The bottleneck in Geelong City Council’s Planning Permits & Building Permits departments are a literal throttle on the local community’s entire domestic building industry. You probably know someone right now who has a permit waiting to be approved – or maybe it’s you. What can be done about it?
For totally unknown reasons it seems, once all the red tape has been skillfully maneuvered and previously unseen hurdles have been bound over the permit is complete – and travels – and lands softly in the in-tray of…. who exactly? It lands with an unknown entity called Permits and in this invisible world of magic, spells, dark lords & wizardry somehow within 3 weeks to 15 months it pops out the other end with the stamp of approval.
Meanwhile back in the real world
With real couples trying to live real lives – living arrangements that were originally temporary have been over-stayed, builders have had to delay start dates over and over again, plumbers, electricians, concreters, plasterers, tilers and carpet layers are wondering why they can’t seem to get constant steady work, product selections are no longer available and the people who are longing for the build of the home, the people who are actually paying money – are so completely over it and at their wits end – but why? How is it possible that a few offices here in Geelong have the ability to have so many hopeful home builders/renovators stuck just simply…waiting?
Tradesman – their work seems to be running a little lean, and they wonder why.
They are choosing not to go out for dinner and a movie or take the kids down to Adventure Park while they wait for their last few invoices to be paid. Oh they have quotes out there, and they have builders who keep telling them ‘next few weeks we’ll start that job…’ but with all this work so close why is it all just out of reach?
Builders – build start dates are being delayed because of why? That’s correct, waiting for planning.
Considering the growth that is happening in Geelong and the Bellarine region, it is terrible that so many families (and the domino effect on local small business) are affected by a comparative handful of people in a few offices.
Of course like many things in life there are those builders who seem to have figured it out but one suspects this is simply a matter of who is know rather than a procedural formality.
Although the person behind this keyboard right now does not subscribe to the recent media attempts crying about how bad the situation is here in Geelong for the past year, what is really going on?
The local economy can be boosted right now.
Are the literal millions of dollars in approved bank loans and financing for building works not enough to get someone down in city hall excited enough to propose some department adjustments? Waiting on the banks? No. Waiting on the real estate market? No. Waiting on Planning Departments? Yes.
Why is no-one screaming from the rooftops about this…?
To all those people out there just waiting…. to all those builders just waiting… to the trades people left wondering… we sympathise with you while we try to raise some noise. While it may not help you right now, it will hopefully help those still yet to embark on the home building journey. Meanwhile, enjoy the wait, enjoy the summer nights, enjoy every step of the process because it will all be worth it in the end.
By Pat Sgro