Planning policy shift
COUNCIL PLANS FOR GREATER SAY
MELVILLE councillors will have the power to decide on some major development applications submitted directly to the City, after an amendment to planning policy.
Last week, councillors voted to adopt a number of changes to City’s planning policy, the biggest of which will allow them, in certain situations, to overrule decisions made by City officers under delegated authority.
The amendment means any major development (defined as containing 10 or more dwellings) can be called up by two councillors who sign a request to chief executive Shayne Silcox and quote a relevant planning matter.
Previously, there was no mechanism for Melville councillors to call up development applications ruled fully compliant by City of Melville planning officers.
Speaking in favour of the change, councillor Nicholas Pazolli said the amendment would allow residents to approach councillors with concerns, which where applicable, could be heard and determined in the public forum of a council meeting.
Councillor Matt Woodall agreed, stating that under the previous policy, there was no way for residents to hold anybody accountable for major developments of concern.
The change does not apply to joint development assessment panel applications where the City of Melville is not the ultimate decision-maker.
Councillors also voted to adopt a new requirement for the details of any major development application, even those deemed compliant, to be advertised via onsite signage as part of the informal notification process.
City officers will now also be required to consider all formal submissions received from members of the public when assessing such development applications, although formal consultation will not be entered into when a development has already been determined compliant.