Starting a new business in a new location is an exciting and busy time. Out of all the jobs that need to get done; checking whether you need planning permission is often the last thing people think about; but it is important. All land uses are regulated through the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act, 1979 and either have consent or are permitted through the zoning of the site; where there is no permission for a land use; Council may take action to stop or control the use.
In town centres and existing shopping centres most shops already have some form of planning permission. It is always best to ask the agent leasing the space whether they have any record of approval from Council for a commercial use. You can call Council too and do a records search. These are generally free of charge; usually a formal application is required; make sure you have the Lot and DP and the unit number at hand. Once you have the record of consent (or development consent) take note of the conditions of consent and stick to them. If you cant stick to them (for example hours of operation are too limited) you may need to vary the development consent.
Changing a use from one type of shop to another type of shop usually does not require development consent where there is an existing consent in place. The State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2004 (SEPP Codes) identifies which types of changes of uses are exempt under Clause 2.20. For example you can change a shop to an office or a business.
Other types of development may be permissible as complying development as listed under Clause 5.3 and 5.4 of the SEPP Codes. Complying development is like a fast track approval and provided the proposal meets set criteria can be certified by Council or a private certifier.
Certain types of land uses nearly always need development consent:
Sex services premises
Pub or hotel or bar.
Check out www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/understanding-planning/assessment-systems/complying-development for more detailed information and Exempt and Complying Development Codes Legislation
For advice on whether consent is required – check with your local Council and if you require more information or assistance call or email Griffin Planning for a free appraisal on 0403239442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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