City Acknowledged for Planning Excellence

9/11/2015

The City of Rockingham was recognised on Friday 6 November at the 2015 Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence, taking out the award for Improving Planning Processes and Practices and receiving a commendation under the Hard Won Victory Category for its work in addressing the negative impacts and inconsistent applications of R-Code variations.

The City’s Planning Services Team has changed the industry wide approach to how R-Code variations are applied to small lots in greenfield developments, with the aim of reducing poor built form outcomes and negative street amenity through newly developed ‘RMD Code’ provisions, which were endorsed by the WA Planning Commission in May 2015.

Director of Planning and Development Services, Bob Jeans said: “The Planning Services Team put a lot of research into how to apply our findings to create improved street environments through a more consistent application of variations to the R-Codes for new homes on smaller lots.

“It is humbling to receive both the commendation and the award for improving planning processes, and it is great for everyone who worked on this project to be recognised for their dedication to working cross-industry to come up with a workable solution.

“Ultimately our work will help to stem the emerging trend of single storey dwellings with high site coverage, no trees or backyards and limited landscaping with garage dominated narrow streets.

“Thank you to the members of the Planning team, who contributed their expertise towards this worthwhile cause.”

City of Rockingham Mayor, Barry Sammels congratulated the Planning Services team: “There was a lot of competition for this award, with nine other nominations submitted. The leadership shown by the Planning and Development Services directorate on this issue has resulted in what will be a long term positive outcome in terms of streetscapes with greater amenity.”

More Information

www.planning.org.au/wa

“Improving Planning Processes and Practices” Award

This Award is to 'recognise the achievements of planners, planning authorities and development entities in translating good planning policy into improved processes and practices in the workplace and ‘on the ground’.

The Judges citation reads:
“The City of Rockingham has recognised and responded to the detrimental impact that inconsistent variations to the Residential Design Codes has had on the amenity of and streetscape of newly emerging greenfield subdivisions. The City has made a brave and committed stand, despite initial resistance, to bring about change to current practices by engaging with all sectors of the planning and development industry.  The judging panel considers that the City’s initiative in driving this change will improve the long-term liveability of emerging communities in areas such as urban greening and reducing heat island effects.  The judges also feel the City’s initiative will encourage other local governments to take the next step towards even greater improvement.”

“Hard Won Victory” Commendation Award

The Judges citation reads:
“Delivering development in the context of State policy and market forces is truly challenging. The City of Rockingham is to be commended for recognising a problem and tackling it head on in the face of significant opposition. This project will improve development outcomes in the future and the City is encouraged to push further into the delivery of an urban environment which focuses on the public realm as well as the private realm, which will lead to a greater level of liveability, particularly the creation of green streetscapes.”

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