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Discuss the hierarchy of legislation within your jurisdiction that relates to the approval of a new dwelling on an existing allotment of land?

Overview of Legislation Hierarchy

Legislation hierarchy involves a particular order of legal rules or regulations to a certain degree from the highest and lowest mostly depending on providing existing competent authority

During the enforcement of these regulations, it is quite necessary to abide completely with these standing orders of a state. The hierarchy includes the constitution, laws and then the available subordinate regulations.In this case it includes the international and interstate agreements regarding land allotment varying greatly according to the given legal system. The constitution regulates state public authorities in terms of boundaries and land allotment.

Allotment in Australian states are plots of land that are made available for individual purpose or for use of non-commercial agriculture. Thee plots are literally formed by utilizing subdivision of various pieces of land into several hundred parcels where the state government authorities go ahead to assigned the plots to individuals, groups of people or families (Daniel Soebarto & Williamson, 2015,p.34).These parcels of land are cultivated on an individual basis. Typically, these individual sizes of a land parcel suit the requirements and preferences of a family in Australian states such as Melbourne. According to the proposals of land legislation hierarchy in this state, the individual gardeners are usually well organized in an allotment association that is utilized in leasing out or grant from a certain landowner for example public or private entities and who dictates that the allotment is for gardening purposes but not to be used for residing permanently. The existing gardeners are supposed to pay a little membership fee to the available association board. They also have to completely abide by the corresponding constitution, laid out bylaws and the existing subordinate regulations regarding land allotment.

The Australian act s and constitution representing all the states allotment gardeners since 1926 describes in detail the socio-cultural and also economic functions of allotment land as providing increased quality of life, maximum enjoyment, hobby and relaxation as protected by the laws and constitution (de Valence, 2010, p.120). The laws indicate that for children, some of the pieces of plots are sued to play and natural feeling. It also enables the unemployed individuals in the state to do something useful and acquire low-cost food for an efficient level of authority. The authority makes sure that by land allotment, the elderly individuals get a golden opportunity to meet new persons, involve inactivity sharing and distinct operations. The regulations ensure each and every individual respects the laws of the land. It keeps people from engaging in malpractices such as land grabbing and bushfires.

Land Allotment Regulations in Australian States

Even though the native Title acts is Commonwealth legislation that usually operates in all the Australian states and territory jurisdictions (González & Fiorito, 2015, p.560). The manner in which the given native title process operate in the states and territories is influenced by the historical issues of the given jurisdictions land rights arrangements. In some of the state jurisdictions, land titles to extensive regions of traditional lands were grand before the native Title Act took place.

Under the land rights act which was established in 19839NSW), a particular plot of land acquire prior claim by Aboriginal land councils representing the land laws and regulations of the existing aboriginal individuals (Hardie & Newell 2011,p.618). The council also enabled the statutory investment fund. Over the years a total equivalent amount of approximately 7.4 percent of NSW land laws tax basically on non-residential land was paid to the NSW aboriginal council meant as a compensation for a certain piece of land lost by the people of NSW. The fund was well utilized to cater for administration and land purchase. The land council network has increased its elf support aspect in contributing to the legislation hierarchy (Haynes, Handmer, McAneney, Tibbits, Coates 2010, p.185).

According to the laws laid out, if an Aboriginal land council need to sell land, it should acquire a clear determination as provided by the Native Title Act. In the recent past, there have been about 42 non-claimant determinations that native title does not actually exist in NSW. This is due to the fact that many states are subjected to extinguishing regulations tenures. All the extensive areas with various native land titles can be known and determined. There also exist 20 registered prior claims under the constitution of land allotment.

Part M of the second schedule to the building regulations

Access and use.M1 indicates maximum provision to be provided for individuals to largely access and utilize a building, its available facilities and its consistent environs (Jones 2012, p.8).

M2 optimum provision to be made for people to approach and access a building extension

However, Part M4 does not apply to works that are connected with material extensions and alterations of the existing land allotment dwellings if and only if such works does not design a new dwelling.

Part M of the building regulations act is to give a directive regarding an inclusive approach that ensures effective design and construction of the built land environment. The requirements of the regulations aim to specifically ensure that regardless of the land size;

  • Buildings on land other than dwellings are accessible and usable
  • Dwellings are literally visible

Aboriginal Land Councils and Land Rights

In that case, the requirements of the regulations focus on the principle of universal design.

Approved dwellings should be well designed and constructed so that

Residents can safely and conveniently approach and acquire continuous access. On some steep allotment of land all entrances exist on the ground level, it is deemed necessary to offer access through the use of steps or stairways that are important to utilize by individuals with mobility problems.

Residents can get access to the main habitable rooms at the entrance level. According to the legislation, where there exists no or minimal habitable room at this particular level, it seen adequate to ensure easy access to habitable rooms on the storey that is inclusive on the main sitting room (Lehmann 2013, p.57) Proper access to this specific storey may be suitable for use by individuals with mobility problems if they use the stairway effectively.

The requirement of the regulations of part M of the technical guidance document applies to;

  • Works that are in connection with new buildings and also new dwellings
  • Those works which are in connection with extensions to the existing dwellings
  • Approach to approve dwellings

The main aim is to give an optimum means of approach in order to approve the key entrance of a dwelling in order to facilitate visitors from a vital point of access.

The point of access is the entrance at the boundary level of a dwelling plot. It is also the point in which an individual visiting dwelling would alight from the means of transport within the given dwelling plot, considering while approaching the dwelling

For this section, the dwelling plot can mean the private existing land that is associated with the dwelling.

In case of use of a steeped approach, it should be effective for use by individuals with disabilities and should conform to the following regulations set out in the sates legislation hierarchy.

  • It must have a clearly unobstructed width view of 901millimeters
  • As law, the rise of a certain plane between buildings should not exceed 1.8mtres
  • It must have a top and bottom intermediate landings mostly 901mm long
  • The strips must have tread in accordance with the following diagram.
  • There should exist efficient continuous handrail

Where it is not possible for the main entrance to a dwelling to be easily accessible, an accessible entrance serving as an alternative should be designed (Meacham 2010, .877). The alternatives should be approached through a simple access route that conforms to section 2.1 of the regulations document section. It indicates that that particular alternative is within the public domain realm of the dwelling plot on the existing land.

Corridors, passageways and entrance and exit doors to the room resided in the storey should be very wide and free of level changes in order to ensure convenient circulation (Mitchell, 2010, p.93). They should have a reduced unobstructed width of 901 millimeters in order to allow maximum circulation of residents using wheelchairs.

Part M Regulations for Building Approvals

However, part M does not apply to those works that are in connection with material extensions and alterations of the existing dwellings on the land. This is significant provided that such operations do not create or design a new dwelling. In addition, a certain land extension or material alteration of a dwelling should not make the building to be less satisfactory in conjunction to part M of the document that is was initially. This conforms to the fact that a given extension or material alteration should not necessarily be in complete compliance with part M. They should not result in the dwelling being little compliant with part M.

Currently, the NCC has got 3 volumes. It is maintained by the Australian buildings codes board. Volume 1 and 2 are the building code of Australia while 3 is the plumbing code.NCC is a national document that provides technical requirements for available buildings. It involves technical provisions for designing and constructing buildings in Australia (Morrissey, Moore, Horne 2011, p.569). Buildings need to comply with the given laws.NCC is called up by existing states and territories via their own legislation, Through NSW, this particular legislation is under Environment planning Assessment Act and its probable regulations. It is replaced by upcoming planning activities in order for the government to successfully pass the new legislation. It is aimed at ensuring maintenance of correct standards of safety from fire.

The hierarchy of NCC consist of the following

Functional statements. For example, the buildings constructed in a certain prone area is to resist the fires so as to decrease risks associated with lie endangering and destruction of the building (Preston,2011,p.485).

Building solutions. It has AS3959.2009 as an example of a probable solution

Fig 1.1 NCC legislation hierarchy

The Australian standards are utilized as part of the requirements to satisfy the various provisions of the NCC. Evidently, where a building is successfully approved under single Australian standard and the prevailing requirements for that are updated from time to time and the NCC changes during the time of construction, then the existing buildings requires to be in compliance with the standard and NCC applicable at the period in which it was entirely approved.

Therefore most states call up AS 3959-2009 for the construction requirements in the NCC. Any provision in NCC may be overlapped by both state and territory legislation. Thus this document must be in line with the legislation for bushfire requirements.

National Construction Code Hierarchy

This standard provide a scale that issued to detect and identify bushfire events.

This code of the Australia standards provides methods for fire tests on building materials and determining the expected performance of external construction materials when largely exposed to heat and flames (Shih, Sher, Giggins 2013, p.111).

This standard standards for bushfire water spray systems to provide a clear policy to extinguish a fire in case of fire-related accidents.

The NCC structure ensures buildings are mainly evaluated with the overall performance and satisfy required needs for buildings built in bush prone areas.

In New South Wales, the available accreditation authority is under Environmental planning and Assessment Regulations. It indicates that any individual may apply to the director for approval of the design of a structure or building

The NCC has a verification method that ensures maximum inspection to determine if the building solution is in compliance with the given legislation performance requirements (Crompton, McAneney, Chen, Pielke, Haynes 2010. p.300)

In the year 2001, there was a huge fire calamity in Sydney land. The black Christmas fires destroyed many homes and burnt various hectares of land. This contributed to the introduction of a joint parliamentary inquiry. The outcome was the establishment of a report that was mainly endorsed in order to release a document that had massive specifications for building on land which was largely evaluated and identified as bushfire prone areas. This document was intended for sole use by available councils, state planners, NSW fire authorities, land developers, planners and various bushfire consultants (Sadler et al 2012, p.77) Planning for bushfire protection 2006 ensures for considerable flexibility and innovativeness that interlinks the bush fire hazard for a site with the implementation and enactment of favorable bushfire protection policies and measures. These bushfire protection policies must be highlighted and addressed widely in any available development or growth applications that are situated on bush fire prone land.

According to the NCC the bush fire requirements, it relates and applies to class 1, 2 and 3 where 1 is dwellings.2 is residential buildings and 3 residential plots of hotels

The following objectives are addressed

  • Providing all land and building occupants optimum protection from high exposure to a bushfire
  • Enhancing a defendable land space located around the buildings
  • Offer necessary separation between hazardous issues and buildings which when put together with other appropriate applicable policies prevent direct flame contact and ignition of various materials.
  • Make sure that residents have safe operational access to personal services in case of emergencies cases.
  • Ensure proper management and maintenance of bushfire protection policies enhancing measures regarding fuel materials in the existing asset protection zone.
  • Make sure that efficient utility services are available and have the capability to meet the needs and requirements of firefighters or any other party who is willing to assist in fighting a bushfire.

The purpose of PBP 2006 is to utilize the NSW development assessment system to ensure protection of human rights as provided by the Australian Constitution and to reduce negative effects on property from risk of bushfire, it has maximum focus on the development potential, on-site amenity and protection of a conducive environment (Searle & Bunker, 2010, p.517).

The NCC has a distinct classification for buildings that are prone to bushfires. Class 1a involves a single dwelling including a detached house or several attached dwellings

Class 2 involves occupancy units as separate dwellings. This category might also comprise of multiple dwellings and those dwellings that are usually located above one another

  • Safeguarding the residents from injury
  • Alerting occupants in the buildings in case of fire so that they evacuate immediately, requirements avoidance or prevention of the spread of fire
  • Protecting the dwellings or buildings form the fire impacts

In the housing provisions (NCC volume 2), a site should be determined in complete compliance with the standards of AS3959

Environmental Protection Act EPA). This 1990 act provides a fundamental structure like billings and authority for proper management of waste and harmful emissions that can be released to the environment. It is a waste controlled at that prevents the unauthorized release of harmful disposal to the environment

These are environmental planning instruments that deal with a wide range of state or territorial environmental planning issues. For example, SEPP Policy No.1 that offers an objection to make against development standards (Thompson & Maginn, 2012, p.88). These planning laws ensure that states are in compliance with relevant standards.

It's a type of environment planning instrument where the local state councils give a clear framework on how land can be effectively used. This is achieved by allocating parcels and tracks of land zones. Each allotment of land provides principle objectives for the land and the allowed developments.


Daniel, L., Soebarto, V. and Williamson, T., 2015. House energy rating schemes and low energy dwellings: The impact of occupant behaviors in Australia. Energy and Buildings, 88, pp.34-44.

de Valence, G., 2010. Defining an industry: What is the size and scope of the Australian building and construction industry. Construction Economics and Building, 10(1-2), pp.119-131.

González, J. and Fiorito, F., 2015. Daylight design of office buildings: optimization of external solar shadings by using combined simulation methods. Buildings, 5(2), pp.560-580.

Hardie, M. and Newell, G., 2011. Factors influencing technical innovation in construction SMEs: an Australian perspective. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 18(6), pp.618-636.

Haynes, K., Handmer, J., McAneney, J., Tibbits, A. and Coates, L., 2010. Australian bushfire fatalities 1900–2008: exploring trends in relation to the ‘Prepare, stay and defend or leave early'policy. environmental science & policy, 13(3), pp.185-194.

Jones, R., 2012. Fire-stick farming. Fire Ecology, 8(3), pp.3-8.

Lehmann, S., 2013. Low carbon construction systems using prefabricated engineered solid wood panels for urban infill to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable Cities and Society, 6, pp.57-67.

Meacham, B.J., 2010. Risk?informed performance?based approach to building regulation. Journal of Risk Research, 13(7), pp.877-893.

Mitchell, L.M., 2010. Green Star and NABERS: learning from the Australian experience with green building rating tools. Energy Efficient, p.93.

Morrissey, J., Moore, T., and Horne, R.E., 2011. Affordable passive solar design in a temperate climate: An experiment in residential building orientation. Renewable Energy, 36(2), pp.568-577.

Preston, B.J., 2011. The influence of climate change litigation on governments and the private sector. Climate Law, 2(4), pp.485-513.

Crompton, R.P., McAneney, K.J., Chen, K., Pielke Jr, R.A. and Haynes, K., 2010. Influence of location, population, and climate on building damage and fatalities due to Australian bushfire: 1925–2009. Weather, Climate, and Society, 2(4), pp.300-310.

Sadler, B., Dusik, J., Fischer, T., Partidario, M., Verheem, R. and Aschemann, R., 2012. Handbook of strategic environmental assessment. Routledge.

Searle, G. and Bunker, R., 2010. New century Australian spatial planning: re-centralization under Labor. Planning Practice & Research, 25(4), pp.517-529.

Shih, S.Y., Sher, W. and Giggins, H., 2013. Assessment of the Building Code of Australia to Inform the Development of BIM-enabled Code-checking Systems. In Proceedings of CIB World Building Congress.

Thompson, S. and Maginn, P., 2012. Planning Australia: An overview of urban and regional planning. Cambridge University Press.

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