• VCAT

February 3, 2019

What town planners do and why you need them

Development projects can have many complications and pitfalls and you may be wondering whether you need a professional to help you through the process.

It is a good idea to have an expert town planner on your side to make sure you have best possible chance of approval. But what exactly does a town planner do and what are the benefits of engaging one?

A town planner is a qualified professional with extensive experience in the planning arena. A lot of town planners have previously worked within local council or government planning organisations and are experts in local and government planning provisions. 

A town planner will prepare your development application to submit to council making sure that all the required information is submitted to the highest professional standard. They will manage your application liaising with council throughout the process to get the best outcome for their client. They act as the main point of contact to the council and any others involved in the project making the whole process much more efficient.

It may seem tempting to save money initially by lodging an application yourself or going with a town planner with the lowest price or an architect. However be aware expert town planners become invaluable when you hit obstacles in the application process such as objections from neighbours, strict councils and non-compliant and unsatisfactory design plans. Delays to an application can be extremely costly and time consuming eating into your profitable margin. That’s why it’s always better to leave it to the professionals.  

There are a whole list of benefits to engaging a town planner for your development: 

  • Firstly they know how the council works and have previous experience and relationships with them.  
  • They know how to talk to and negotiate with the town planners at council.
  • They know all the requirements and information needed when submitting the development application. 
  • Engaging a town planner alleviates a lot of stress and makes the process much more efficient.
  •  They can identify potential problems with the application early and advise the best way to fix them.  
  • Town planners know the planning requirements of the local area and can manage your expectations when it comes to your design so you don’t end up disappointed.

It is good to remember architects know how to design developments, town planners know how to get the designs approved through council.

If your application is refused town planners can offer advice on the best course of action and represent you at VCAT to appeal the decision.

Here are some questions to ask when looking to engage a town planner:

Do they have local experience in the area?

Have they had similar projects approved?

“What type of application are the local council accepting and rejecting?

“Do they see any immediate problems with the application?

Here at CS Town Planning we have expert town planners with a host of experience in dealing with local councils. Give us a call today to discuss your project.

To understand the nine steps and time frame to planning approval after your application is lodged click here