DAP system needs review
ANY review of decision-making in planning should not be limited to Development Assessment Panels, according to Local Government Planners Association president Warwick Carter.
In light of several local governments calling for a review of the DAP system for approving developments over $10 million, the planners association president said improvements could be made across the board.
“Much of the conversation is about tweaking DAPs to improve the out- comes, whereas any review needs to start by looking at the planning schemes,” he said.
“The planning schemes allow for significant discretion to be applied, with little commentary about why the discretion was there in the first place.
“If a scheme simply says that the height of a development can be increased, but gives no reason as the circumstances in which this variation can happen, of course there will be debate about whether it was appropriate.
“There is a need to write better local planning schemes, better reports to DAPs, as well as ensuring that the decision maker understands the values of the community in which they are making a decision.”
Mr Carter said elected members had a better understanding of the strategic intent of their planning schemes and that knowledge needed to be respected by DAPs.
“There is significant context set out in the strategic plans of the local governments that should be incorporated into the decision making process,” he said “There are improvements that can be made to our planning system.”