Central Highlands Regional Council is cracking down on land use and developments not complying with approval conditions or planning legislation.
Council’s compliance arm is currently working on 60 compliance matters with some likely to incur penalties due to prolonged non-compliance.
Acting Manager Communities Kirstin Byrne said illegal land use and developments can have negative impacts on people, businesses and liveability in the region.
‘When we talk development offences, we mean developments without a permit or developments that don’t meet the conditions of their approval, unlawful use of a site or failure to pay fees and charges,’ Ms Byrne said.
‘The impacts of these offences can be extensive and affect many stakeholders, not limited to council.
‘This includes unfair business competition, incurring costs to council and ratepayers and spoiling the surrounding neighbourhood character.
‘Council takes illegal development in the region seriously and will continue to work to protect the amenity of towns and ensure fair business competition from a planning and development perspective is secured.
‘People who continue to be non-compliant can expect penalties.’
Why do I need a development approval?
· An approval ensures the development is in compliance with relevant legislation.
· Statutory inspections are undertaken to ensure compliance.
· Appropriate insurance is in place to protect current and future owners.
What are the impacts of developing without an approval?
· Council will issue show cause notices, infringements and/ or enforcement notices.
· Insurances and warranties related to the development may be invalid.
· The developer may be responsible to any future purchaser for non-compliant unauthorised developments.
· Unpaid fees and charges will need to be covered by council and ratepayers.
· Businesses doing the right thing may be unfairly disadvantaged.
· The liveability and quality of a neighbourhood may be spoilt for residents surrounding the development or unlawful land use.
For more information, go to council’s building, planning and projects website.
People can confidentially report activity that they suspect to be unlawful to council via 1300 242 686