Bega Valley Shire Council’s Development Hub staff have experienced a sharp increase in the number of enquiries over the past few weeks and are committed to providing prompt responses to both bushfire affected property owners and general development requests.
To help make lodgement of applications easier and quicker, HUB staff have some tips for their customers.
“This period of isolation has given people the time to think about refurbishments, extensions and new developments, which is exciting,” Development Hub Coordinator Christine Griffin said.
Ms Griffin would like customers to know that Council must abide by certain state government legislation when it comes to development.
“While it may seem we are asking difficult questions or requesting technical information, it is the sort of information Council needs to make an informed decision on a development,” she said.
“So to make application lodgement a smoother process, we recommend that customers work with a local architect, builder, designer or similar, who understands what is required under this complex legislation.”
Although not mandatory, Ms Griffin says customers should also consider designing their home to the Livable Housing Design Guidelines.
“This is about designing a house for the future, rather than costly retrofitting later; low-cost ideas such as a step free entrance, a step-free shower recess and a toilet on ground level with easy access.
“They are well-designed homes that incorporate easy living features for young families with kids, pregnant mums, senior Australians and people with disability or temporary injuries.”
Ms Griffin said every customer is important to the Development Hub and their intent is to provide the best possible service to everyone.
“We are giving everyone the time and attention they need, and we certainly appreciate everyone’s patience during this difficult time,” she said.
Due to working remotely, customers need to contact Council on 02 6499 2222 and provide the Customer Service team with a brief explanation of their enquiry so that the Development Hub team can get back to them.
Alternatively customers can send their enquiry direct to DevelopmentHub@begavalley.nsw.gov.au