The value of a town planner on your team

17 June 2018

Posted in: Town planning

A town planner is someone you might need to assist with a project, whether that be a development or your own home. Qualified town planners are eligible to become members of the Planning Institute of Australia [PIA] and have usually studied a Bachelor in something like “planning” or “urban and regional planning” or “urban development”. PIA membership is an endorsement of an individual town planners experience, qualifications and ethics as well as there being of industry recognitions such as RiskSMART Accreditation (our Director holds both).

The range of work of planning professionals can be quite broad as the work they undertake covers a range of disciplines involved in creating and managing communities. When you consider the factors that impact planning - like sustainability, heritage, new development, and the environment - it is easy to understand why the role is important.

Planners can work for themselves, as part of big consultancies in the private sector, or within government departments and councils. Most planners are involved with either preparing (consultants) or assessing development applications (council or state government).

Most often people expect you only need a town planner if you are working on a big project, which is not necessarily the case. Many small things, like building a carport or extending your house during a renovation may require council approval. As such, you will benefit from the services of a town planner to prepare relevant paperwork and submit the development application on your behalf. Town planners can also play an advocacy role in terms of making a case to council as to why you should have permission granted for your project, particularly if you do not meet all of the standards but the outcome intended is still achieved.

A town planner advising you before and during a project can be invaluable. Before you get started, a town planner can provide preliminary advice with regard to what development is possible, may be possible, assist in identifying any issues and make suggestions that can improve its chances of being approved. Because planners are familiar with how councils assess development in a region, they can be indispensable in the scoping stage to see what is feasible.

Once you settle on the design for your project, they support you through the application process. They may also be required to meet with council on your behalf and advocate directly to council. A town planner may also be involved during construction of the project if latent conditions or something else changes the scope of your project and impacts its specific approvals.

Given how complex liaising with council can become, a town planner is a valuable consultant to have on your team. Their advice before, during, and sometimes even after a project, can save you both time and money. Ultimately town planners are problem solvers and should be intuitive and have highly developed negotiation skills.

At Consult Planning, the scope of our services includes:

Contact us to discuss the approvals your project will likely require via office@consultplanning.com.au or call 1300 017 540. We offer free desktop reviews, so get in touch!

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to provide accurate information, Consult Planning does not guarantee that this blog article is free from errors or omissions or is suitable for your intended use.

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