Planning Gone Mad

Property Council of Australia planning

It seems that everyone is having a go at the New South Wales (NSW) planning system.

In March 2011 the Liberal National Coalition came into power in NSW with the grand promise to review and reform the State’s planning system with a focus on ‘returning
local planning powers to local communities’. An independent panel to undertake a review of the planning system was established, resulting in The Way Ahead for Planning in NSW Volume 1 (Major Issues) and Volume 2 (Other Issues), followed by a Green Paper.

The Property Council of Australia has provided creative feedback to the review process, with a fictionalised account of the development assessment process in NSW.  ‘Planning Gone Mad’ is “intended as a ‘cautionary tale’ – a warning from users of the planning system, against progressing reform options which do not address the ingrained culture of poor implementation, lacklustre customer service and absence of accountability at the local government level.” We look forward to the feature film!

Meanwhile the opportunity to comment on ‘A New Planning System for NSW – Green Paper’ has closed for everyone, except local councils who can still provide feedback up to Friday 5 October 2012.

Once the NSW Government has considered feedback on the Green Paper, a White Paper will be released, providing details on how the new system will be implemented. However don’t hold your breathe for planning reform to ensue, as this is one of many planning reviews to have occurred over the decades

Major changes outlined in the Green Paper included:

  • involving the community early in guiding planning decisions that will shape the growth and future of our cities, towns, and neighbourhoods
  • placing much more emphasis on preparing good policies upfront to guide growth and development
  • reducing red tape and delay for the assessment of development applications for all types of proposals
  • ensuring that infrastructure is planned and delivered to support new and existing communities
  • promoting a ‘can do’ culture in the planning system and ensuring that councils and the government are accountable for delivering the results they have committed to
  • providing greater access to information about planning policies, planning decisions, and your rights in the planning process.

We will keep you posted on how the review progresses……stay tuned!

Planning Codes Project

A Pattern Language Towns

The Codes Project is an online collection of planning codes from around the world, looking at past, present and future codes. It also looks at real life places and the planning standards and zoning codes that helped to create or protect these conditions.

The existing list of codes already documented, ranges from the 1667 Act for Rebuilding the City of London through to A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander et al. (1977) and also encompasses more recent codes such as a Building Liveable Communities: A Policymakers Guide to Transit-Oriented Development (1996).

The Codes Project is looking for contributors and outlines how to undertake a Synoptic Survey to study and analyse codes in an area you are interested in, familiar with, or want to research.

The project is run by the Arizona State University and also promotes Smart Code as a new approach to developing planning regulations. SmartCode originates from Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company (of New Urbanism fame) and is a standardised transect-based planning and zoning document, designed to be translatable across a variety of contexts and locations.

The Codes Project is a useful resource for urban designers and planners looking for existing examples of planning regulations that have created a specific urban form. Sharing this information assists to encourage best practice and enable design and planning practitioners to discover more about what has occurred in the past and create new planning regulations and codes that ultimately contribute to creating places for people.