Town Planners or Urban Planners: Who They Are & What They Do

You are probably sitting somewhere with a roof over your head reading this article. But how did that roof come to be? Better yet, how did all the buildings surrounding the one you reside in came to be? Between that process of coming up with a design plan that is not only functioning, but one that abides to the government regulations and executing it into the building, what happens in between? The answer to these questions lies with town planners.

If you are looking to erect buildings or establish new towns, you should most likely to be on the market for land subdivision companies or town planning companies. Town planners, also known to some as urban planners, are typically misconceived to be individuals who are directly involved in the planning and execution of cities as well as towns. Albeit possessing a sway on said matters on levels of strategy, this is but a glimpse of the bigger picture.  With an occupation title befitting its trade, town planners are the shortcut in your journey to receiving government approval.  Trained to handle everything from document submissions to application assessments, these people are the key to your smooth and timely arrival. Here is a little bit of what you need to know prior to engaging any urban planning services in Melbourne.

Where Could You Use Their Assistance?

Period of pre-application

Regardless of the plans involving residential, commercial or industrial properties, town planners would be of the utmost benefit to you during this precarious stage.  Identifying any flaws or amendments to the proposed plans before the actual submission to Council would kill two birds with one stone by saving you both time and unnecessary money spent. Arrangement of meetings with the Council would also be possible, allowing you to gauge how the proposed plans are received, including information on the further need (or not) for plan revision.

In essence, think of town planners as your personal translator to ‘Council speak’. As people considered to be in regular contact with the Council, they are able to speak their language by delivering precise information in order to effectively navigate an application successfully.

Period of Town Planning Report

A town planning report is a compiled statement containing information that supports the suitability of the development in a particular area, the features and traits of the development. Added to this is the assessment of the proposal in relation to the ResCode as well as Local and State policies. During this stage, they would also work alongside multiple parties involved in the project to ensure the report assembled is unanimous in its statements on the most recent architectural drawings.

Town planners prove to be particularly beneficial in emphasizing on thorough data filled reports in order to increase chances of Council approval during lodging of the documents.

Sole Council Contact and Future Services

From this point onwards, following the submission of a development proposal, town planners would adopt the responsibility of the sole contact between multiple individuals involved in the project, be it the Council members or sub-consultants in order to ensure everyone remains informed on the latest ongoings. This would include attending to any concerns raised by the Council through the length of the public notice period.

The advantages of consulting a town planner outweighs the money spent when their services would not only keep the process organised but also thwart any opportunities of miscommunication.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

The VCAT acts as a dispute resolution tribunal during cases in need of a third party and objective decision-making stance. They are considered to be a budget friendly, accessible and highly competent means to addressing issues pertaining to permit refusal by the Council. The town planners compromise and negotiation skills would be highly convenient during this stage. They not only provide amendment advice to the current development plans prior to reaching the VCAT, but are also able to unearth research on the chairperson’s decision-making style in order to ease this process. Following this, they would efficiently manage the communication between the Council, VCAT as well as yourself.

Most are unaware of a town planner’s services and even if so, often choose to overlook the significant impact that their skills may provide due to the additional charges that may be acquired. However, it is important to note that these professionals prove to be instrumental during the challenges that arise with development.

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