body and other consultants our usual estimated time to completion is 5 to 7 working days.

We pride ourselves on providing excellent quality service for a fair fee price. The initial Verbal Advice appointment (for simple projects) and detailed Letter of Advice (for more complex projects) enables us to scope a project accurately. We are able to identify other consultants needed, and provide a rough estimate of their anticipated costs.

Our fee proposals are determined according to our preliminary scoping research. Fee proposals also take into account the typical workload associated with dealing with particular Councils, as well as other political factors affecting the proposal. Over 90% of our fee proposals are within the estimated amount. Out of those that exceed the anticipated amount, typically final fees can be 10% higher than estimated. For significant changes to the original scope of a project, an amended fee proposal will be negotiated with the client.

MB Town Planning has significant experience in guiding clients through the appeal process. There are two ways to appeal Council’s decision on a DA:

Section 82A review

A section 82A review involves a reassessment of the development process at the local level. Each Council has its own internal review procedure and we can provide strategic advice on how best to manage it. We can also provide representation at independent review panels where necessary.

Appeal to the Land and Environment Court

We work closely with trusted lawyers and barristers to ensure you are provided with quality legal advice. We can also act as expert witnesses where this is required.

According to the Department of Planning Performance Monitoring System, the average time for DAs to be assessed across Sydney in 2014-2015 was 71 days, but some Councils are considerably slower at processing DAs than others. Also, that figure excludes the time an applicant takes to respond to a Council request for further information.

Working with MB Town Planning can reduce the time it takes for Council to review a DA. MB Town Planning provides meticulous documentation to address DA lodgement requirements, thereby providing a comprehensive DA package at initial lodgement and streamlining the assessment process. According the Department of Planning in 2014-15, 36% of DAs were sent back to the applicant for further information. The average time taken to return the required information to Council was 52 days.

The more a development varies from the prescribed controls, the greater the difficulty in gaining approval from Council.

Where a proposal does not comply with provisions set out in a Development Control Plan, it is possible to explain the merits or reasons for variation within the Statement of Environmental Effects.

Where there is a proposed non-compliance with a development standard set out in a Local Environmental Plan a Clause 4.6 submission must be provided. A Clause 4.6 submission must explain why compliance is unnecessary and unreasonable. It must also demonstrate that the impacts of the proposal are acceptable and provide compelling grounds for the non-compliance. MB Town Planning has significant experience in preparing Clause 4.6 submissions.

Each project requires a unique set of consultants. Additional consultants who may be required for a project include:

  • Access Consultant
  • Arborist
  • Architect
  • Building Regulations Consultant
  • Draftsperson
  • Engineer
  • Fire Management Consultant
  • Geotechnical Consultant
  • Heritage Consultant
  • Hydraulic Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Surveyor
  • Traffic and Parking Consultant
  • Water Service Coordinator

Our preliminary research and investigation of relevant Town Planning Controls and lodgement requirements identifies which consultants are required for a project.

MB Town Planning can manage and engage external consultants on your behalf, achieving optimal outcomes. While the external consultants are expert in their own area, they need guidance regarding the impact of relevant Town Planning Controls on their brief.

We are able simply to provide referrals to particular consultants. However, we must first be satisfied that the client is able to guide the consultants regarding the relevant Town Planning Controls.

  • “Fantastic service. Honest and reliable. I've been working with Matt and his team for several years now and never had a problem they couldn't solve.”
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  • “I used MB Town Planning to do the Town Planning on an 8 unit development on the Northern Beaches. It was a particularly challenging approved to obtain but MB Town Planning got it through. Their knowledge of the planning codes and meticulous attention to detail ensured that all aspects of concern to council were addressed. I would highly recommend them to anyone and I shall certainly be using them again in the future.”
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  • “Since engaging MB Town planning in early 2015 we have found them very responsive and proactive with all projects. A pleasure to work with and always giving good insight into the different aspects of planning, keeping mind speed and delivery with our line of work being at high demand of meeting client time lines. I would recommend MB Town planning and to this this date we continue to use for certain projects“
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  • “As a Building Certification company (Building Certificates Australia Pty Ltd), we rely heavily on the services of Town Planners during the design stage to accurately determine and support our assessment whether or not a proposed development can be considered admissible under Local and State Legislation. Timing and financial implications of correctly assessing proposed development is paramount to our clients and legislatively imperative to our team of Certifiers. We have used MB Town Planning’s Services for over 6 years and have found their work to be timely, comprehensive and of great quality. We will continue to use their services for the years to come!”
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  • “Our architect recommended MB Town Planning to me in middle of 2015 for our DA application. I only want to say chose MB Town planning is my greatest decision. They provided us a professional and excellent town planning service. Carina and Matthew are so nice and easy to communicate. They always pay fully attention to every details in our project. I definitely will use their service for our future project and will be happy to recommend them to others.”
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