Planning Review

At its meeting on Monday, 9 December 2019, Council endorsed a series of recommendations identified by an independent review for planning. The recommendations below will be progressively addressed (pending the availability of resources and budget allocation) and updates will be reported to Council as required.

  • That one further Planner be engaged to reduce the expected workloads to a more manageable level
  • That consideration be given to employing or making provision for a Planning Technical/Customer Service Officer to be situated at the front counter to receive/advise and check on planning enquiries and lodgements.
  • That a Council approved set of standard conditions be developed to facilitate the more efficient reporting and review of development applications. The standard conditions could be supplemented with a suite of additional, standardised requests for further information and other external communications.
  • That standardised checklists or procedure manual for the processing of applications be prepared to guide and assist new or junior staff.
  • That a review of delegations be undertaken to facilitate less matters being required to be referred for review to the Planning Co-ordinator and enable the Planning staff to deal with a range of matters in a far more timely and efficient manner.
  • That the reporting format for delegates reports and Council reports be amended such that where a proposal meets the acceptable solution it is simply noted as such without a written analysis of why the criteria is met.
  • That checklists for each of the zones/codes be prepared listing all of the assessment criteria and elements and a simple checkbox list be included on the file of each application.
  • That resourcing be made available to upgrade the current IT planning software such that it meets the needs of the departments processes and requirements.
  • That Council and management seek to encourage the Planning Department to adopt a philosophy of “working with” a proponent to help achieve a mutually agreeable planning outcome and provide support to the Department in the achievement of this outcome.
  • That in the absence of Statutory timeframes, Council establish in-house timeframes for the processing of post DA approvals
  • That changes to processes and delegations be extended to all qualified planning staff to facilitate all written communications, except where required by statute, to be undertaken directly from the assessing planner and by email.
  • That detailed Planning Information and facts sheets be prepared for Councils website to provide better community planning information.
  • Council consider whether the current Kingborough Planning Scheme is structured in accordance with Council and community expectations. The move to the new State format scheme would be an appropriate juncture to consider this matter.
  • That Council undertake a review of subdivision fees to ensure that they are reflective of the true cost to Council of processing a subdivision application
  • That Council undertake a review of the Planning Scheme amendment fee to ensure that it is reflective of the true cost of processing a Planning Scheme amendment.
  • That Council undertake a trial pre-lodgement service to ascertain demand and resource level requirements. That in the initial instance the pre-lodgement service be promoted primarily for residential type developments
  • That initially such trial service be offered on a free basis.
  • That appropriate delegations be put in place to facilitate the service without the need for all advice to be reviewed by a Senior Officer
  • That Council be presented with a report for their consideration detailing an appropriate enforcement regime and hierarchy for Building and Planning matters. If adopted, that Council grant the appropriate delegations to the respective Officers to implement the policy.