Planning Direction

Town planning Development consultancy

Planning Direction offers the following town planning and development services:

Preparation of Planning Reports (Statement of Environmental Effects)
The principals of Planning Direction have over 20 years experience in the prepartion of planning reports to accompany a development application being submitted to a Council or other consent authority. Planning Direction can prepare a Statement of Environmental Effects in support of any development type and provide particular expertise in:

Planning Direction works ‘hand in hand’ with the project architect and the consent authority to ensure that the development proposal achieves a high level of statutory compliance. 

The Statement of Environmental Effects prepared by Planning Direction presents a comprehensive and detailed assessment of all controls and relevant considerations and provides a well based justification in instances where variations to the controls arise. The Statement of Environmental Effects  presents the development proposal in a positive manner to enhance the prospects of a favourable approval outcome.

Designated Development and the Preparation of Environmental Impact Statements
Planning Direction prepares Environmental Impact Statements in respect of designated development as required for environmentally significant and sensitive development types.

Our services include liasing with the State Planning Department, local Council and other stakeholders, engaging and co-oridinating any required specialist consultants, and preparing the Environmental Impact Statement documentation inclusive of the detailed town planning assessment.

Preparation of Planning Proposals
In some circumstances amendments to the statutory planning framework are required  to enable a site to realise its full development potential.

The ‘Planning Proposal’ process is embodied in State planning legislation to facilitate changes to statutory development controls such as height, FSR or land zoning where it can be demonstrated that the changes result in a postive town planning outcome.

Planning Direction can manage the planning proposal process on behalf of its client including:

Residential flat development including high rise/high density housing

liasion with the approval authorities (the local Council and the State Planning Department); consultation with other authorities and stakeholders who may have an interest in the proposal;

co-ordinating and managing other consultants that might be required for the project such as architects, traffic engineer and urban designers;

prepartion of a detailed report providing the town planning justification for the planning proposal;

and submission of the planning proposal to the consent authority and follow up action until determination.

Social Impact Assessment Reports and Plans of Management
Specific Social Impact Assessment reports are increasingly being required by local Councils in respect of certain types of developments including boarding houses, affordable housing residential development, liscensed premises  and sensitive land uses.

Planning Direction prepares Social Impact Assessment Reports that specifically consider the potential social impacts of the development and, where appropriate, recommend measures to ensure that any potential for adverse impact is minimsied.

A Plan of Management is a written document that guides the future oprational aspects of the development to ensure that it is managed in a way that minimises the potential for any adverse social, economic or environmental  impacts. Planning Direction can prepare a Plan of Management tailored specifically to the type, nature and circumstances of the development involved.

Project Management
Planning Direction through its in-house expertise and broad range of consultants and can manage your project from inception through to approval stage.

The project management services include advice to clients on the selection and appointment of relevant consultants and experts as may be required, co-ordinating and reviewing the consultant/expert reports, the preparation of required planning reports, compiling and submitting the application, attending meetings (including community/public meetings) as and if required and liaising with Council's professional officers with a view to obtaining a favourable town planning recommendation and approval.

Over time Planning Direction has developed an extensive network of well-respected experts including architects, urban designers, heritage consultants, engineers, landscape architects, traffic experts and solicitors. The consultants can be selectively appointed on an as needed basis to ‘get the job done’.

Assistance to Local Government and other Consent Authorities
Planning Direction offers services to local government including:

Planning Direction has provided services to numerous Councils on an ‘in house’ or referral basis including Warringah, Willoughby, Liverpool, Parramatta and Ashfield.
The services offered by Planning Direction are particularly useful to local Councils and other planning authorities in circumstances of high workloads or where independent assessment is required (such as when Council proposes development within its own Local Government Area). 

Residential and Investment Property Pre-Purchase Reports (Due dilligence on adjoining properties)
Buying a home or an investment property is perhaps the most important financial decision that is made in a lifetime. People buying property are typically diligent in investigating the property that they are intending to purchase by obtaining pest reports, building inspection reports, Strata reports and the like.
In our experience the most important consideration that is commonly over looked by home buyers and investors is “what can occur on the neighbouring properties?”.

Future development on land adjoining your property can have a significant impact on the value of your investment property or the enjoyment of a new home. All to often we have had devestated clients declare “I wouldn’t have bought if I knew I would lose my views” or “I didn’t know that they could build a boarding house next door”.

Planning Direction prepares pre-purchase reports (before the client signs a contract or during the ‘cooling off’ period) that specifically investigate the possible/potential development  on adjoining land.

The pre-purchase report provides the following specifc advice relating to adjoining properties:

Development and Investment Property Appraisal Reports (Due Dilligence)
Planning Direction specialises in assisting existing property owners and potential investors in understanding the development potential of a property. Planning Direction can prepare an site appraisal report (before the client signs a contract or during the ‘cooling off’ period) providing advice on the ‘highest and best’ development scenarios for the property.

The appraisal reports investigates:

Potential land uses and development types identifying the ‘highest and best’ land uses.

Key building controls (including building height, setbacks, FSR, landscaping, land area, and site frontage requirements) applicable to the highest and best use.

Potential influences and constraints on development including vegetation, drainage, heritage, neighbouring development, site access and so on.

The appraisal report provides current property owners the critical information required to establish a property value before it is put to the market and provides potential purchasers/investors a clearer understanding of a site potential before committing to purchase or proceeding to redevelopment.

Local Resident and Land Owner Representation (letters of objection)
Commonly our clients are confronted by inappropriate development on neighbouring properties or within their local area.
Residents and land owners are entitled to make submissions to the consent authority (usually the local Council) in respect of proposed developments and those submissions must be considered by the consent authority before a determination (approval or refusal) is made.

Making a submission/objection can be  confusing and frustrating given the complexities of planning legislation and controls. 
Planning Direction takes the stress out of the process by providing the professional expertise required to ensure that your objections and concerns are accurately presented and well founded.

Planning Direction will:

Inspect the site and locality;

Review the development application documents including plans and associated reports;

Meet with the client to ensure a clear understanding of the principle areas of concern; and

Review the relevant Local and State planning legislation and controls.

Based on the above Planning Direction will provide verbal advice to the client in respect of the proposal before preparing a detailed letter of objection to the development that identifies its primary town planning defficiencies.

Commonly local Councils arrange meetings between objectors, the applicant and Council planners in respect of contentious development proposals. Planning Direction can attend these meetings to ensure that the clients objections are well heard and to ensure that both Council planners and the applicant deal correctly and fairly with the local resident representations and concerns.

Preparation of Submissions to Draft Planning Instruments on Behalf of Land Owners and Residents.
Town planning is a dynamic field with Council and other planning authorities regularly reviewing and revising the planning controls applying to an area through the process of draft Local Environmental Plans, draft Strategic Plans and Policies, and draft Development Control Plans.

Draft controls can have a significant influnce (both positive and negative) on the development potential of a property and thus its market value. Draft controls can also result in significant changes in the built character of an area affecting the amenity and enjoyment of existing residents.

Planning Direction can assist property owners in understanding the implications of any exhibited draft planning instrument on their property and if required can prepare a submission to the relevant authority either supporting the draft proposal or requesting an amendment of the controls before they are adopted and come into force.

Land and Environment Court Representation on behalf of Development Applicants, Consent Authorities and Neighbours/Objectors.Planning Direction has extensive experience in providing expert town planning evidence to the NSW Land and Environment Court. The principals of Planning Direction have provided expert evidence to the Court in respect of a broad range of development types including residential flat development, mixed use development, townhouse development and sensitive land uses.

In respect of potential appeal matters Planning Direction will undertake the following actions:

Inspect the site and locality;

Review the relevant town planning instruments and guidelines;

Review the plans and documentation associated with the development proposal;

Consider relevant case law; and

Provide the client with advice as to the town planning merit (or otherwise) of the proposed development.

Should the matter proceed to an appeal Planning Direction can provide the following services to the client:

Assist the legal representative in framing, interpreting and considering the points of contention;

Prepare expert written evidence ; and

Attend the Court hearing and provide expert verbal evidence as and if required.

In all appeal matters Planning Direction will act in accordance with the relevant practice procedures of the Court in respect of the provision of balanced professional advice to the client and in the preparation and presentation of expert evidence.



Please contact us should you have a town planning enquiry or should you require a quote