Let's start with the process for a residential house, most buildings will have to follow these basic steps.
The owner and architectural professional work out the basic needs for the building.
The owner and architectural professional design the house, including outlay, appearance and positioning. This is an involved process that can take a week to several weeks depending on the complexity of the project.
Should the plan need to be approved by a relevant Home Owners Organization, this will happen at this stage.
The building plan is completed.
The building plan goes to an engineer, who must sign off the building plans and supply the owner with Form 2. (The engineer should know what Form 2 is.)
All paperwork is collected and signed by all parties involved.
At this stage, the owner might engage the services of a Runner. A Runner is a professional person who takes building plans through the approval process at the council.
The building plan and paperwork is handed in at the town council.
The council checks the building plans, deciding if they want corrections made, and to which departments the building plan must be circulated.
The architectural professional makes any changes needed.
Once the building plan has been corrected and circulated to the satisfaction of the plan approver, the plan will be sent for final approval. If the heads of departments are satisfied, the plans will be approved and the architectural professional or the runner will be informed that the plans can be collected .
Once the building has been built, the owner (usually through the services of the builder or project manager) has to obtain a Certificate of Occupation, or Occupation Certificate, before the building can be occupied. It is critical that this document is procured, for without it the building plan will lapse.
For other building types, there might be additional steps, such as having a Site Development Plan approved, and requirements such as a Fire Plan.