There is one thing that planning officers excel at: creating jobs for themselves. They do this by constantly reinventing planning and development processes that are so complicated that it takes a planning officer to be able to make sense of them.
The sad fact is that here in Canberra the planning processes have indeed been layered with so many complications, that even the planning officers no longer have the time, resources or ability to understand their own planning legislation and processes. As for the people who need to use them, being residents and developers, no chance.
Canberra is supposedly a planned city. This of course is a myth. But more on that another day.
The reality is that Canberra has become a city badly dominated by a planning regime that is out of control. The politicians have a laissez-faire approach, believing that they need to leave planning matters to the ‘professionals’. The residents are completely frustrated and annoyed. Slowly the amenity of the inner suburbs is being eroded by a dense planning regime that is at best delivering an ad hoc approach to development.
The developers do what developers do. They put up proposals knowing the planning system is far too complex and that even the planning officers do not have the time or resources to understand their own processes. The norm now is given that the developers do not have the means or willingness to understand the system so put forward proposals that they know will push the rules to the limit and beyond, but they simply rely on the planning officers not being able to untangle how the proposals fit or do not fit the legislative requirements.
It is not good. Every now and then a resident writes about this mess and tries to point out just how bad it is – Here is the latest on RiotACT – click here.
Meanwhile our politicians do nothing.