Engaging a town planner: How can development applications get approved?

1 minute read

Engaging a town planner: How can development applications get approved?

by Bianca Dabu 28 November 2017 1 minute read

Eric Brown has recently submitted a development application for his bold ‘warehouse-to-luxury apartments’ project in Lilyfield—a significant feat that he could not have done without the help of the right professionals.

development applicants, approval, town planner, property developer
November 28, 2017

A development application details a set of plans and specifications which the property developer submits to the council for approval.

The property developer explained: “If you are within [the Local Environmental Plan] guidelines and the council then chooses to [approve it] ... you can go ahead and build what you want to build. [But they can also] knock you back … Then, the process continues.”

Aside from a good architect, engineer, acoustic consultant, traffic management consultant, and contamination consultant, Eric also engaged a town planner to back up his application to the local council. Through the help of these professionals, property developers can sometimes push the boundaries of the guidelines in order to accommodate their personal preferences.

Eric said: “They can fight for you on certain things that you want to get through like your floor to space ratios … [and] other items like that.”


“The rules are the rules but there is a bit of flexibility if you are able to make some compromises,” Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant added.

Good support networks

One of the most important keys to success in the business of wealth-creation is a good relationship with the right professionals who can help you navigate your way through your journey despite the unpredictability of it. As much as you want them to understand your goals, capabilities, and limitations, you must also be willing to appreciate their processes and the specific needs of their jobs.

Eric admits to occasional misunderstandings with his team, particularly with the town planner who assesses the application for the council, but he understands that a hired professional can only perform based on what kind of client he decides to be. After all, at the end of the day, they both want the same thing—to create good housing and maintain a good rate of fruitful investments in the area.

According to the property developer: “I think the more prepared you can be and the more questions you can answer for them before they have to think about asking you those questions, it helps them.”

“The more detailed your submission can be … I think the less pressure they feel to realise that maybe you do know what you're talking about, and there's less [that] are left up in the air,” he shared further.

How exactly do you increase the probability of having your application approved? Simply reduce ambiguity at the onset and deal only with facts, Phil advises budding property developers. Be transparent about your plans but also consider that the people you are dealing with have specific responsibilities that they are accountable for.

Eric said: “Always try and put yourself in someone else's shoes and realise that they're just getting paid to do a job.”

“Try never to burn your bridges because you never know where they're going to pop up next for your next development.

“Try and control your emotions when you're talking to them but be frank and open [in a nice and friendly way]—I think [that is] the other kicker,” the property developer added.

Negotiation is absolutely critical in property development as it is in purchasing existing properties as investments—see to it that you maintain good support networks to ultimately achieve your goals.


Tune in to Eric Brown’s episode on The Smart Property Investment Show to know more about how his most recent purchase of a warehouse is performing two months on. 

Engaging a town planner: How can development applications get approved?
development applicants, approval, town planner, property developer
spi logo

About the author

Bianca Dabu

... Read more

From the web

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.