Linking Regional & Local Planning Is The Key To Consistency In Planning In NSW

06/10/2012 10:40 pm

One of the State’s top private planning consultancies, Don Fox Planning, has reviewed the NSW Government’s Green Paper on A New Planning System For NSW and has prepared a series of posts for Blockbrief, exploring some of the key issues surrounding the implementation of a new planning system. View the other posts in the series here.

Having clear links between regional and local plans is an aspect of the Green Paper which will ensure consistency in planning within NSW as a whole however; several issues are raised as to practically how this will work.


Political Nature Of Large Scale Regional Plans

Currently regional plans are highly dependent upon the political climate of the plan’s release date. No large scale regional plan has stayed in place long enough to be properly implemented which has been mainly due to constantly changing politics. Linking Local Plans with Regional Plans is a process that is logical and would lead to coherent planning throughout NSW. The Department needs to ensure that regional plans are created to be kept and implemented for their entire proposal period. These plans cannot continue to be altered, changed and remade on account of a new Government coming into power. State-wide and regional plans should be created for the medium and long term – stemming over multiple political terms. Whilst there may be some need for flexibility to cater for changing economic and environmental climates, the fundamental policy, principles and projects espoused by the plans needs to be retained. This has caused minimum consistency between what Local Governments plan to achieve and what the State Government plans. The White Paper needs to address these issues, and outline how regional plans will be held accountable to achieving long term goals.


Regional Plans Lack Authority & Are Un-realistic

A key issue with regional plans is their lack of authority and realism. Because there is often such a quick turnover between each regional plan, culturally they have become seen as idealistic. There is a sense in planning that these plans do not need to be properly achieved as they are likely to be changed within a short period of time. These plans are often not something that local planners are passionate about seeing come into force, and therefore do not work particularly hard towards seeing them come about. These plans also need to become authoritative by having clear goals which are implemented. Plans need to be realistic in the figures they forecast, as plans in the past have often under estimated growth, therefore leaving NSW to fix problems as they come. The plans also need to be proactive, and foresee what issues are likely to be, and plan accordingly; as opposed to being reactive as the plans have been. The White Paper must address these issues, and create achievable and long term solutions.


For more information visit the Department’s site.

Stay posted for the next in the post series from Don Fox Planning.