What’s the point of planning controls that don’t need to be adhered to?

Forum –

Tout change, tout c’est la meme chose.

The ink isn’t even dry on our brand-spanking-new Development Control Plan, and approval has been given to a non-conforming development at Terrigal on the grounds that “compliance with the development standard is unnecessary” (Planning Panel gives green light to Terrigal development, CCN 276).

What is the purpose of development standards that don’t have to be adhered to or that, at least, are only enforced against individual ratepayers and never against developers?

Either they are standards or they are not; if they are, let everyone observe them and, if they are not, let us dispense with the farcical pretence that the Development Control Plan is anything but a bureaucratic device to fund an unnecessary Council department.

Of course, everyone in the planning profession knows that the standards of the Development Control Plan are nothing but a series of arbitrary numbers, based on no evidence or research, and cobbled together as a clerically convenient way of reconciling the two original Wyong and Gosford Plans, without the necessity for any thought or the raising of any inconvenient questions.

The whole structure is internally inconsistent, and standards are frequently contradictory: several of the provisions are contrary to any common sense, but developers seem to have no problem in having them waived, so they only serve to inconvenience ordinary citizens, which is, perhaps, their purpose.

In any debate, there is not a single provision of the Development Control Plan that any Council servant could rationally defend.

It would be enlightening to see a cost/benefit analysis of the land-use control system, as it is practised in NSW.

I suspect that this is something that the Planning Department won’t be rushing to commission.

Email, Jan 25
Bruce Hyland, Woy Woy