Renovation works in Victoria are likely to get underway much quicker through a new system to streamline council permits for small-scale projects.
The state government initiative, known as VicSmart, will slash waiting times for council approval on low-impact works from 10 days to just 4 days.
According to planning minister Matthew Guy, councils will implement the changes by September.
The minister said streamlining the process for minor projects would also increase the time and attention given by council to more complex applications.
“The fast tracking of around 8,500 smaller permit applications a year will free up huge amounts of time, energy and resources for council planning departments, allowing them to focus on permits that require greater analysis,” Mr Guy said.
“If a permit application meets a set of clear cut rules and the council is happy that no more information is needed, then a permit can be issued within 10 working days.”
Renovations eligible for the fast-track process will include realigning a land boundary, minor subdivisions, constructing fences, car space changes and minor building and works in heritage areas.
The changes were welcomed by Housing Industry Association regional executive director Gil King.
In his view, the current system creates frustration for investors trying to add value to their properties.
“Home builders and home buyers have been frustrated with the time it takes to obtain planning permission for these types of applications,” he said.
“The new system will establish a preferred model to move these minor matters forward more efficiently.”