Cost Summary Report

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In the following blog post, we will explain what a cost summary report is—a necessary prerequisite for your Development Applications required by the local council. We will provide a template example and also explain when and how to complete it.

What is the purpose of the cost summary report?

A cost summary report is a document that presents cost estimates linked to a development project. It serves as a tool for local councils to evaluate the project’s financial feasibility and decide on the necessary development contributions. This report outlines the anticipated expenses associated with the proposed project’s construction.

When do you need a cost summary report?

If you’re planning a development in Sydney, NSW, you’ll need to create a cost summary report. This report may be required when submitting your Development Application (DA).

  • For projects with costs ranging from $0 to $150,000, the report can be prepared by applicants or suitably qualified individuals.
  • For costs falling between $150,000 and $3 million, the report must be prepared by a suitably qualified person, such as a quantity surveyor, licensed builder, registered land surveyor, architect, or accredited building estimator.
  • For projects exceeding $3 million, a certified quantity surveyor must provide a detailed cost report for verification.
  • When the development costs exceed $40 million, it becomes crucial to provide an accurate estimate during the development application stage. In cases where the costs exceed $50 million, the Central Sydney Planning Committee acts as the consent authority.

What information is included in cost summary reports?

A cost summary report typically includes information on the following:

  • The type of development – such as residential, commercial or industrial property development
  • The size of the development – the total area of development, sizes of individual units, and square footage of the building
  • The estimated construction costs – estimates of cost such as material, labour cost, cost of site demolition, or site preparation
  • The estimated soft costs – such as planning and legal fees
  • The estimated profit margin – the amount of profit that a developer expects to make with this project

The specific information that is included in a cost summary report will vary depending on the type of development and the requirements of the council.

How to submit the report?

The process for submitting a cost summary report will vary depending on the council’s requirements and the type of development. However, submitting the cost summary report usually involves the following activities:

  • Checking the council’s website for specific requirements – it’s important to familiarise yourself with the requirements of your local council,
  • Completing the form – The form you need to complete is usually a standardised template provided by the local council,
  • Attach supporting documentation: To make the report valid, you need to submit all the supporting documentation, such as DA or builders’ quote
  • Submit the cost summary report to the council
  • Await the council’s review: After submission, the council will review the report and determine whether to approve the development of your project or not.

What are the sources of information used in the report?

The information used to prepare a cost summary report can originate from various sources, including:

  • The applicant’s own estimates: This source may not be entirely accurate as the applicant’s estimates could be incorrect or incomplete.
  • Industry standard costs: While this can be a somewhat reliable data source, it is essential to consider the specific costs associated with your particular project.
  • The advice of a quantity surveyor: Quantity surveyors are highly knowledgeable and experienced in providing accurate cost estimates, making them the most reliable source for creating this report.

How long does it take to be completed?

The time needed to complete a cost summary report can vary based on several project factors, such as the development’s size, complexity, the experience of the individuals preparing the report, and the availability of reliable data. When a registered quantity surveyor handles the cost summary report, it is realistic to expect completion within a time frame ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

Cost summary report template example

We have prepared a simplified cost summary report example to assist you in understanding the typical costs included in the report, the necessary data, and the formatting used:

cost summary report template

Who can prepare the cost summary report?

If the estimated cost of your development surpasses a limit specified by the local council, a Quantity Surveyor will be required to create the report and verify the construction cost. The cost estimate must adhere to section 25J of the EPAA 1979 and must be prepared by a registered Quantity Surveyor who is a member of the Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (AIQS). Otherwise, if the estimated development cost does not exceed the limit specified by the council (all amounts below $150,000), applicants can prepare the cost summary reports themselves.

How PBAQs can help you with cost summary reports?

With over 20 years of QS experience as experienced professionals, we can assist you with various documents required by the NSW council, including the cost summary report necessary for your development application. Once you complete the form on our Contact page, we will promptly respond with a quote.

Angelo Antidormi
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