DAP sys­tem needs re­view

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS - Joel Kelly

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.”

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