A World Known As Town Planning

I could write a lot here because planning is broken. I share an office with a consultant planner and he, and I, can look at a residential proposal and know what planning issues are pertinent to any design. We can do this in minutes and when there is an issue we can find the relevant clauses very quickly. I think any competent planner can say yay or nay to a proposal within the hour. This would not be a subjective decision it would be an intelligent, objective assessment. And yet… Time and time again proposals dissappear into a nether world of officialdom never to resurface. I submitted this plan and a month later I was asked for further information, information that could have been gleened in a second with a phonecall. Eventually – possibly three month later – we are told that we can advertise, we do and get no objections (see note below). Then it disappears again. 6 Months later, lets say 5 because I did amend something, we get a planning permit. This with fortnightly courteous phonecalls along the lines of “You guys must be busy, yeah I know, Anyway have you had a chance…”. I find it inexcusable, deeply frustrating and it surely can’t be efficient.

Note: If you are submitting a planning permit visit your neighbours, they will find out about your proposal and you are much less likely to get objections if you visit them and explain what you are doing and why you are doing it the way you are.

Here is a side elevation as submitted to planning. The lower portion of the house extension is a white brick wall like the original house. The wall extends from the interior to the exterior where it becomes a garden wall hiding the neighbouring commission flats. The upper storey is made of cement sheet panels painted different shades of green.