When building a new home or development, it is integral to submit an accurate and timely council cost report. This important step is often required by local councils as part of the development application for a new construction project. This report must take place during the early planning stages of the build, to ensure that all the businesses involved including architects, contractors and builders have a clear understanding of the unique requirements of the local council.

What is a council cost report?

For construction to commence, construction companies are required to submit a development application or construction certificate to gain any permit approvals or council permissions. Often if the project is estimated to be over $500,000, this documentation may also require a completed council cost report to be approved by the local council. This document details the estimated cost of construction determined during the planning stages of a construction project and can require further details or levies if the budget exceeds a set council limit.

What are section 94 contributions?

A Quantity Surveyor’s Council Cost Report confirms that the estimates have been inspected by a registered quantity surveyor which allows the council to determine the fees to be charged to the developers. These fees will vary from council to council and are known as a Section 94 contribution as part of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. This contribution is used for the local infrastructure and future council planning, including local costs like road upgrades, gardening of public spaces and electrical wire maintenance. This levy caters for all developments in the surrounding areas and ensures that local councils have the funds needed to cater for a growing community.

How is the document prepared and what is included?

If the expected costs of the project are equal to or exceed $500,000, then it is crucial that this document is prepared by a registered quantity surveyor. It is then submitted online alongside the Development Application which details all new construction projects and architectural designs to the council.

This process involves a quantity surveyor first examining all the development plans, itemising equipment, materials, and labour costs expected for the planned works. This requires the quantity surveyor to prepare a cost estimate as per the Australian Cost Management Manuals of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS), and calculate an accurate measurement of the total construction area. The council cost report requires the highest level of attention to detail, as it outlines the total cost and cost per square metre for all areas of work including:

  • Any necessary demolition or site preparation
  • Excavation needs
  • Construction costs (for residential or commercial properties)
  • Fit-out costs
  • Carpark costs

To ensure accuracy, this document must be completed by a registered (and preferably an experienced) quantity surveyor. This will ensure the project is estimated efficiently and the cost per square metre is accurately calculated.

This cost can make a big difference in the resulting council charges, so it is important for independent quantity surveyors to prepare thorough documentation to avoid undervaluing the project or incurring an unnecessarily high section 94 contribution.

The Section 94 process

At Section 94, we know that clients and construction companies are eager to get started on their development and want a stress-free and seamless development application experience. Thankfully, our licensed quantity surveyors offer a fast turnaround of just 3-5 days for total peace of mind and quick council approval.

For a realistic construction project cost and accurate council cost report, to ensure you’re paying the correct section 94 contribution and avoid budget blowouts, choose the trusted team at Section 94.

Preparing your development application and need a council cost report?

The experienced team of building quantity surveyors at Section 94 are here to help! With a wealth of experience in preparing accurate council cost reports, construction cost estimates and progress claims, our dedicated team will ensure your residential or commercial build progresses without the hurdles of inaccurate or exceeded budgets.

With over a decade of industry experience, our qualified building quantity surveyors are AIQS certified with a fast turnaround time and clear communication. Section 94 is available across Sydney and Melbourne, with a comprehensive knowledge of the unique council requirements for both major cities.

Give us a call today on 0413 953 869 or email us at info@section94.com.au to discuss our quality budget services for residential and commercial builds.