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The Forum > Article Comments > Implementing an integrated place, local and regional planning scheme in NSW > Comments

Implementing an integrated place, local and regional planning scheme in NSW : Comments

By Robert Gibbons, published 19/5/2011

Town planning needs to be returned to the people. This is a plan to do that.

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I'm not a planner but I live in the City of Port Phillip in Melbourne and am constantly frustrated by the increasing number of restrictive regulations imposed by our council, often in the name of heritage or character, on people's ability to manage the look and shape of their own homes, whether new or existing.

Given the general nature of complaints about local planning, I can't see how another level of bureaucracy will help matters. Surely, this will mean more delays, more objections and,if an appeal process is included, extra costs for developers and renovators alike. My suggestion is to recognise that local councils are not expressions of local democracy, since most of us are forced to vote for candidates we've never heard of and whose party affiliations are often not made public. Planning should be in the hands of the responsible State Government Minister, administered locally by state government public servants. Indeed, I favour removing all legislative and regulatory capacity completely from local government. This should reduce the possibility of corruption, improve democracy and clarify accountability.
Posted by Senior Victorian, Thursday, 19 May 2011 1:15:55 PM
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The authorís basic desire is to keep local planning within local government and consequently reduce state government involvement. I canít agree with this.

We canít have a situation where each local government can administer its own planning in virtual isolation, or in regional isolation. Theyíve all got to have commonality, tied together by a consistent set of regulations, which would be administered by state and federal governments.

Another intermediate layer of bureaucracy; the regional planning councils, just seems unnecessary to me. There should be no reason why local councils canít do their own planning in such a way that it ties in regionally and conforms to state and federal common threads. And it is surely the role of state government to see that they do.

Afterall, it really is a fundamental part of any planning process to make sure that it ties in with the bigger picture beyond the actually planning area, ie; integrated planning.

It will always be a difficult juggling act to work out just how much say local, state and federal governments have and of course there will always be people who think that the balance is wrong. I can't see that regional planning councils would do much to improve this.

Now to my pet subject Ė continuous growth with no end in sight.

THIS is the thing that is driving a whole lot of woe in Sydney, and other cities. For as long as we have this manic population growth and the consequent pressure on infrastructure and services weighing down on local councils and making it very hard for them to achieve any real gains, there will be little prospect of developing good planning schemes, for many councils and for Sydney as a whole.
Posted by Ludwig, Thursday, 19 May 2011 2:09:22 PM
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