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Rezone appeal decision a major boost

By Staff Reporter
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A major boost to housing supply and job creation has been tipped recently on the back of changes to rezoning appeals.

Minister for planning and infrastructure, Brad Hazzard’s announcement that rejected rezoning applications can now be appealed to an independent level in the planning system has been welcomed as a positive for the housing industry by the Urban Taskforce.

Council-refused proposals will be referred to the Joint Regional Planning Panel, while those refused by the Department of Planning will be referred to the Planning Assessment Commission, under the changes.

“The industry has been frustrated for many years by the inability to have a review of rezoning proposals that are refused for new housing or other building types that have merit,” said Urban Taskforce CEO, Chris Johnson, pointing to inflexibility in the previous system.

“There are often changing circumstances, or cases where local plans do not reflect higher level strategic plans, that lead to a different type of development from that defined in a local plan that justifies a rezoning,” said Mr Johnson.

“While planners at state and local level have many skills they are not at the coalface of market place changes, often driven by new forms of technology or social changes. Those taking the risk of developing in a changing market place are often closer to market trends and the reality of consumer preferences.”

At present, a person requesting a rezone isn’t recognised by the planning system and has no right to see review of any decisions, Mr Hazzard explained.

“This means rezoning proposals which have merit – for instance those which are well located, planned and will assist housing supply – may be supported after an independent review,” Mr Hazzard said.

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