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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Repairs and Rebuilding FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

  • What is the first step of the clean-up process?

Contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage to your home. Depending on the advice from your insurance company you may be able to start organising repairs to your home.

Do not throw away damaged items until your insurance company advises you to do so.

Keep a record and receipts of any emergency repairs you have had done for your insurance company.

Ask if your insurance company has a list of preferred contractors for you to contact to organise repairs.

If you are not insured, get a builder or building consultant to assess the damage to your home. Do not forget to check their qualifications and experience before hiring them.

Ask for a written damage report that will help you to get quotes for repairing your home.

  • My home was destroyed/damaged by fire and I want to rebuild. What approvals do I need?

We recommend that you make contact with Council's Building Inspector who will be able to help you step by step through the process. In the first instance we will provide you with a paper copy of your current building plans plus a scanned copy on a USB.  .

You will then need to have the plans revised to show your BASIX commitments, bushfire construction requirements and showing any changes you would like to make to the design.

We recommend you engage a building designer or draftsperson to prepare your updated house plans for you.  Using a qualified professional who is familiar will the approval process and documentation required will ensure a smooth assessment process.

When you are ready to lodge your plans, you or your building designer will need to complete either a combined Development Application/Construction Certificate (DA/CC) form or a Complying Development Certificate (CDC) application form.

Check with your building designer or Council’s Building Inspector about the best application process for you, based on your needs.

  • What supporting information needs to be submitted with my application to rebuild my home and/or buildings?

You will need:

  • To complete a DA/CC form or CDC form - speak to Council’s Building Inspector about which application best suits your needs.
  • Building Specification (a generic specification will be provided to fire affected residents and landowners free of charge, if needed).
  •  A Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) certificate (NSW RFS will provide a BAL assessment free of charge, contact NSW Rural Fire Service on 02 4472 0600).
  • Up-to-date BASIX certificate (go to the BASIX website to generate this certificate https://www.planningportal.nsw.gov.au/planning-tools/basix).
  • Up-to-date Engineers Details.
  • A current Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF) Insurance certificate.

Council will not charge standard development application fees for lodgement of applications to rebuild or replace buildings damaged or destroyed by the March 2018 Tathra/Reedy Swamp Fire.

Note: Long Service Levy and Planning Reform fund fees may be applicable and will be calculated at the time of lodgement of any application. These are not Council fees and therefore cannot be waived by Council.

  • Do I have to get a report from a bushfire consultant?

No, you do not have to get a report from a bush fire consultant. The NSW Rural Fire Service can assist in identifying the Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) for your property. If you choose to lodge a Complying Development Certificate instead of a Development Application you will need to have a BAL Certificate. This could be obtained from a bush fire consultant or can be provided free of charge from dedicated NSW RFS staff by call 02 4472 0600.

  • Will my house plans be notified to my neighbours as part of the approval process?

If you are rebuilding a house or structure of a similar size, dimensions and location to the one destroyed/damaged by fire, your application will be fast tracked and will not need to be notified to adjoining and adjacent landowners.

If you are building a larger home (for example, your original house was single storey and you are now building a two storey house), we will notify the plans to neighbours for a period of 14 days.

  • Are there any fees and charges payable for my approvals?

Council will not charge standard development application fees for lodgement of applications to rebuild or replace buildings damaged or destroyed by the March 2018 Tathra/Reedy Swamp Fire provided the development is 'like for like' (e.g. replacement of a dwelling, replacement of a shed).

Note: Long Service Levy and Planning Reform fund fees may be applicable and will be calculated at the time of lodgement of any application. These are not Council fees and therefore cannot be waived by Council.

  • How long will it take to process my application?

Dedicated assessment officers will fast track all applications for rebuilding of fire affected properties. 

  • Do I have to get my approval from Council?

If your building plans can fit into a Complying Development category under the provisions of the State Environmental Planning Policy (Exempt and Complying Development Codes) 2008, any Accredited Certifier can issue the Complying Development Certificate. A number of private certifiers have pledged to waive fees associated with these bushfire rebuilds and repairs, owner should check.

You can find an Accredited Certifier here http://bpb.nsw.gov.au/engage-certifier/find-certifier

  • Can an exempt shed have a toilet?

A toilet or any plumbing and drainage work requires approval from the Local authority prior to commencing any work. The licenced plumber and drainer and owner can make the application.

The licenced plumber must submit a notice of work and arrange for inspection of the work prior to back filling or covering of any pipes and upon completion of the work. A works as execute diagram and certificate of compliance must be submitted to council


More information is available from the RFS website https://www.rfs.nsw.gov.au/plan-and-prepare/building-in-a-bush-fire-area/building-after-bush-fire/faqs

 

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