The NSW State Government has introduced a streamline development process to fast-track smaller developments, such as alterations and additions, new houses and pools for appropriately zoned sites. These controls are known as the SEPP Exempt & Complying Development Code 2011.
This 'fast-tracked' or lighter documentation allows for fast approval, and omits the need for some consultants and plans typically required under the Local Government Development Application (DA) process.
While the process is good in saving clients time and money in the documentation & approvals side of development, there has been a clear drop in the quality and outcome of these projects, which impacts the resulting market value and saleability of the finished product. Some sites have been decimated, with any opportunity for a decent landscape outcome lost through poorly planned & co-ordinated service locations, access, retaining walls & levels.
Just because a landscape concept plan is not required for approval does not mean there is no benefit in having one. At a reasonably low cost, and with some considered planning and design, your project can be vastly improved.
There is an old saying, which nicely summarizes this current trend:
"the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low cost is forgotten"
Try not to make this mistake for your new home, pool or project...