A pretty seismic change has occurred on a very important topic – Planning. It illustrates a real effort by the City to better engage and consult with the residents and ratepayers, and in turn better represent their views when planning for the City.
Local Governments must have a Long Term Planning Strategy (LPS). The LPS is required to set out the long term planning directions for the City, and ultimately the Town Planning Scheme (which are the rules for development within the City) will be changed so that the two documents align.
The City is reviewing the current LPS but departed from the standard process. Normally the planning staff would come up with the LPS themselves, it would be put out for public comment and then accepted or adjusted. ‘Design, Advise and Defend’ is the colloquial term.
This time however, over a five month period, the City undertook some intense community consultation and this resulted in community led recommendations which can be found here. This method of community consultation (which is detailed on pages 67 to 74 here) is similar to how the new Participatory Budgeting initiative will be carried out.
The recommendations are pretty good, and recommend up zoning around public open space (parks) as well as major roads and public transport. I have sourced a better quality map as the one in the document does not enlarge clearly. To help interpret the map; Type 3 (green) is 2-3 storeys; Type 4 (yellow) is 4 storeys; Type 5 (orange) is 4-6 storeys and Type 6 (blue) is 10 storeys.
The staff will now use this as a starting block for their draft LPS which will come to council later this year. It likely won’t mirror everything in the community recommendations, however I expect it will explain any changes from the community recommendations.
The draft LPS will need approval from Council and then the West Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) for public advertising. It is intended that the advertising period will again involve workshops with the community to properly explain what is proposed; it won’t just be a little advert in the newspaper. Amendments may occur as a result of the second round of community interaction.
I know this is a boring topic for most people, however it will have a significant impact on how the City will look in the years to come. The rules (Town Planning Scheme) may change within 2 years after the LPS has been finalised.
Power to the People
(Please be aware that these views are my own and have not been endorsed by the City of Bayswater)