Once hemp masonry became my first choice of wall material I contacted Shoalhaven Council to find out what information they needed. On the basis that the hemp masonry was non structural and the timber frame met the NSW Timber Framing Code the Council officers did not seem too concerned about my wall choice. None the less when I lodged my plans I included copies of the technical drawings and technical information parts from both “Build a House of Hemp” and “Hemp Lime Construction”. It has been almost two weeks since I lodged my plans and checking on the electronic DA tracking my DA seems to be progressing normally.
I applied for my DA and Construction Certificate in the one application. As I had nominated Council to be me certifier I paid for my Occupation Certificate at the same time as my application, the application fee at $1,800 was higher than expected. Plus I still had to make my contribution toward the Long Service Levy, although I was applying for a partial exemption.
As I was at my block supervising the removal of some trees I lodged my DA at Council in person, something that had been recommended in my owner builder course, so as not to delay things if your documentation. This was a good choice as, although my documents were all in order, I was required to fill in an extra Jervis Bay Environmental Plan form that referred to a number of maps, located on the wall adjacent to the lodgement counter, but not available on the internet or elsewhere.
In addition I paid my $110 and picked up my beautiful blue wooden peg to put in the ground where I wanted my water metre to go in.
Unfortunately, I had to have three trees removed to get the electricity on. But the boys from CT Tree Services arrived at 8am with a 60ft cherry picker, and after a period of assessment moved into a smooth deconstruction of the trees branch by branch. By the end of the day the trees were gone and by lunch the following day so were the stumps.