You may have come across these four little words in your search for the perfect property: Subject to Council Approval (STCA). Usually these words come directly after claims about future development opportunities on real estate marketing signage or flyers.
The reason you see it in real estate marketing is because the potential to develop a site beyond its existing use is perceived to add value. It is pure marketing and does not signify there are any council approvals or that they are sure thing down the track. STCA could indicate development potential, but in some cases it does not and is just marketing spin.
STCA should be a signal to seek further advice about a site’s development options and the likelihood of them being approved by the relevant council. A real estate agent should not be relied upon for town planning advice, they are seeking the best price for a property for the vendor and a nice slice of the commission pie.
Town Planners, as part of broader due diligence services, can review claims around STCA and how realistic they are. In addition to providing independent advice on a STCA claim, your town planner can also give you clarity around the full suite of development options that might be possible and any statutory constraints to determine a site’s true development potential.
As with any site acquisition, due diligence is a critical step in the development process. Seeking town planning advice at an early stage can be invaluable in quantifying a site’s potential and avoiding costly errors and omissions.
Often times yield can be difficult to quantify and can require preliminary design concepts to be tested to determine this potential. For example, we have been asked many time by clients how many units can they get on a lot. This typically results in us asking a lot of questions as to what type, size, characteristics, and the number of car parks per unit they are proposing. A unit to one person can mean something entirely different to someone else as there are infinite options as to what they may look like.
Ultimately though, the decision about development on your site rests with the council and STCA should not ever be considered a “sure thing” in any way.
Contact us to discuss the approvals your site may be able to achieve via firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 017 540. We offer free desktop reviews, so get in touch!
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to provide accurate information, Consult Planning does not guarantee that this blog article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use.