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As of 21 May 2014, Sunshine Coast Regional Council has implemented a new town planning scheme to replace the existing Maroochy and Caloundra Planning scheme. One of the major changes to this scheme which will affect the majority of residential builders is the new Detached Dwelling Code.
The majority of the provisions are similar to the previous Maroochy Scheme and should not cause any major issues, however attention needs to be given the new earthworks constraints under AO12 of the Detached Dwelling Code. Under this provision, maximum cut/fill depths have remained at a maximum 1m, however the major issue likely to trigger referrals is under part b of this clause, where it states:
No part of any cut or fill is within 1.5 metres of any property boundary except cut and fill involving a change in ground level of less than 200mm that does not necessitate the removal of any vegetation.
Under this clause, any house that requires cut/fill to establish a platform is likely to trigger an application to Council for referral due to this clause unless it is a scrape site. The other alternative is to contain all cut/fill within the building footprint through use of drop edge beams/brick up base etc. to avoid applications.
We are currently seeking further advice from Council about the possibility for application to be made under the superseded planning scheme (including application fees applicable). Council are yet to respond, however verbal advice given is to make a RAP (Referral against Planning) application to Council, which they will assess on the merits of the proposal.
We will update this information once we receive further advice from Council.