Cutting red tape at Googong

QUEANBEYAN City Council recently received the first batch of development applications (DAs) for houses to be built at the new township of Googong, prompting councillors to approve major amendments to the town's development controls.

Googong developers approached Council and requested the changes, which they say will bring the Googong Development Control Plan (DCP) into line with current state planning legislation and cut planning red tape for buyers.

And with 31 residential development applications (DAs) for new houses at Googong now lodged, councillors voted to approve the changes at their monthly planning meeting in December.

Chief operating officer of Googong co-developer CIC Australia, Tony Carey, said the changes wouldn't water down the quality of housing at the new township.

"Absolutely not, because we still have our design guidelines in place and we still have an approval process that our buyers have to go through with us prior to them submitting their [development] plans to Council," Mr Carey said.

"All they're doing is bringing the Queanbeyan code in to be consistent with the New South Wales' housing code. Otherwise, you have a potentially confusing planning regime where there's a local DCP that's inconsistent with the state planning code, so it made sense that the two are complementary," he said.

As a result of the DCP changes, applications for single dwelling houses will no longer be required to include waste management plans, water management statements, a stormwater drainage analysis or large stormwater detention systems. 

Two-storey dwellings will no longer have to include shadow diagrams, and no building will have to submit a contour plan from a registered surveyor as a matter of course as contours of the land are yet to be finalised.

A development control requiring single dwellings to accommodate one large tree in the back yard has also been relaxed, and will now only apply to blocks larger than 900 square-metres. 

Queanbeyan City Council general manager Gary Chapman said that Googong developers would exercise a quality control process of inspecting DAs before they were sent to Council.

"As happened in Jerrabomberra and will happen in Googong, the developer has a [final] sign-off on any development in Googong, before it even gets to Council. So they're wanting and expecting their residential development to be of high quality," he said.

"They don't want to see a housing type that will lower the standard of the development that takes place in Googong. They had the same [oversight] rights in Jerra, and Jerrabomberra is put up around the region these days as an area where high-quality development has taken place."

Sales at Googong have surpassed $55 million and over 200 homes, with the first residents expected to move in late this year.

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