Change of Land Use – Critical Issues

Change of Land Use – Critical Issues

Any significant changes in the general use of the land typically involve an application to the local council so that the impact of the changes to the way the land is used can be assessed.

Generally speaking, the overall concerns are the scale and intensity of the operations being run. As we will discuss in this article, there are many critical issues to understand in a change of land use to get the most out of your development opportunity.

Change of Land Use – Critical Issues


Preparing Applications for Change of Land Use

Usually a change in land use will involve an application to the local Council. A change in the use of land is generally referred to as a ‘Material Change in Use’ (‘MCU’).

The proponent of an MCU generally must lodge an application with Council so that the potential impacts of the change can be assessed, with different levels of assessment involved depending on the extent of the change contemplated.

It isn’t always clear what a “change in land use” actually means in practice. While a change from a residential property to a commercial property is obvious enough, there are other circumstances that aren’t quite so clear.

A change from a newsagent to a butcher may not constitute a change in land use, because it remains a commercial property operating on roughly the same scale and with a similar amount of foot traffic and a similar delivery routine.

However, a change from a butcher to a restaurant may involve a significant shift in the manner in which the business operates, including the impact on the surrounding environment in terms of intensity of foot traffic, peak business hours, and so on.


What Arnold Development Consultants Provide  

Arnold Development Consultants has experience and expertise in preparing all applications for change in land use.

Furthermore, Arnold Development Consultants can also conduct feasibility assessments to determine whether a particular piece of land is appropriate prior to purchase or to applications to Council. This includes analysis of key physical, environmental, and legislative matters that can affect potential land development.

Development constraints and issues can be compiled into an analysis report that can also be used as part of a “due diligence” process during the application process.

The team at Arnold Development Consultants are expert strategists in property development, particularly when it comes to investment strategy. We believe that the investor or developer drives the overall vision while we aim to achieve the perfect bond between constraint and opportunity.

An example might be navigating the distinctions between “code assessable” and “impact assessable” applications.

Code assessable developments are in conformity with the pre-existing and publicly available town plan, and don’t require any additional input from the public – avoiding potential objections.

Impact assessable developments mean that the alterations to the use of land are significant enough that the Council has to have a say in the direction of the development. Furthermore, impact assessable developments mean that the public has a right to be informed of the development – which can lead to disruptive community action groups and political pressures. This can be potentially disruptive to a development.

Impact assessable projects can lead to ballooning costs and unforeseen delays. Our experienced team of consultants can navigate the lines and distinctions, providing advice and strategy that may keep a development in line with code assessable requirements – thus saving potentially burdensome costs and time lags in the future.


Talk to Land Surveyors Today!

Changes in land use provide significant investment opportunities, but also many potential obstacles. Our holistic focus and multidisciplinary understanding means that ADC can provide strategic advice that creates the greatest value for your property development. Contact us today.