Today marked another huge milestone in our building journey – our DA was officially approved by Council!
Houston we have a problem 😢
Just as we thought DA approval was around the corner, we were advised that Council had flagged a few issues with our application. I spoke to the Design and Technical Consultant at Metricon yesterday and she gave me a comprehensive rundown of the issues. It was reassuring to know that the builder is on top of it. She told me that she had already contacted the Assessment Officer at Council and discussed the issues one by one and that a response to Council will be submitted ASAP.
1. GARAGE LEVEL: The proposed finished floor level of the garage is considered excessive. Metricon disagrees with Council’s assessment. The garage level is approx. 500mm above natural ground, not 600mm as is suggested in the letter. Council allows up to 500mm of exposed fill so the reply will include an argument as to why this should not be amended.
2. PROPOSED DECK: The proposed deck to the side and rear of the house is shown on the submitted landscape plan but not on the architectural and stormwater plans. All plans must be consistent. Metricon will amend the architectural plan to show the proposed deck.
3. FRONT FENCE: The submitted landscape plan shows a 1.2m high front fence but this is not shown on the architectural plan. Metricon will amend the architectural plan to show the front fence.
4. RETAINING WALL: The landscape plan shows a retaining wall on the north/western boundary but not the return section at the rear of the dwelling. Metricon will argue that returning the retaining wall into the property is unnecessary as a batter would be sufficient.
5. FIRST FLOOR BALCONY: To reduce direct loss of privacy from rear balcony, a suitable privacy screen to a height of 1.8m will need to be provided. Metricon had already flagged this potential requirement during the design process so this was not a surprise to us.
6. NEIGHBOUR SUBMISSION: The adjoining neighbour raised concern over the bedroom window in the Master Suite. Metricon had discussed and received verbal agreement from Council that no change to the window is required as it complies with the DCP. YAY for us and go Metricon!
7. STORMWATER DRAINAGE PLANS: Council earlier identified an issue with the proposed retention pit under the front landscape. The hydraulics engineer was quick to respond to Council’s concern and submitted an amended stormwater plan. Council is currently assessing the revised plans so fingers crossed no further changes are required.
We are hopeful that the DA is still on track to be approved by the end of October. Thank god the issues identified are not significant and should be easily addressed. My advice to anyone thinking of building – do yourself a favour, avoid the lengthy council approval process and take the CDC route!
The email I had been patiently waiting for finally arrived in my inbox today.
“Your DA has been lodged to council today”.
I know the happy dance is a tad premature given we have another few weeks of waiting until we get the green light to start the build. But after all the to-ing and fro-ing and the long stretches of little to no communication from our builder, it really felt like this day would never come.
What a tremendous relief!
So, we’ve officially reached another milestone. Another big tick!
Now bring on the next phase…
The contract variations and amended drawings were sent to us for approval last Thursday – 3 painstakingly long weeks after contract signing.
I had high hopes for a quick and straight forward sign off especially as I had emailed the builder a detailed and itemised summary of every single variation we raised during the contract process.
But I should have known that nothing in this building project is ever that simple and straight forward! There were a few silly oversights like the elevation drawings showing the wrong cladding material and the change to the ground floor powder room window not reflected on the plans. Not significant errors thank God!
By Metricon’s timetable, we should be in a position to lodge our DA application by the 15th August. Holy cow! That’s only 8 working days away!
I should be excited that we are so close to this last hurdle before construction. But to be honest I’m a bit stressed out and worried. It seems that our CSC has gone MIA. I’ve left a couple of voice messages and emails over the last couple of days to get a status check but I’ve not heard a peep out of her 😦
What’s stressing me out is that we may be cutting it fine with the timeline. In our contract, we need to handover the site to Metricon by 17 November. Ryde Council has advised us it could take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks for approval. So, if council takes its sweet time to give our application the go ahead then we will definitely miss the deadline.
Here’s hoping we luck out and get a fast tracked, objection free approval! For that to happen, Metricon needs to hustle and fix everything the needs fixing and get all the reports and plans for the DA finalised and submitted ASAP!
C’mon Metricon, go go go!
Something that has become glaringly obvious to me since we jumped onboard the building wagon is that this whole journey requires the patience of a saint.
Well this week we are seeing the wheels start to turn ever so slowly with our file progressing in the Metricon queue. We are now officially in ‘Council DA Preparation‘ stage. Woohoo…another small step closer to the much anticipated and longed for build start!
I was pleasantly surprised to get a telephone call from our customer support consultant so soon after being informed via email that our file had been handed over. She seemed to be up to speed with our job, which is great news given the number of variations we made at contract stage. I can’t wait to see our plans re-drawn to incorporate all these changes.
Here’s hoping Metricon delivers on their timeline and our DA submitted to Council by mid-August 🙂