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What is Town Planning?


Town Planning or Urban Planning is like completing a puzzle, arranging the different shapes, sizes, and colours of the development process to create the best social, environmental, economic and development outcomes for the community, developers, and government. There are three main components of town planning, each outlines the various duties and roles of a town planner: strategic, statutory and project planning.

Components of Town Planning

1. Strategic Planning

This is the big picture, like looking at the front of the puzzle box to help envisage how the locality, suburb, town, or city will look like at the end, once all the pieces are in place. 

In NSW, Regional Plans identify the overall vision, goals, and directions for areas of the state. Regional Plans are outlined in more detail by Council Local Strategic Planning Statements. These Statements then direct studies and planning proposals that guide State and Local Environmental Plans and Development Control Plans. 

The strategic planning process involves significant community engagement to make sure the needs and expectations of the wider community are identified, and goals are set to ensure positive outcomes.

2. Statutory Planning 

Also known as development assessment planning relates to State and Local Environmental Plans and the Development Control plans to implement the strategic planning goals, aiming to reduce and mitigate potential conflict between different land uses. 

Statutory planning is undertaken by State Government, Councils and Private Certifiers, depending on the scale and type of land use or development. This type of planning helps piece the puzzle together, checking that any proposed developments or changes to land use meet certain provisions and to determine if it fits in with other development or land uses without negatively impacting the surrounding community.

If it fits the picture, it is approved.
If it does not fit the overall concept, it is refused.

3. Project Planning

This is the third aspect of the puzzle. It relates to the preparation of applications for individual sites and land uses. Project planning groups together the pieces relating to an individual site, to make it is easier to fit together with the rest of the puzzle. 

Within this process reports and designs are reviewed to check that the development can be achieved on the site and that the development meets the relevant planning standards and controls. There is often more to this aspect of planning than people realise when first considering carrying out a development.

The advantage of good town planning is that it enables a framework for not only future population growth but also the growth of the city and its impact. Finding a qualified Town Planner to assist right at the beginning of this puzzle can save a lot of time and money in the long run, getting it right the first time.

Learn more about our Town Planning Newcastle service.