In the next month the draft Planning and Design Code will be released for consultation.
The Institute, through its Planning Committee, has been progressively responding over the last few years to a suite of documents informing the drafting of this document.
The Code responds to part of the proposed 27 Reforms resulting from the Expert Panel Report on Planning Reform instigated by the previous Government in 2013.
It will be the controlling document that consolidates all previous Development Pans into one Code, and as a profession our go to in responding to Development Applications in this State.
The true test of this document and the reform process in general will be to how effectively it reflects the spirit of the recommendations and ideas for reform initially proposed, in particular amongst others:
– adopt clear, simple development pathways
– aim for seamless legislative interfaces
– to create a charter of citizen participation
– placing heritage on renewed foundations
– settle and deliver an infrastructure funding network
These recommendations have underpinned the development of the Planning, Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 and the State Planning Policies, which, in turn should inform and be evident in the Planning and Design Code. The test will be whether the Code enables these high level objectives to be realized within the context of real projects.
As happens over such a lengthy period between recommendations and mandate it is important to assess outcomes against the Expert Panel Report to assess as to whether we have indeed moved forward.
I implore you to take the time during the consultation process to delve into the structure and detail of the document and test how you see it affecting our practices.
The Institute will be structuring a response during this period and we would welcome any feedback that you may have to co-ordinate a response informed by architects’ expertise and experience in the interpretation and application of planning legislation.
At the same time we note that two other operational protocols that our members should be across. Firstly the recent introduction of the Accredited Professionals Scheme into the Planning System has been a response to engaging with appropriately credentialed personnel to assess Development Applications.
The other will be the introduction of Compulsory Professional Development that we anticipate will be legislated sometime in the next few months. CPD scored outcomes will be required to be undertaken, recorded and submitted to maintain registration. This will be a personal responsibility and we are working with the Architects Board to have input into its structure. The Institute will be holding information and briefing sessions on each of these to facilitate their introduction. Please take the time to inform yourselves as to how these documents and protocols will affect the way we practice and provide us with your thoughts. It is important for the future of our profession and the health of our environment to offer commentary and advocacy informed by our specialist knowledge and skills.