Re­form to change plan­ning

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Quick News - By JON BAS­SETT

COUN­CIL merg­ers are a rea­son for new plan­ning rules and a rewrit­ten text guid­ing lo­cal build­ing schemes at merged coun­cils, ac­cord­ing to the State Gov­ern­ment’s Blue­print for Plan­ning Re­form.

“The new model scheme text, and its strength­ened deemed and model pro­vi­sions, will be ap­plied to each new ju­ris­dic­tion, both as­sist­ing the process of pre­par­ing new schemes, and en­sur­ing con­sis­tency of schemes across the metropoli­tan re­gion at the ear­li­est op­por­tu­nity,” the blue­print said.

It said merg­ers would help new plan­ning rules an­nounced by Plan­ning Min­is­ter John Day re­cently that in­cluded un­elected devel­op­ment as­sess­ment pan­els (DAPs) de­cid­ing on $2 mil­lion-$10 mil­lion build­ings and houses that com­ply with R-Codes not need­ing devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions.

Changes to the Metropoli­tan Re­gion Scheme (MRS) that sets out roads, sub­urbs and shops across Perth and coun­cils’ town plan­ning schemes will oc­cur at the same time, but changes to the tem­plate used to write town plan­ning schemes were undis­closed.

Mr Day said new homes would be cheaper and eas­ier to build by “re­align­ing and sim­pli­fy­ing” land re­zon­ing, and con­cur­rent MRS and plan­ning schemes changes would avoid sit­u­a­tions such as a three-year de­lay for 1000 houses in For­rest­dale in 2003-04.

He said sin­gle houses and up to 10 res­i­den­tial units would not be con­sid­ered by DAPs, the Depart­ment of Plan­ning would get re­sources to deal with more ap­pli­ca­tions and the com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion would still be at lo­cal gov­ern­ment level as coun­cils’ strate­gic plan­ning poli­cies and plan­ning schemes would guide the pan­els. De­vel­op­ers and build­ing ap­pli­cants fac­ing de­lays have long ar­gued for uni­form plan­ning rules across Perth but Clare­mont Mayor Jock Barker said the Gov­ern­ment’s changes re­duced lo­cal gov­ern­ments’ rel­e­vance in an­tic­i­pa­tion of amal­ga­ma­tions, sup­ported de­vel­oper-led plan­ning and did not recog­nise lo­cal poli­cies that pro­tected res­i­den­tial ar­eas’ char­ac­ter.

A quar­ter of devel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions are for homes worth over $2 mil­lion in Ned­lands, where Mayor Max Hip­kins said more DAP ap­provals would pre­vent neigh­bours’ and coun­cil­lors’ com­ments, and the DAP sys­tem, which al­ready drained depart­ment funds, would be flooded with ap­pli­ca­tions.

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