What does a Town Planner do?

--- PSCA

--- PSCA

Town planning is a technical profession that a lot of people either don’t understand or aren’t aware of. It’s very common for town planners to be asked what their job entails, and it isn’t necessarily an easy answer.

In a nutshell, town planning is a discipline that deals primarily with guiding future land use and development in a particular direction, depending on a range of varying factors. Without going into detail, those factors will vary greatly from one location to the next.

Within State Government the town planners set out high-level master plans for their state, which sets the agenda for Local Government town planners to follow. Once the local planning requirements are set, rules are put in place that new developments need to comply with. In order for local councils to ensure that their rules are being followed, another team of town planners is required to check new planning proposals and to either issue or refuse to issue planning permits.

Outside of government, the private sector consists of town planners that provide advice to developers, land owners and residents in order to assist them in gaining town planning approval for a particular project. Their guidance is based on the relevant State and Local planning requirements, and will usually involve giving direction to designers or architects, and providing a written report to the Council in support of their client’s project. Their service will often also extend to project managing planning applications that are submitted to the Council, and in some cases challenging the Council’s decisions at a tribunal (usually if an application for planning permit is refused by the Council).

Town planning in the State of Victoria involves a lot of different local policies and guidelines for land use and development, and each local area is different. In fact, each block of land is potentially different. For that reason, it is best to consult a town planner prior to making a decision to pursue a new project for which a planning permit is required. At PSCA, we are in a position to check potential development sites for you and give you an indication as to the type of development that the Council is likely to approve (or not approve) on that property.