how-to-get-your-plans-sealed-earlier

How to Get Your Survey Plans Sealed Earlier

A key milestone for any urban development project is plan sealing, that critical event that facilitates registration of titles and settlements, and the trigger for project revenue to be realised. In talking with several developers, they describe an increasingly arduous and frustrating process of back and forward, multiple inspections, delays and inefficiencies.

Whilst there’s always unique aspects to nearly every project, we’ve found a few key principles that help in streamlining this important process:

  1. Start the Process Early: Plan sealing dates should be considered during the tender process with critical dates included in the tender documentation. Contractor’s works programmes should be based around them. Certainly, plan sealing dates should form part of the Contract with the project team reinforcing the plan sealing date at the start of construction. This enables responsibilities to be set and target timing to be agreed.
  2. Involve All Consultants/Contractors AND the Authorities: Whilst the plan sealing process is generally driven by developer/surveyor/engineer, it is important to involve all members of the project team to ensure alignment and shared understanding. Critically, this includes Council and the Water Authorities. Let them know the target sealing dates and why the date is important.
  3. Uncompleted Works Bonding: We recommend bonding of works, even in cases where construction is scheduled for completion well in advance of targeted plan sealing. Bonding of works gives a level of security to ensure the process isn’t held up by potential unknown factors, often simple things. This applies to both Council and the Water Authority, engage with them early to get bond amounts approved and agreements in place.
  4. Know the Council and Approval Condition Requirements: Each Council (or MEDQ in Priority Development Areas) has different requirements and processes. This could be in relation to level of works completion (e.g. BCC requires trunk works to be completed and accepted on maintenance) or provision of a range of reports/certifications. Review the approval conditions regularly to ensure nothing is forgotten about. Whether an Energex Certificate of Supply or the Landscape Contractor putting strips of turf down behind the kerb, all aspects are important to ensure the process isn’t held up by a simple item.
  5. Don’t forget the checklists:  Most Council’s have a plan sealing checklist that needs to accompany the plan sealing application. Make sure the checklists are reviewed and all items attended to.  Many Council’s now have processes aimed at improving plan sealing times through enabling self certification by accredited consultants, e.g. BCC has SealSmart, MBRC has MB+.
  6. On Maintenance: Whilst this comes after plan sealing if works are bonded, it is important to ensure that completion of the works and achieving on maintenance is followed through. This allows uncompleted works amounts to be released and critically, is key in handing assets over to Council to ensure the time the developer is responsible for the minimal amount of time required. This also ensures that once lots are settled and building commences, purchasers have no issues in starting works.

 

Given the critical importance of plan sealing, it should be a key focus area before and throughout construction. As with most things, communication and collaboration are key. If the project team works together, the chances of project success will be much greater.

 

 

What’s the cost per lot across SEQ Growth Corridors

By Troy Schultz We know that developers need to act quickly to secure development sites. Quite often a quick, informed assessment of a site using typical revenue and cost data is sufficient to enable a site value to be ascertained and a high level offer put in front of the vendor. To assist our clients, … Continue reading What’s the cost per lot across SEQ Growth Corridors

Updated EDQ Road Standards – What’s the impact on your project?

EDQ have released a new version of their ‘Street and Movement Network’ guideline. The new guideline can be accessed here. There are some significant changes included in the latest revision which may adversely affect development yield and cost. Some more notable changes include: Road reserve widths and pavement widths have changed for all road types, … Continue reading Updated EDQ Road Standards – What’s the impact on your project?

Launching PEAK Ai – Improving Project Design, Planning and Execution

The engineering and construction industry is at the cusp of a new era, with new applications and tools that change how companies design, plan and execute projects. At PEAKURBAN we are always trying to maximise the value and improve the level of service we offer to our clients. Quite often this involves developing smarter infrastructure … Continue reading Launching PEAK Ai – Improving Project Design, Planning and Execution

Changes to the Security of Payment Act

By Troy Schultz, Principal Engineer, PEAKURBAN At PEAKURAN, we aim to stay on top of key changes so that we are equipped to continue protecting our client’s interests. You may be aware that the Building Industry Fairness Act 2017 (Qld) (BIFA) commenced on 17 December 2018. This replaces the Building and Construction Industry Payment Act … Continue reading Changes to the Security of Payment Act

Managing Costs and Value in a Slower Market

By Andrew Ngo, Principal Engineer, PEAKURBAN There’s a lot of media articles about slower sales and a tighter credit market across the country, especially in Sydney and Melbourne. Having been through a couple of ‘challenging’ times previously, this inevitably affects market confidence with developers attentions more sharply focused on finding cost reductions and optimising value … Continue reading Managing Costs and Value in a Slower Market

PEAKURBAN Turns 2

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since we opened the doors at PEAKURBAN. You never really know how things will turn out but the journey thus far has been both exciting and fulfilling. We started PEAKURBAN believing that the old way of doing business (at least in engineering circles) was fast disappearing … Continue reading PEAKURBAN Turns 2

PEAKURBAN Planning and Survey

We are delighted to welcome Tim Connolly (Director – Planning) and Nathan Wilson (Principal Planner) to the PEAKURBAN Planning and Survey team. Tim has over 30 years’ experience in statutory and strategic planning and has worked on many large and complex projects including Warner Lakes, Riverbank, Riverparks, Park Vista, Capestone, Brentwood, The Meadows and Ridgeview. … Continue reading PEAKURBAN Planning and Survey

How to Get Your Survey Plans Sealed Earlier

A key milestone for any urban development project is plan sealing, that critical event that facilitates registration of titles and settlements, and the trigger for project revenue to be realised. In talking with several developers, they describe an increasingly arduous and frustrating process of back and forward, multiple inspections, delays and inefficiencies. Whilst there’s always … Continue reading How to Get Your Survey Plans Sealed Earlier

Can’t get stormwater discharge consent? You may not need it.

Whether or not a Legal Point of Discharge (LPOD) exists has been for a long time, a very grey and murky area. The consequences of this ambiguity have meant stalled projects, refusal of development applications, cost over-runs and quarantined development sites. We have heard of some developers even needing to store or pump out stormwater! … Continue reading Can’t get stormwater discharge consent? You may not need it.

Conversion Applications – Get the credits you are entitled to.

In talking with several developers recently, it seems that the issues around trunk and non-trunk infrastructure and what’s creditable v. non creditable is alive and well. A few developers that we’ve spoken with are quite frustrated in having received development approvals imposing conditions that require them to deliver (without credits) what they believe to be … Continue reading Conversion Applications – Get the credits you are entitled to.

Infrastructure Agreements: Negotiating the Right Deal.

By Andrew Hunter, Civil Engineer at PEAKURBAN Negotiating the right deal in an Infrastructure Agreement (IA) is critical in ensuring the commercial viability of a project. On too many occasions we have seen IA’s that are one sided, impose excessive infrastructure standards and as a consequence result in works or financial contributions that stall projects … Continue reading Infrastructure Agreements: Negotiating the Right Deal.

Is Poor Contract Administration Costing You Money?

By Ryan Ashworth, Civil Engineer at PEAKURBAN Poor contract administration can lead to lower development profits, protracted disputes, missed settlements and sub-standard infrastructure. Whether it’s a lack of site experience, a poorly constructed contract or just a lack of understanding of what’s required, it seems to be a common problem we hear throughout the development … Continue reading Is Poor Contract Administration Costing You Money?

Engineering value in a tough market – the site acquisition challenge

By Andrew Ngo, Principal Engineer at PEAKURBAN 2017 so far has been an intensely competitive year when it comes to buying development sites. Despite this, over the last couple of months we’ve helped four clients successfully acquire new projects – three residential development sites (1,830 lots) and one retirement project (145 sites). So, what have … Continue reading Engineering value in a tough market – the site acquisition challenge

Giving up too much land?

A number of clients have come to us recently raising concerns about losing too much developable land, due to easements and wider infrastructure corridors being imposed by Authorities.  The reason, they advise, is for future maintenance requirements.  What many clients may not be aware of is the maintenance method of “pipe bursting” which in many cases, means the … Continue reading Giving up too much land?