Application for Development Approval

Since retirement village developments are politically sensitive for local councils, understanding the relevant planning instruments is essential and special legal representation may be required when councils choose to reject applications for political reasons.

Councils focus on location, transport, facilities and support services report: These may need to be translated into the contract and disclosure information as well as considering the requirements of the relevant retirement village legislation. The support services report particularly is likely to cause poor court assessment if typical areas are neglected such as: accessibility to units, gradients, flexi-care services, off site facilities, emergency communication systems and building standards relating to internal layout and finishes.

The local planning process can be costly and very drawn out if the initial application has not been well considered legally and inclusive of all possible aged care considerations that are outside the usual property development requirements.

Once approved, the construction contract needs to be carefully reviewed for crucial elements such as variations, progress payments, termination and timeframes.

Approval conditions the lawyer will need to implement will include: title consolidation, preparation of title restrictions on users and easements, specific by-laws for strata-title developments and conditions relating to facilities and support services.