Proposed planning changes likely to hurt you

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

 

Sir – The Planning Act is intended to be significantly amended early next year and we only have until November 29 this year to make our submissions.

 

You can find out more of this ‘consultation’, with documents setting out, in detail, what is proposed, for downloading, and/or reading at the above site.

 

The stated aim is “better planning” but much of what is proposed is about reducing the community’s role, even more, in planning decision making for our future.

 

You may ask: Would the changes mean better planning for the community? What will be lost?

 

Should you know more about the Planning Act, its regulations, and the NT Planning Scheme, before you make your submission?

 

Keeping in mind, importantly even the concept of “amenity” which is in the current Act, does not appear in the purpose and objectives of the new Bill.

 

Amenity is a crucial part of planning that affects us all. Parking and road use, noise, light pollution, privacy, late night activities, dust, smells, etc.

 

Where are the Section 2A clauses referring to amenity which the Development Consent Authority (DCA) must consider currently?

 

Those things which can affect our lifestyle and the value of your property. How our streetscapes look, and how they support everyday community life and wellbeing.

 

Notifications are to be withdrawn from the newspaper for certain developments.This may well mean more community members will miss the chance to find out what is happening in their environment.

 

There is still no equality in planning appeals. Is the DCA independent?

 

Ministers can still override decisions like zoning and some other matters without appeal, with Exceptional Development Permits still be permitted.

 

The act endorses strategic plans, area plans and policies that don’t exist.

 

Nick Kirlew

Planning Action Network Inc

 

 

 

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