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Same Day Approvals: Enhancing the Application Process for Residents

Image of modern house - used as hero photo from Townsville City Council's "Same Day Approvals" article on BDmag June 2023

In an exciting development for residents of Townsville, Townsville City Council has introduced Same Day Approvals for low-risk residential structure development applications. Council’s innovative initiative aims to significantly reduce wait times by enabling applicants to receive approvals within 24 hours of lodging, marking a significant milestone in streamlining the application process.

Recognising the importance of fostering a stronger connection between residents and the Council, the implementation of Same Day Approvals aligns perfectly with Council’s commitment to enhancing customer experience. Councillor Mark Molachino, Chair of the Planning and Development Committee highlights Council’s diligent efforts to identify low-risk applications that can be expedited using digital tools.

“The Planning and Development team has successfully found ways to dramatically reduce the assessment timeframes required by state legislation. Our goal is to expedite the approval process, providing residents with quicker access to the services they require,” Cr Molachino says.

Deputy Mayor Mark Molachino and Cheif Planning Officer Ryan Hall - Townsville City Council - Same Day Approvals | BDmag 2023
Deputy Mayor Mark Molachino and Chief Planning Officer Ryan Hall

Under the Same Day Approvals initiative, two specific application types are eligible for expedited processing:

Secondary road frontage encroachments:

This pertains to properties that have two road frontages, such as corner lots, where landowners seek approval to build within the legislated distance from the property boundary. Council possesses the authority to relax the standard six-meter setback from the boundary, as mandated by state legislation.

Side/rear boundary encroachments:

This application type involves seeking permission to construct within the legislated 1.5-meter distance from the property boundary when the adjacent property does not contain a residential neighbour. For example, if the neighbouring property is parkland or a commercial property, applicants may request approval for a structure closer to the property boundary.

To take advantage of the Same Day Approvals initiative, residents can conveniently fill out an electronic application on Council’s website. If the application satisfies the eligibility criteria, it will be promptly processed and approved within 24 hours of lodgement. Alternatively, walk-in applicants are welcome to visit Council’s Customer Service centre at 143 Walker Street, where they can obtain guidance and clarification from the Planning and Development team.

Cr Molachino emphasises the importance of engaging with residents directly.

“By providing an opportunity for residents to engage with our knowledgeable Planning and Development team, we can help them unlock their development opportunities while delivering an exceptional customer experience.”

Council’s introduction of Same Day Approvals showcases its commitment to enhancing service delivery, fostering community connectivity, and driving sustainable development practices. By embracing innovative solutions, Council continues to spearhead advancements in the development application process, making Townsville an even more attractive destination for residential growth and economic investment.

The Planning and Development team are available Monday to Friday, between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, to discuss development enquiries and Same Day Approval applications. For more information about Townsville City Council’s Same Day Approval process, visit Council’s website or call 13 48 10 during business hours.

Kate Wilkes, Melanie Percival and Leisha Anderson from Council's Planning and Development team will help applicants with Same Day Approvals
Kate Wilkes, Melanie Percival and Leisha Anderson from Council’s Planning and Development team will help applicants with Same Day Approvals

Read Townsville City Council’s recent article from BDmag’s April 2023 issue – Townsville’s Events Season.

Picture of BDMag


Compiled by the BDmag editorial team
Picture of BDMag


Compiled by the BDmag editorial team