Projects delayed by bushfire risk zones

REMOVING lower level bushfire risk zones from Tasmania's planning schemes could streamline lengthy processes involved with development approvals, a Launceston building designer has said.

Amendments introduced to the Building Act 2000 and Building Regulations 2004 in November last year have created a string of delays for developers.

Jason van Zetten, of Urban Design Solutions, said the changes were slowing local economies as projects continued to wait for approval.

A list of Bushfire Attack Levels was issued with six categories, each listing varying levels of expected heat radiation in the case of a fire.

The BAL chart's 12.5 and 19 levels - the second and third lowest ratings - should, according to Mr van Zetten, be removed from the schemes to maintain productivity.

"It has tipped a lot more jobs that would just require building permits into the planning approval process," he said.

"We're not trying to get rid of the issue, as it's life and death, but many projects could be dealt with by building surveyors instead of them going through a planning and development application process."

Mr van Zetten said the implementation of red tape during the past two years was also slowing the system.

"The amount of paperwork that is involved in producing a project has quadrupled," he said.

"It's slowed down the time it takes to design, document and receive permits and then, in turn, has slowed down the construction times."

Mr van Zetten said members who attended a bushfire assessors training course, run by Tasmania Fire Service and University of Technology Sydney, were expected to be qualified in the near future.

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