Discuss about the Sustainable Cities and Regions Network.
The question relating to the crucial role of third party notice rights and review have been one of the contemporary issues forming the contemporary debates in the urban planning an policies over years. In most of the jurisdictions in Victoria demands for maximum public participations have influenced the planning process through a widening appeals made in the courts of law to allow third party appeals. Even though the third party notice rights and review is crucial many countries has not fully adopted the application of policy. The content of this paper also forms part of the debate trying to validate “Third party notice and review rights serve a crucial role in preserving the fairness and inclusiveness of the Victorian planning system, and this outweighs the problems that they cause.”
“Third party notice and review rights serve a crucial role in preserving the fairness and inclusiveness of the Victorian planning system, and this outweighs the problems that they cause.”
The above statement according my best understanding of the planning scheme is valid. This is because the development is not and should not only be the end product but must also be fair throughout the whole process. Third party notice and review rights are to best of my knowledge serve a crucial role in presenting the fairness and inclusiveness of the Victorian planning system compared to the problems which sometimes comes with the appeals confirmed (Local Government Association of South Australia 2014). The third party notice and rights review provides the members of the public with an opportunity to offer their ideas to development planning leading to citizen satisfaction. Moreover, the landowners in most of the occasions have a very crucial and legitimate interest on the whether any development should occur and the type of development that should be settled on by the government. This is because any new venture or development project has effects to the general neighborhood character, the available amenities, infrastructural and property values (Cook et.al 2012).
The interest of the landowners in such situations are based on the non-pecuniary effects but in the most cases have proved to be important as pecuniary issues. The development process should be equitable and where the participants in the process have the rights to appeal, the third party notice and review rights should also be seen as important (Cook et.al 2012). The third party notice and review rights is important as it makes the community a key stakeholder in development planning and without the third party notice and review right the general community is eliminated as a stakeholder in the planning and development process.
Impact on stakeholders
The benefits which comes with the third party notice and rights review results to a better planning decisions. Even though in most of the cases objectors do not completely win in overturning the decision of the Australian council in the favor of the development process, but more of the half of the issues raised by the objectors are successfully addressed adding weight to the development confirmed (Local Government Association of South Australia 2014). Third party appeals therefore do enable development proposals to be critically evaluated in more detailed form leading to refinement of the system of planning even though this comes at a cost. Further, the application of the third party notice and rights review afford the broader base input by increasing the debate and the capability for the local knowledge to inform the planning approvals which leads to improved development outcomes.
The application of third party notice and review rights in Victorian development system discourages corruption within the system. When the government is left alone in making decision related to planning and development of Victoria, collusive behavior have been witnessed but this is pointless with the application of third party notice and review rights as it allows the citizen to make an appeal the council (Ellis 2006). In relation to the corruption the third party enhances transparency in the general process of development as it enables members of the community and property owners to check development decisions through and independent review bodies. This scares away corrupt individuals who in most of the time do shoddy development projects by making every key stakeholder in a development project accountable. This also improves the quality of projects done in Victoria.
Another important aspect of the third party is its ability to improve consultations during planning and execution of various development projects in Victoria. The third party notice and review rights encourage parties responsible for a given development project to deal with the members of the local community in a more engaging manner (Ellis 2006). This improved engagement puts pressure on the developers to concede and improve the architectural or the design elements of the project where appropriate and reasonably applicable.
Even though third party notice and review rights have several advantages which outweighs its effects to the planning system in Victoria. The application of the third party and review rights have also some disadvantages which should also be looked into prior to the application. The application of the third party appeals in the development process is quite challenging and many arguments have been raised against its use (Cook et.al 2012). The use of appeal right in planning legislations are several but the benefits of the third party notice and review rights outweigh them. The consideration of third party notice and review rights in the planning legislations adds a significant delays in the Victorian planning system. The delay comes as the members of the public have to be consulted prior to the commencement of any new development project and objectors makes appeals which also takes time to be heard by the jurisdiction and making of judgment. The third party appeals also adds cost of a new project in Victoria as review parties have to be assigned and the evaluation of project planning also needs money to be properly done (Ellis 2006).
Advantages of third party notice and review rights
Moreover, third party notice and review rights creates a meddler’s charters as well as open floodgate to non-interested parties. The application of the third party notice cab also be a deterrent to economic development through investments in Victorian local economy. This is because the third party notice and review rights allow the local community to make decisions in relation to new projects which may also be crucial to the economy (Hurl et.al 2011). The whole process and jurisdictions may scare away foreign investors who may be interested in venturing into business in Victoria. Another argument against third party notice and review is that it provides an opportunity for a well-heeled vocal minority and reduces the representatives’ power and this allows the local community to dominate. A part from the above disadvantages, consideration of third party in the system planning exacerbate issues which in most of time are related social exclusion as well as massive social disadvantages. It also reinforces and adversarial approach to development projects and lastly weakens the representative nature of the local decision making and democracy.
In addition to the problems which comes with the consideration of third party notice and review rights, the time of considering the appeals on development proposals may sometimes be unnecessary since the community members is believed to have had an opportunity to add their concerns as input to the project (Hurley, Cook and Taylor 2013). To some individuals the third party is waste of time and a delay to development to development projects as it is clear that members of local community had their time to determine the appropriate forms of developments within their local areas during the consultations while coming up with town planning scheme or town development planning.
In my view most the above disadvantages may not all be true, it is clear that the third party notice and review rights have some challenges but most of them may be omitted. In relation to cost as problem of the third party appeals, it is true that third party will a cost of the project. It is also valid that third party will course delays in the commencement of a new development project in situations where the development approval has been confirmed (Local Government Association of South Australia 2014). However, with valid evidence the consideration of third party notice and review rights do not open any floodgates, the third party notice and review rights also have no effect on the project and cannot deter projects which comply to the planning scheme as well as with limited effect to the environment and the neighbors.
As much as such disadvantages have been brought into light by various scholar and experts, the application of the third party notice and review rights in inclusive system of planning in Victoria is still crucial. The benefits as discussed above absolutely outweighs the disadvantages of the third party notice and review rights. Development projects and developers should only consider the outcome of any new project but should also consider the effect of the same project to the local people in Victoria. The most important part of the third party notice and review is its ability to positively influence system of planning thereby leading to perfectly evaluated and perfect development projects which satisfies the local community. In conclusion the statement “Third party notice and review rights serve a crucial role in preserving the fairness and inclusiveness of the Victorian planning system, and this outweighs the problems that they cause” is valid based on the above justification in the content.
Cook, N. Taylor, E. Hurley, J. and Colic-Peisker, V. 2012, 'Resident third party objections and appeals against planning applications: implications for higher density and social housing - AHURI Final Report No. 197', in AHURI Final Report Series, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia, vol. 197, pp. 1 -98, ISSN: 1834-7223.
Ellis, Geraint 2006. ‘Third party appeals: Pragmatism and principle.’ Planning Theory and Practice 7.3: pp. 330-339.
Hurley, J. Taylor, E. Cook, N. and Colic-Peisker, V. 2011 , ‘In the fast lane: Bypassing third party objections and appeals in third party planning process’, in State of Australian Cities National Conference 2011, Australian Sustainable Cities and Regions Network (ASCRN), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1 -10.
Hurley, J, Cook, N and Taylor, E 2013, 'Examining three planning pathways in the mediation of resident opposition to compact city', in Nicole Gurran and Bill Randolph (ed.) Proceedings of the State of Australian Cities National Conference 2013, Sydney, Australia, 26 - 29 November 2013, pp. 1 -12.
Local Government Association of South Australia, 2014, ‘Planning and Appeals Review – Planning Reform Issues Paper
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