Planning fail gives us dud suburbs
SYDNEY SYD is getting sub-standard dar suburbs with homes that are more expensive than necessary nec because junior council cou officers are being swamped swa with complex planning nnin proposals.
The T city’s unprecedented building buil boom has created such suc a shortage in town planners ner — the people who strategise egis how our suburbs look — that there has even been calls call to poach experienced hands han from interstate.
A NSW parliamentary inquiry quir heard the shortage is crippling crip planning efficiency, with one developer said to have hav lost $485,000 a month on delays. d
Property P Council of NSW executive eexe director Jane Fitzgerald gera said the shortage of experienced exp planners at local councils cou was creating “substandard stan outcomes”. In apartments, aapa for example, she said junior planners were rigidly sticking to the rules on SEPP 65 — the state government’s blueprint for apartment design.
“Having a kitchen opposite a toilet is not the best outcome but according to SEPP 65 it is technically correct,” Ms Fitzgerald said. “Not every site is perfect for development so planners need to respond to innovation from developers. Inexperienced planners might be gun shy with something that is not exactly compliant with SEPP 65.”
The Land Release and Housing Supply in NSW inquiry also heard councils don’t have experienced planners available to update their local environment plans.
This delay means councils are tempted to make developers pay for infrastructure via voluntary planning agreements (VPAs) — a process that remains hidden from the public. Planning Minister Anthony Roberts has asked the Department of Planning to reform VPAs because of their “opaqueness”.
Urban Taskforce CEO Chris Johnson said the delays end up increasing the price of housing for consumers.