The State Government has announced reforms to the building approvals process for single residential housing which will reduce time delays, giving owners and builders greater certainty that planning and building requirements will be met.
Commerce Minister Michael Mischin said the Instant Start initiative would allow registered builders to start construction upon lodging a certified permit application while the application was processed by local government.
Mr Mischin said this would remove delays in starting works which had been verified by competent independent experts to be compliant with planning and building requirements.
“Lack of certainty about the time taken to grant an approval are a significant cause of cost, delay and frustration to the home building industry and its clients,” he said.
“Each week of delay can cost the owner hundreds of dollars in mortgage costs on land and in rental costs.
“Builders have to allow higher margins to cover uncertain start times and cannot schedule subcontractors in the most efficient way.
“With Instant Start, builders can be confident in starting work because both planning and building compliance have been verified by competent and independent experts.”
The Minister said Instant Start would be available to registered builders as soon as required amendments to building and planning regulations were made, which was expected to take six months. The Department of Planning and the Building Commission will work towards a system of planning verification over this period.
Instant Start would also apply to home renovations when they are carried out by a registered builder.
“These reforms pave the way for more local governments to offer electronic lodgement and processing of building applications. This will reduce variations in requirements between local governments and remove the current manual processing period needed to assess applications for completeness and compliance,” Mr Mischin said.