The introduction of a state-wide urban design trigger is an unnecessary and unhelpful overreach by the Queensland Government, according to The Planning Institute of Australian (PIA).
Responding to the government's proposed planning reforms, the PIA welcomed many aspects of the reforms but voiced concerns that the trigger would give the government the power to call in any project it deems to be of state significance for an urban design review, potentially adding months to its program.
“The urban design trigger ignores the significant professional capabilities of planners, architects and urban designers,” PIA Queensland President Todd Rohl said.
“It is nothing more than government overreach.
“The last thing Queensland’s property sector needs is unwarranted and unnecessary red tape that has the potential to stifle investment and design innovation."The PIA acknowledged a number of improvements in the recently released planning reforms, in particular the move to a more efficient and effective development assessment system, and plan-making processes that enable the facilitation of the right development in the right location.
“I certainly welcome the overall intent from the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning — and in particular Deputy Director General Stuart Moseley — to introduce reforms to Queensland’s planning framework,” Mr Rohl said.
“We have been strong advocates for evolution rather than revolution in reforming Queensland’s planning regulations, and most of the proposed reforms follow this principle.
“However, we strongly believe the urban design trigger is needless bureaucracy and we will continue to advocate for its removal.
“The PIA supports good urban design, but we would urge the Queensland Government to use existing processes, new technologies and collaboration with design professionals to deliver best practice.
“Having individual projects brought in and analysed by yet another government department will take our property sector backwards, not forwards.
“The state has ample opportunity to ensure its statutory documents reflect good urban design — it doesn’t need more regulation to achieve it and neither does the industry,” Mr Rohl said.