Planning process working well

A number of councils in the Perth metropolitan area have participated in a project to monitor their planning and building functions.

The Local Government Performance Monitoring Project outlined the performance of 11 councils in the 2016/2017 financial year demonstrating they are achieving their planning targets.

The participating councils encompass 54 per cent of the total population of the Greater Perth region and account for 70 per cent of Perth’s growth between 2011 and 2016.

Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) President Councillor Lynne Craigie said the sector had achieved the statutory timeframes of the approvals process and displayed excellent performance in local planning.

“98 per cent of all applications were approved or responded to within the statutory timeframes.

“On average 95.9 per cent of applications were approved under delegated authority, allowing council officers to assess and approve applications rather than being considered at a full council meeting.

“Delegating applications to officers results in faster decision-making times.”

The project was initiated by the participants in response to concerns over the 2016 Property Council report, which failed to accurately represent all of the planning and building functions a Local Government undertakes, according to Cr Craigie.

WALGA is in discussion with other councils for more local governments to participate in this monitoring project.

“We would welcome the opportunity to work with the State and our members to progress a more transparent review of the entire planning process, which would allow our members the opportunity to provide greater input and feedback into any findings and methods of assessment.

“The Association would like to see the data sets in the Local Government Performance Monitoring Projects included in any regulations that might be prepared by the State for all local governments.”