Re­vi­tal­is­ing city cen­tres

Canning Gazette - - NEWS - Josh Zim­mer­man

THE pro­hib­i­tive time and costs as­so­ci­ated with plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tions for new busi­ness ven­tures will be slashed in a bid to breathe fresh life into town cen­tres and high streets suf­fo­cated by un­nec­es­sary red tape.

Plan­ning Min­is­ter Rita Saf­fi­oti out­lined a six-point plan this week to re­alise the eco­nomic po­ten­tial of empty build­ings in ar­eas, such as the Vic­to­ria Park cafe strip and de­vel­op­ing Can­ning City Cen­tre.

It comes in the midst of a cam­paign by The West Aus­tralian and Com­mu­nity News high­light­ing the un­nec­es­sary coun­cil red tape hold­ing back busi­ness own­ers across the state.

Ms Saf­fi­oti also wants greater col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween coun­cils to de­velop uni­form plan­ning poli­cies along ar­te­rial roads and train lines, such as the Ar­madale line.

Pri­or­ity has been given to dis­man­tling the bu­reau­cratic coun­cil sys­tems that can take up to 90 days – and cost in ex­cess of $10,000 in con­sul­tancy fees – for rou­tine ‘change of use’ ap­pli­ca­tions for com­mer­cial prop­er­ties.

Ms Saf­fi­oti wants those pro­cess­ing times cut to just seven days.

“This is a key is­sue that is raised with me all the time,” Ms Saf­fi­oti said.

She is also propos­ing trim­ming the num­ber of plan­ning zones across WA about 70 per cent, from 1000 to closer to 300.

The num­ber of de­vel­op­ment as­sess­ment pan­els could also be cut from nine to three.

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