Congratulations to Theodore Wilkinson for gaining a Distinction for his UNSW Master’s thesis: “Identifying factors of risk present in the Development Application (DA) process: A Review“.

The thesis provides a preliminary framework to help developers identify the key factors of risk that are present in the DA process which can potentially increase the cost and time of development. The risks were identified through a systemised review of 40 academic studies relevant to the NSW DA process.

Key risks Theo identified are:
1) Lack of land supply
2) Zoning and Re-zoning
3) Planning regulations
4) Complexity of the planning process
5) Type of decision
6) Decision times and rates of approval
7) Developer and Local Authority relationships
8) Lack of communication and transparency
9) Local opposition

Although the above factors may be obvious, the key message is that the planning process is becoming increasingly complex, increasing both the costs and timeline required to secure development approval. As such it is increasingly important for developers to seek planning advice and due diligence from the team at City Plan prior to site acquisition.