Show Cause Notices

What is a Show Cause Notice?

If for any reason the Council believes that you may have made changes to your property without proper planning permission, they are entitled to investigate the situation.  The first step in the investigation is to make contact with the owner of the property.  When they first make contact, they request information about the property.  This is known as a “show cause notice”!

Why have I received a Show Cause Notice?

If you have received this type of notice, take note of the following.  Understand that the council is being fair and reasonable in giving you the opportunity to respond before taking any further action.  A show cause notice is a formal document which outlines the legal process if the council planning laws have not been followed.  However, in the first instance, a show cause notice is simply an opportunity for you to explain the situation with regard to your property.

Show Cause Notice

What is the best way to resolve a Show Cause Notice?

If there is no reason for Council to be concerned, then you should respond with an explanation.  You may believe that you have already taken actions to resolve the issue.  If so, simply state that in the response, with justification as to why no further action is required.  Explain to the council what you intend to do, if you intend to take further action to resolve the matter. Be sure to include when you intend to have it completed by. These steps can seem relatively simple, and often they are.  However, there can sometimes be some complicated circumstances when it comes to property development.  Here at Planning Insights, our job is to make your life easier.  If you would like assistance to understand or respond to a council show cause notice, we are qualified to help.  Call Planning Insights today to speak to one of our highly experienced town planners.

What happens if I ignore a Show Cause Notice

It is important to note that there is no obligation to respond to a show cause notice.  However, we do not recommend this course of action.  If the council has genuine concerns about changes made to your property, then we recommend that you explain the situation.  In addition, it’s advisable to offer evidence in support of that explanation.  That is where it can be valuable to consult with an expert.  Here at Planning Insights, we deal with such situations regularly.  We have helped overcome many hurdles when it comes to show cause notices, as well as enforcement notices.

When a show cause notice is ignored, the next step is elevation of the issue to an enforcement notice!  If the council believes that changes made to your property contravene the town planning regulations, they may require that you rectify the situation, under order of an enforcement notice.  Should the situation escalate to this level, it is definitely time to seek advice and assistance from an expert town planner.  But there is no need to allow the situation to escalate.  It is far preferable to work with local councils to find a compromise position.

How to avoid issues from a Show Cause Notice

Here at Planning Insights, our experienced town planners understand council processes.  Our staff work closely with council town planners to avoid escalation of issues wherever possible.  In fact, we are experts at finding ways to resolve any issues from a show cause notice, before it becomes an enforcement notice.  The council will always act in a reasonable manner and consider any intentions or mitigating circumstances in response to the show cause notice.  We can handle the preparation of the response to a show cause notice.  In addition, we can handle any negotiations, appeals, amendments, or mediation that may be required.  It is always better to have some experience with these matters, especially when it comes to a formal response to a Show Cause Notice from council.

A Show Cause Notice may require an expert witness

The benefit of using our experienced team to assist in council matters is that we can call on experts when required.  We have access to a wide range of town planning resources, developers, and construction experts.  Especially relevant is that these experts have experience in dealing with many of the common issues.  We call upon any relevant experts required to assist with formal negotiations, expert witness advice, additional justification or meritorious consideration.  When it comes to dealing with complicated issues with your local council, it pays to have an expert acting on your behalf.  Should you find yourself on the receiving end of a “Show Cause Notice”, be sure to seek advice from Planning Insights.

Planning Insights – your allies in town planning!

At Planning Insights, our town planners become the advocate on behalf of our clients.  Our assistance with the property development process starts at the development application and continues through to approval.  We always try to find what is fair and reasonable, based on our interpretation of council regulations.  Ethical and professional conduct is ingrained in our culture when applying our town planning skills to advocate for our clients.