Ten commandments for development assessment


Unless there is a change to planning culture and behaviour in planning departments, then no amount of legislative reform will improve the system or the outcomes.
We put forward our principles for good behaviour and practices among development assessment teams:

Ten Commandments for Development Assessment

  1. Thou shalt have no other decision rules, assessment process or assessment criteria.
  2. Thou shalt learn and play by the rules.
  3. Thou shalt remember statutory timeframes, to keep them holy, treating them not as a target but as a maximum. Extended timeframes should be rare exceptions and not the norm.
  4. Honour your applicants and their consultants. Listen to them and respond positively.
  5. Honour commitments made during prelodgement meetings and other communications.
  6. Thou shalt not kill pragmatism by over-analysing applications.
  7. Thou shalt have the best practice systems and procedures.
  8. Thou shalt have a plan for continual improvement. Hope is not a business strategy.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against applicants, instead report on applications genuinely and professionally.
  10. Thou shalt treat applications consistently. Application standards and information requirements are set out in the relevant planning scheme policy and apply to all applications.


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