Planning Bill General Information from EPSDD

The ACT Planning webinar to introduce the ACT Planning Bill 2022 was Friday, 8 April 2022. It was well done, but, as they say themselves, legislation is not a sexy topic. Here is the transcript from the presentation, should you have missed the webinar.

The presenters were Lisa and Clinton.

The ACT Planning webinar to introduce the ACT Planning Bill 2022 was Friday, 8 April 2022. It was well done, but, as they say themselves, legislation is not a sexy topic. Here is the transcript from the presentation, should you have missed the webinar.

When they refer to the “authority” in this text, they are typically referring to the “Territory Authority” which will be formed once the Planning Bill 2022 becomes the Planning Act in 2023.

What is currently released

The draft legislation out for public consultation includes the:

  • draft Planning Bill,
  • a planning General Regulation, and
  • a planning Exempt Development regulation.

Upcoming in 2022

  • consultation on the development of district strategies
  • consultation on the new Territory Plan

Transcript of the presentation

The presenters were Lisa and Clinton.

Lisa

Just to give you a little context in relation to the planning system review and reform project, this is not an opportunity that presents itself often we have got an opportunity to review and reform the planning system that applies here in the Territory. We are keen to get the legislation right to deliver the best possible planning system that we can for Canberra and the Territory. We, we want to make sure that there is trust and confidence in the planning system, and that the users of the planning system, including all of you can have confidence in it and the outcomes that are produced by it.

Clinton

The importance of the consultation is that we are looking at a new Act, a new Territory Plan, and within that, a new level of planning in the ACT district strategies. This is kind of the first element of the planning system review and reform project, setting the framework of the planning system through a new Planning Act. During this year, the Directorate will be preparing a new Territory Plan. That will be open for public consultation as well. Thirdly, the district strategies, which will be the new level of planning. At the moment, we have got the planning strategy, which is territory wide and then in the Territory Plan, you have individual site-specific rules, there is nothing in between. As part of the review found that the district strategies was the appropriate level to undertake planning to take into consideration the different aspects of the different districts in the Territory.

Lisa

Thanks, Clinton. Just picking up where Clinton left off, you will see that this year is going to be a busy one for planning in the ACT. And there will be a lot of consultation happening on those other key elements of the project. We are hoping through all of that consultation to gather a wide range of views on our legislation and our policy and our plans. But the focus today is on the Planning Bill. Let us step through the key features.

The draft legislation out for public consultation includes the:

  • draft Planning Bill,
  • a planning General Regulation, and
  • a planning Exempt Development regulation.

For those of you who are familiar with the current Planning and Development Act, the changes that are made in the Planning Bill are mostly to the first half of the act, that is where we have focused the reform and the changes in the system. They are looking to influence our approach to the performance of developments to achieving an outcomes focus, and then filtering that through our strategic planning, to the new Territory Plan and ultimately to development assessment and the developments that we see on ground in the Territory.

“light touch approach” on the second half of the bill,

The second half of the bill, which contains chapters on things like leasing on public land, land management plans, compliance and enforcement, there is been a light touch approach to the review of those key parts of the system. They are very central to our planning legislation and largely fit for purpose. We have taken the opportunity to modernise and drafting and make some modest improvements from a legal policy point of view where we can, but the main changes, as I said, are at the front, the front half of the act.

Starting with the object, we have developed a new object of the act. Through this new object provision, the reformed planning system will be outcomes focused and focused on liveability, prosperity and the wellbeing of people in Canberra, the residents of the ACT. This provision sets the framework for the outcomes because the planning system will promote the principles of ecological sustainability. We are aiming to put people at the heart of the planning system. This is the starting point of the focus of the planning system and laying the groundwork for that framework in which all those other parts of the system will come into effect.

Other matters

We wanted to pack a lot of things into the object to set the scene for what we are trying to achieve with our planning system. We have got a list of further matters listed in the legislation that are important to achieving the object of the act.

The Planning Bill also recognises the need to plan for a sustainable and resilient environment as we continue to adapt to the impacts of climate change. It also means protecting areas of high biodiversity and environmental value in the ACT.

In these further matters, we are also emphasising that we want to focus on the delivery of high quality people focused and design led built outcomes that contribute to the distinctive characteristics of our local areas.

Principles of Good Planning

We have included in the planning bill for the first time Principles of Good Planning. These principles will be considerations in all strategic planning processes that are undertaken under the Planning Bill, once it becomes the Planning Act.

We have crafted these principles for the Territory, taking inspiration from other jurisdictions and adapted and tailored these principles to our local setting and our aspirations. They are designed to show the breadth of matters that are relevant to planning and to strategic urban planning and how many different and perhaps sometimes competing considerations there are when developed when developing planning policy.

What you see on this slide is the kind of headline for each of those principles. The bill contains a detailed list of sub-principles, all of the elements of those different principles. We welcome feedback on the content of those principles, and whether they are capturing all of the important policy ideas that should be considered through our strategic planning processes.

Principles of Good Consultation

Another new core concept that is contained in the Planning Bill is Principles of Good Consultation. We recognise that public consultation and participation is central to achieving a planning system that the community can have confidence in. What we have got in the bill is an ability for the Minister to make a guideline outlining what are the principles of good public consultation. These principles will be designed to guide consultation in accordance with processes under the Act, and make sure that the community has an opportunity to provide some input into planning processes.

We have started a draft list of principles and have sought some feedback from one of our stakeholder forums in relation to those principles. We are wanting to capture the most important elements of consultation and frame them in a meaningful way. We are keen to hear your views about what those principles should contain.

While the Principles of Good Consultation are being introduced, we are proposing to remove the concept of pre-development application consultation. We felt it was not working as it was intended to and not achieving the expected results. Instead, we are looking to focus on Principles of Good Consultation to guide all the consultation processes under the act.

And while predate a consultation is intended to be removed the need to engage the local community on planning proposals, including major proposals and proposals that are occurring in the local county, next, that is a feature of best practice planning that we are keen to retain.

The Planning Bill establishes the key strategic planning elements of our planning system. It retains the ACT Planning Strategy (2018) as the main strategic document for planning, setting planning policy and the Territory.

District Planning

Through the 2018 planning strategy, and under review of other jurisdictions in Australia and around the world, we identified an opportunity for future spatial guidance in our system. We have proposed to provide that additional spatial guidance through district level planning.

We have formalised this in the Planning Bill and provide for the development of district strategies. If you have had a look at the Planning Bill, you will see that the provisions provide for district strategies as longer term strategic documents. They are intended to provide a way to guide and manage change within our eight urban districts with that long term focus. There will be some consultation on the development of district strategies later through 2022. The Directorate will have some more to say, on the development of those strategies in the coming weeks and months.

Territory Plan

A key part of the Planning Bill is it provides for the making of a new Territory Plan. Now, with such a significant shift to an outcomes focused planning system, we thought it is necessary to develop a new Territory Plan that gives effect that outcomes focused. The bill includes provisions for the process to make the initial Territory Plan that will need to be approved by the ACT government executive and also by the Legislative Assembly, in order to take effect. The provisions of the bill include a public consultation process for the making of the new plan as well.

The bill provides the content of the new outcomes, outcome focused Territory Plan, but at a very high level. We are wanting to leave room and flexibility for engagement and for developing ideas on how this new Territory Plan should be structured and what it should contain, so when consultation on the new Territory Plan happens, there is real scope and flexibility for those comments received to be considered and potentially giving effect to.

At key points in the reform process in 2022, community members and industry experts will help us to develop the new Territory Plan. We have got dedicated Technical and Community reference groups will also seek broader community engagement on the draft Territory Plan laid out in 2022, providing an opportunity for everyone to have their say on how it is looking and what it is containing.

The bill sets out processes for amending the Territory Plan. Two processes to highlight here, which are new processes, not contained in the current Planning and Development Act:

  1. a process for proponent amendments to the Territory Plan and
  2. an efficient process for government policy amendments.

Proponent Process

For the proponent process, where provide proposing to provide a process that there is certainty and transparency around the process that applies, where a proponent wants to seek a variation to the Territory Plan, and that transparency and certainty is important both for community members and for industry.

In terms of transparency, there will be clarity about how a proponent can seek an amendment to the Territory Plan, how they will be assessed, the timeframe in which decision decisions should be made. That is a good example of one of the key principles that we have applied in our review of the legislation, we are seeking to provide more certainty of processes and more transparency throughout our planning system, about how decisions are made.

Government policy amendments

The process for government policy amendments is another reform that we have proposed taking into account recent and equity of current experiences and recent feedback that we have received from the community. What we mean by an efficient process is we are looking to remove the duplication of consultation that currently occurs in the planning system. We have received consistent feedback from the community and from industry members that the Territory Plan should reflect current government policy. The lengthy delays that currently exist between a change to policy and then giving effect to it in the Territory Plan and not are not suitable.

What we have proposed is a process where government should flag at the earliest time in developing a formal policy if an amendment to the Territory Plan is required, to give effect to that strategy. If the government then consults in relation to that proposed strategy flags precisely or, with a high level of detail, what change will be required to the Territory Plan, and then considers feedback received through that consultation process and adopts that government policy formally, then the change to the Territory Plan that was forecast in that consultation process should then be able to be given effect to without a separate consultation process in relation to amending the Territory Plan itself.

Steps under new Bill

  1. Amendment to the Territory Plan is required to give effect to an ACT Government strategy.
  2. The government then consults in relation to that proposed strategy flags precisely what change will be required to the Territory Plan.
  3. Considers feedback received through that consultation process and adopts that government policy formally.
  4. Amendments pass through ACT Legislative Assembly

It is ensuring that there is always public consultation required, where an amendment to the Territory Plan is proposed. It is trying to link the proposed government policy with any associated change to the Territory Plan. That consultation will happen in the context of the policy and the proposed change. Any amendment would then be able to proceed through more efficiently. We think that is a good outcome in increasing the usefulness of consultation and improving transparency around the changes that are proposed to be made to the planning system.

Clinton

If I could just touch on the new Territory Plan as well. One of the one of the issues found during the review was that there was no statutory link between the statutory high level planning documents and the Territory Plan. The planning strategy set by itself as an island, and the Territory Plan set by itself. It did not talk under the new Planning Bill, we are proposing that the new Territory Plan gives effect to the policies that are found in the planning strategy, as well as the individual develop district strategies for the particular districts.

Lisa

It is a goal to improve that line of sight from the strategic planning through to the statutory controls that we see in the Territory Plan.

Development assessment

What does that mean for development assessment? The shift to an outcomes focused planning system required a rethink of development assessment processes, we wanted to make sure that the system allows for broader considerations when assessing a development, and that that process promotes good planning outcomes in our city.

We wanted to make sure that our development assessment process and that the Planning Bill that establishes those systems, allow for broader considerations when assessing a development, that we can look to promote good planning outcomes in our city. The assessment process under the planning bill removes the three assessment tracks that are part of the current Planning and Development Act. We are hoping that that will simplify the assessment system and remove some of the rigidity that is currently a feature of the system. It should be recognised, however, that planning is a complex discipline. We are not making planning simple or simplifying the considerations but we are trying to simplify processes to make it easier to navigate.

Just a few key features of the new process that I would like to draw to your attention today.

We are reinforcing the presumption that any amendment to a development of application requires additional public notification. We have looked to simplify the statutory timeframes for development assessment. When an application (DA) is lodged, there is a statutory timeframe in which it should be decided. If there is an amendment to that application, time will start again. If the Authority lets a proponent know that additional information is required in relation to an application that will stop the clock, and when that information is received, the clock will start again. That is a much simpler approach to what was under the Planning and Development Act. We are hoping that that will just assist to have some smoother processes and easier understanding for everyone about the times that are involved.

Environmental impact assessments

As part of removing the assessment tracks, we have kept all of the procedural safeguards that were a feature of those assessment tracks. We still require Environmental Impact Assessments when environmental values adversely or could be adversely affected. There is still a requirement for the Design Review Panel (NCDRP) to be consulted in relation to proposals that are five storeys and above. There is a requirement for an Estate Development Plan (EDP) when a larger state is proposed. We have got some additional requirements for those processes that are just part of the Development Application (DA) documentation processes. Where those specific requirements are in play, there is an additional 10 working days of public notification to decide the development application. We have tried to recognise that when we are dealing with complex proposals, the public needs more time to look at that proposal and comment on it and also the authority needs more time to make a good decision.

Now, we have included a new concept in the development assessment process called pre-decision advice. This will be a formal step where the authority can provide advice to an applicant about how or if that proposal is not considered to meet the Territory Plan.

That advice will be published on the Authority’s website. There is a transparent thing for everyone about what the Authority has given to the applicant by way of advice. The applicant will then have two choices, they can choose to submit an amendment to their development application within the statutory constraints, or they can proceed for a decision. That is just including a new statutory step to try and improve the quality of decisions and allow the Authority and expanded role to look to the quality of development applications and provide some advice to an applicant about their proposal before that formal statutory decision is made.

We have expanded decision making criteria. This is, in order to give effect to an outcomes focused system, we want to make sure that the development assessment offices are thinking about all the things they need to think about to decide whether or not something is a good outcome and should be approved. We have included some additional specific criteria, like having regard to the context of the site, the sites around the transition, if a site is on the edge between different zones, to have regard to the permissible uses of that site, and surrounding sites, and forth. We are trying to give effect to the concept that this system should look at outcomes and that the authority should be empowered to make decisions on a Development Application, not just whether something meets a quantitative rule, but having regard to the performance of a proposal.

EIS exemptions removed

In terms of environmental impact assessments, we have removed the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) exemption process. That process has morphed through the years. It is similar to the Environmental Impact Statement process, except it provides an ability for recent studies to be relied on.

What we have done is we have removed the exemption process, but we have included as a feature of the EIS process that recent studies can be relied on for those assessments. What that will mean is that wherever there is a risk or a likelihood that an environmental value will be adversely impacted by a proposal, that process then needs to start with a scoping document, where the authority outlines what a proponent needs to do in terms of investigating those potential environmental impacts and reporting on them to then lodge a Development Application.

One of the difficulties in the current system is a rules based system. Those rules appear in the Territory Plan, and they have been divorced from the intent sitting behind them. What we are trying to achieve with an outcomes focus system is to bring into the new Territory Plan, clarity of purpose, that where you have performance measures, it is clear what that planning control is trying to achieve and the reason it is trying to achieve it. We think that that is a major step in terms of striving for better quality decisions.

Expert decision makers

Of course, we recognise the need for expert decision makers. We have got a great set of decision makers already. We recognise that in this move to a new system, that it is key as well, that those implementation issues that I mentioned, are addressed. That (decision makers) is subject to future budget funding, but it is certainly something that we are mindful of.

Exempt development

Okay, I will just move on to Exempt Development. Before we move on from the development assessment space, I think it is important to highlight the role that Exempt Development plays in our planning system. What Exempt Development does is it identifies developments that are exempt from requiring development approvals. That keeps proposals with minor impacts or proposals to construct a single residence that complies with the major controls out of the lengthy and expensive development assessment (DA) process. We have proposed few changes to Exempt Development under the Planning Bill. As noted earlier, we have separated the regulation into two. We will have a General Regulation that contains all of your kind of process and administrative provisions. Then we are going to have a standalone Exempt Development regulation. We have done this to try and provide easier access to the Exempt Development provisions, because they are heavily used by building designers, architects, certifiers and homeowners as the provisions that allow certain developments to proceed without development approval.

We have added a couple of new exemptions to the Exempt Development regulation.

  • They are for murals and minor utility works. The murals’ exemption reflects the desire to support street art, which adds to the vibrancy and attractiveness of the city. The new exemption, however, contains important limitations to protect against offensive and unsightly murals and potential driver distraction. We have included a lot of safeguards in that exemption.
  • The minor utility exemption will allow minor works necessary for utilities to provide essential services to the community. This is things such as fences around facilities, certain lighting and excavation for exempt work.
  • And finally, we have added some additional requirements and limits to the exemption declaration process to address some concerns that we heard from the community.

Exemption declaration process

For those of you who are not familiar with the exemption declaration process, that is a minor approval process that allows the planning and land authority to look at a proposal for a single residence that would otherwise be exempt except for a minor departure from a setback or from the dimensions required for private open space or from a building envelope. The authority can approve that minor departure and then that proposal can proceed without going through the full development assessment process.

We have limited the authority’s power that one of those declarations can only be made where the authority is satisfied that the existing requirement to provide information to neighbours has been met. The information requirement itself will be bolstered, requiring that neighbours be given site plans, elevation plans, and if there is a proposed encroachment into a solar building envelope, Shadow diagrams. We have identified or heard that feedback in relation to the information being given to neighbours and bolster those requirements in the regulation. We have also then put some additional limitations on where encroachments into the solar building envelope can be permitted. They will only be able to be the subject of an exemption declaration where that encroachment does not cause shadowing to any habitable room or principle private open space of another block. That will protect neighbours and make clear that exempt exemption declarations relating to encroachments into the solar building envelope only available in very limited circumstances.

Territory Priority Project

The bill includes a new power for the Minister to declare something to be a Territory Priority Project, and removes the existing call in powers that the minister has under the Planning and Development Act. The power to declare a development proposal to be a Territory Priority Project will be available for public and private proposals but that will be subject to criteria. The proposal will need to be time critical for critical infrastructure or facilities. It will need to have a significant public benefits.

Before the minister makes that declaration, the minister needs to be satisfied that there has been sufficient public consultation in relation to that proposed declaration. They are the criteria that the minister has to be satisfied and meet in order for the Minister to make the declaration.

If the minister does make a declaration, there are certain consequences that will flow. Once the project is declared, the Chief Planner personally must decide a Development Application. The Development Application is still a Development Application in the sense that it is subject to all of the usual processes, public notification entity referral and alike. There will be a minor extended ability for the Chief Planner to depart from certain entity advice and coming to the point of environmental laws and approvals. In all cases, the requirements of the Commonwealth Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act needs to be complied with. But the Chief Planner is able to depart from the conservative flora and fauna as advice on protected matters under ACT legislation in limited circumstances.

That is quite similar to the provisions that currently relate to light rail, except the Chief Planner will be the decision maker. The contrast with the call in process is currently the (Planning) Minister makes those decisions. We have kind of separated that with this process that the Minister makes that more political call about whether a proposal is time critical and in the public benefit requiring the benefit of this process. Then the Chief Planner makes the planning decision about whether the proposal meets the Territory Plan and the requirements of the planning legislation.

The consequences then in terms of procedural consequences, the decision on a Development Application for Territory Priority Project will not be subject to third party ACAT merits review, and there will be a time limit on judicial review. That is recognising that these proposals and in the opinion of the Minister are time critical, important for the community and should not be subjected to those delays and uncertainties that are created through merits review processes and lengthy review processes. Of course, judicial review remains available. With that one, it is just a time limit for making an application. The other thing to note about that it is the Chief Planner personally, that power cannot be delegated. That shows I think that this is intended to be quite a confined power, only available for significant proposals like the Canberra Hospital Extension, like light rail, those significant, predominantly public proposals that will benefit the community.

Increasing transparency

One of the key goals of the reform project is to increase transparency in the planning system. We have thought about how we can increase the accessibility of informant of information and documentation around planning processes and decisions. As part of achieving that goal, all Development Application documents will be available on the Planning Authority’s website. A range of other documents, through the planning and development application process, will also be published. It will be easier to understand where the development assessment process is up to. The touch points between the Authority and an applicant will also be published. There is transparency about those key communications. On the side, we have just made a note of those key things that will be published on the website. Our strategic planning documents, Territory Plan amendments, all of the Development Application, where a further information request is made, the further information itself that is given in any application to amend a Development Application, as I mentioned earlier, pre-decision advice, and then notices of decision. We have tried to identify key documents. And our plan is to make the authorities’ website a hub of information, that there is not a need to scroll through the legislation register and find instruments that are not legislative instrument. It should be all available and reasonably easily accessible on the Authority’s website. That is the key goal that we have got through the project.

ACAT

Coming to review of decisions, we understand that the Canberra community has a keen interest in planning decisions. We are trying to make it easier to identify when a decision can be reviewed in ACAT and by whom because currently, under the Planning and Development Act, that can be tricky. We have only met move the needle slightly on a review rights. We recognise the availability of merits review is a balance between making sufficient decisions reviewable to ensure that there is appropriate scrutiny and independent review of decisions that impact on others. Whilst the other side of that balance is maintaining or minimising, I suppose cost and delay in the development assessment process in lower impact scenarios, that development in our city can proceed in a timely way. The schedule that sets out decisions that are exempt from third party ACAT review, will move from the regulation up into the bill itself, in that there will be a schedule of reviewable decisions and a schedule of exemptions sitting side by side. We are hoping that that will be easier to navigate and easier to find. We have also shortened the list of matters that are exempt from third party ACAT review, and simplified the basis upon which those exemptions operate. We are trying to align the availability of review more with where a decision is based on qualitative judgements, rather than when something meets a quantitative requirement, because the ACAT when standing in the shoes of the Authority’s decision maker is also subject to those quantitative requirements.

We are looking to focus the availability of review where those qualitative assessments and professional judgements are the basis upon which decisions are made. It is also important to note that with a shift to an outcomes focused system, it means that any decision about whether to approve or refuse a development proposal must involve an assessment of the proposal as a whole how it is performing as a whole.

For any of you who have been involved in ACAT matters or have kept an eye on this issue, there is currently a limit on ACAT‘s jurisdiction, where a proposal meets a rule. That has been a difficult issue. It is a technical legal issue, that has been the subject of argument and litigation through the life of the planning and development acts.

We think the shifting focus to an outcomes focused system means it is no longer suitable for there to be a limit on ACAT’s jurisdiction. If you are reviewing a decision, and that decision necessarily looks at how a proposal is performing, then the ACAT needs to be able to look at that proposal as a whole. We have removed that limit, and ACAT will be empowered when reviewing a decision to look at the whole of the whole of the decision under review. That is a true merits review.

Next steps

Next steps for the bill and for the project, following the consultation period that begins in mid-June. Just a flag, it is a hard deadline of mid-June. We will consider all of the feedback we receive and government will consider any changes that might need to be made to the bill in light of those comments and feedback. We will provide recommendations to government as well. The bill will then be presented to the Legislative Assembly for consideration. If passed by the Assembly, we are proposing that the new Act and the new planning system will commence in the first part of 2023.

As we touched on earlier, throughout 2022, we’ll be continuing to develop the other key parts of the reformed planning system, including the new Territory Plan and district strategies. Please keep an eye out for when consultation on those key elements of the system will be open.

That is all I wanted to highlight in terms of key provisions and key processes in the bill. Thank you all for attending today.

Questions

Use of public lands by the community

And I am happy to take any questions in relation to the bill. I will try and deal with them in reverse order. First, any development as defined in our legislation requires development approval, unless the planning legislation exempts it from requiring development approval, and it requires any additional public any additional legislative approvals that are required I further, the examples that you gave, some of those might be exempt development. For example, there is a range of signs (just trying to think of other examples of uses of land) that have received approval under the Public Unleased Land Act, if they have got a license from TCCS, then it might be exempt. That is an attempt for certain kinds of low impact temporary developments, not need a formal development approval, but still require approval of government through TCCS. There is that interaction between the two systems. But I think your kind of foundational point about the use of these lands and the accessibility or the ability of the community to use those public spaces, that is probably an issue better raise with TCCS. That has responsibility for that domain.

“Principles of Good” in the bill?

Coming to your first question on the Principles of Good Planning, and the Principles of Good Consultation, the Principles of Good Planning are outlined in the bill. If you have a look at those and have any comments in relation to them, I would invite you to provide some feedback through your say on those draft principles.

The Principles of Good Consultation, however, are not in the bill, what we currently have is a guideline making power for the Minister to make those. Thank you for your comment that you think it should be principles in the bill rather than a guideline making power. I would invite you to provide that feedback, in addition to any comments you have in relation to what should be in the substance of those principles. I do have just a little list on this slide about the kinds of concepts that we have been thinking about. We have received some feedback from, from community groups, about the way these are framed that, you know, perhaps they could be framed more from a community perspective, rather than the government perspective. We are engaging with those comments and thinking about, you know, what, both the content, what should these principles contain, but also how should they be framed? That is a key area for our engagement. We would love everyone’s thoughts and comments and feedback on those proposed principles. I appreciate that we do not have a set in the bill.

Territory Plan

Sure, addresses it in a few ways.

First, the bill sets up the provisions to create an outcomes focused Territory Plan where the provisions look at performance. We are looking to have performance measures. That it is the performance of Bill of a development that is assessed rather than that tick box exercise.

The second thing that the bill does is it is emphasising the need for strategic planning to lead the way for our planning system. That part of that is introducing district strategies and they are designed to filter our strategic planning vision down to that district level and help them translate our strategic goals into the planning requirements that will be put into the new Territory Plan. The policy team working on the Territory Plan is looking at the existing provisions of the existing Territory Plan. The policies that are contained in that plan, whether they are outdated, whether they should be replaced, retained, modified, etc. That work is underway separately in relation to the Territory Plan.

The third thing that the bill does is it provides expanded decision-making criteria that the decision maker assessing a development can look to the site context can look to whether you know what is next door? What is the topography? What is the streetscape? What is the road network? Is there a transition between zones? Is there a different use across the road? The decision maker can have regard to all of these factors and think about how what is proposal perform in that space.

We are trying to address the concern that you have raised by giving decision makers those tools to consider all those issues that have perhaps not been the focus of development assessment under the current system.

I am in the planning business framework. It all it can do is set up the system. The detail will come in the Territory Plan. That is where the real work is done in terms of setting up the precise planning requirements about what is permitted on the ground. We have tried to take this opportunity, through the Planning Bill, of incorporating those elements into the structure and into the system to enable the new Territory Plan to perform well and have that outcomes focus.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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