Recently a client approached us to test the waters for a potential Planning Permit for 6-unit development in Banyule Council.
What we ended up proposing to Banyule Council fell short of the “300 m2 per lot rule of thumb” and had no precedent for this type of project along the entire street.
Yet Council Town Planners were delighted with our proposal.
Planning Permit Victoria: How to get a “Yes” from Council
Over the years we have learned to get major stakeholders involved and engaged early.
One significant stakeholder that must be engaged early is Council.
How early is too early?
For our client’s project, we engaged Banyule Council before we even had concept sketches (ie. before our client spent $$$).
Previous projects have seen us engage various Council Town Planners in Victoria before our clients even bought the subject property!
What do you engage Council with?
The purpose of engaging Council Town Planners early is to help your Council realise that you:
- … have actually considered them and their local planning policies and strategies.
- … wish to collaborate and not try to force something on them.
- … are open and your ideas are not set in stone but are flexible to their concerns.
To that end, you must engage them with something on paper that is substantial, yet flexible.
In the case of this project, we presented multiple alternative Land Use Plans to Banyule Council which allowed:
- Us to understand Council needs vs Council wants
- Council to understand our design rationale
- Council to be given choice in the outcome
Finally using Land Use Plans meant that Council Town Planners were able to scribble over, cross out, overrule and actively get involved in the design – the very ideal that Town Planners work for (to provide better planning outcomes for Council constituents).
The proposed development was no longer merely our client’s project, but became a collaborative partnership.
What did Council say?
Despite the factors about our proposal that were seemingly against us, Banyule Council Town Planners ended up:
- Thanking us for approaching them so early
- Commented on how refreshing our approach to them was
- Eagerly inviting us to submit a formal Planning Permit Application based on the Land Use Plan that they marked up and they ended up choosing!
Planning Permit: Conclusion
The key to getting a “Yes” from Council Town Planners for your proposed development is to:
- Get Council involved early
- Give Council the opportunity to be engaged
- Be open and ready to enter into a collaborative partnership with Council