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Norman Waterhouse

New timeframes for the lapse of development authorisations

Since the introduction of the Development Act 1993, regulation 48 has provided that a Development Plan consent would, in the absence of appropriate action, lapse 12 months after the operative date of the consent. It similarly provided that a development approval would lapse after 12 months unless the authorised development was lawfully commenced within that time by “substantial work on the site of the development”.

However, as of 12 November 2020, this has changed as a result of the Development (Lapse of Consent or Approval) Variation Regulations 2020. The effect of these regulations are that:

  1. Development Plan consent now lapses 2 years after it was granted;
  2. A developer has 2 years from the date of development approval to substantially commence their development;
  3. The requirement to substantially or fully complete a development within 3 years of development approval remains;
  4. Any development authorisation that had not lapsed as at 12 November 2020 can take advantage of the extended timeframes;
  5. Any development authorisation that had lapsed as at 12 November 2020 remains lapsed and is not able to take advantage of the extended timeframes, unless the relevant authority or a Court exercises its discretion to extend it.

An equivalent regulation change has been made in respect of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure 2016 by way of the Planning, Development & Infrastructure (General) (Lapse of Consent or Approval) Variation Regulations 2020.

The rationale behind the regulation changes is said to be to allow additional time for developers to secure finance and also bring South Australia into line with the longer periods allowed under Queensland and New South Wales legislation.

It is important that relevant authorities update internal processes to allow for these timeframes and also make the necessary amendments to the cautions given on Decision Notification Forms about the timeframe for the lapse of consents and approvals.

For more specific information on any of the material contained in this article please contact Aden Miegel on +61 8 8217 1342 or amiegel@normans.com.au or Gavin Leydon on +61 8 8210 1225 or gleydon@normans.com.au.

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