Resetting ACT Planning

The complaints about the poor outcomes from the ACT Planning system have been discussed throughout the last legislative term, but without reform. Today, Planning Minister, Mick Gentleman, announced that the planning legislation will be rewritten!

The many issues with the existing planning instrument has been discussed in articles on the Territory Plan, Estate Development Code, and estate development.

The current planning legislation will be torn up and replaced with a new act as part of the ACT Government’s review of the planning system.

Government to scrap planning legislation to give broken system a fresh start, The RiotACT, 29 June 2021, accessed 29 June 2021.

ACT Planning has long recognised the disconnect between the ACT Planning Strategy and the approval process for development applications. The current planning instrument permits developers to tick all the boxes and get approval, even when the ACT Government does not like a project’s intent. The approval is not an assessment of the intent, but rather compliance with the code.

The current rules-based planning system has been under fire from many quarters with claims that it is divorced from actual planning policy and other policy areas such as climate change and housing, which results in development outcomes that contradict the government’s own goals.

Government to scrap planning legislation to give broken system a fresh start, The RiotACT, 29 June 2021, accessed 29 June 2021.

Chief Planner Ben Ponton has even said the system is broken, and many say it fails to produce good planning outcomes and inhibits innovative development.

Government to scrap planning legislation to give broken system a fresh start, The RiotACT, 29 June 2021, accessed 29 June 2021.

ACT Planning Minister, Mick Gentleman, was quite forthright about the issue and goal.

“The current legislation has grown complex and cumbersome as changes have been added to it in a piecemeal way,” Mr Gentleman said.

“A new act means starting with a blank slate to build the best possible system that promotes great planning, design and development across Canberra.”

Government to scrap planning legislation to give broken system a fresh start, The RiotACT, 29 June 2021, accessed 29 June 2021.

The first draft can be expected in 2021.

The community will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft act when it is released for comment, hopefully by the end of the year.

Government to scrap planning legislation to give broken system a fresh start, The RiotACT, 29 June 2021, accessed 29 June 2021.

Early enough for spring-cleaning.

Photo by Yan Krukov on Pexels.com

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