If you do the research, it becomes obvious there are two types of town planning consultants. There is a Town Planner who works for the Council. And on the other hand there are private town planning consultants. So what is the difference between Council Town Planners and private Town Planning Consultants?
Council Town Planners
Essentially all town planners have the same skills and knowledge about town planning and property development. The only real difference is who they work for. In the case of a council town planner, they work directly for the planning department with a local town or city council. For example, the Brisbane City Council has a Town Planning Department. This department works within very similar guidelines to other local councils such as Ipswich & Logan City Councils, and others around SEQ and Northern NSW. The council town planners work to develop the rules and regulations for property development in the local planning region. In addition they are responsible for establishing the town planning and zoning regulations. Council town planners will also work to ensure that all new property developments follow the correct development application process. Additionally, council town planners ensure that developments comply with the councils laws and regulations.
Private Town Planning Consultants
The first thing to know is that a Town Planner is a professional with training and qualifications in town planning or urban development. A Town Planning consultant is usually employed by a town planning company. However, they may also have had prior experience within a local council planning department. As with any profession, it is always valuable to have experience in both the public and private sectors of any given industry. That is the best way for a professional town planner to gain experience and understand the development planning process within a local area such as South East Queensland.
The value in choosing a local town planning consultant with local experience is their mastery and understanding of the local rules and regulations. There is always the potential for a sticking point, or a local interpretation on the rules. So, it pays to know who to talk to before lodging a development application. It also pays to get everything just right before completing any development application. And certainly it is best to cover off on any nuances or precedents that may be known to the local town planners.
Why choose a town planning consultant?
There are some excellent reasons to choose a town planning consultant to assist you with your property development. Firstly, it pays to use their experience and knowledge before you finalise the planning documents. Obviously it can be expensive to change plans. Especially once you get committed to building and development contracts. A town planning consultant will be able to check whether the plan have a high chance of succeeding, or if there needs to be additional features.
Hire a town planning consultant to help with the development application
Possibly the biggest advantage of using a town planning consultant is to prepare the development application paperwork. A local town planner should be familiar with the local city planning department. They should know what documentation is required to be submitted. And they should also know how much detail should be provided with the application. The best town planning consultants will have contacts within the relevant Council planning department. So they can ensure that the application has the best chance of success. It pays to get it right the first time!
What about during the property development?
Just because the development is underway, you should not forget about the town planning process! It is common for the council to request additional information, or even inspection reports during the process. When you are busy with all of the many details of construction, do allow for this. It is a good idea to have the town planning consultants handle all of the council correspondence. The last thing you want to do is to miss a compliance letter, or an inspection report. Town Planning Consultants are best placed to respond to the council planning department, or to advise what changes may be required by council.
Call Planning Insights to speak to our team of experienced town planning consultants today!