At Ku-ring-gai we officially have hundreds of developments each year. Most of these developments, whether they be a driveway or fencing upgrade, a building extension, or a knockdown and rebuild, are supported by the following processes.
- Development Application (including DA’s, MOD’s and Reviews)
- Council Certified Application (including Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificates and Occupation Certificates)
- Privately Certified Application (including Complying Development Certificates, Construction Certificates and Occupation Certificates)
Council’s DA Tracking website allows residents to search for records in relation to the above. However one common problem for residents has been the topic of unauthorised works and the absence of documentation that supports it.
Once allegations of unauthorised works are raised, council officers will investigate and if appropriate, serve the landowner with a notice of intention to stop, demolish or remove the works. At this point the landowner sometimes has the option of fixing up the structure to conform with the rules and receive retrospective approval in the form of a Building Information Certificate.
These Building Information Certificates for unauthorised works did not use to be available on Council’s DA Tracking Database but after several negative experiences by our residents, I politely asked council staff whether we could do anything to improve transparency on the matter. And as of last month, residents can now look up the DA Tracking Database to confirm the existence of recently issued Building Information Certificates.
Please note however that while the database includes all of the supporting documents for Development Applications, the other processes (certified applications, building information certificates) are not readily available from the database. It was technically too difficult to achieve. If residents want to access the supporting documents for these then they will need to lodge a GIPA (Government Information Public Access) application. More information about GIPA applications is available here.