5 Ways Town Planning Consultants Add Value To Your Project

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If aiming to project manage your own property development scheme, it pays to have an experience team of individuals on hand for advice, guidance and practical support. Architects, builders and landscapers all play their part, but there is one key professional who can have oversight of the whole project bringing a number of benefits to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Town planning consultants are familiar with the development process and will save you a lot of time and therefore money, as well as take the stress out of the process and add value in a number of ways.

1. Feedback during the initial design stage

An experienced and local town planning consultant has worked with the councils who are going to be deciding on whether to give planning permission or not to the development project. Unless you have carried out a number of projects and understand all the nuances of the planning process and what the council will or will not accept, this is where the consultant comes in. Before you waste time, effort and money putting in a design which will fail from the outset, the town planning consultant will advise you and help pre-empt any issues the council could have with your design.

They will also make sure you have factored in all the relevant documentation and check that this has been carried out correctly. They will be familiar with the council’s environmental plan; acceptable use of land and land zones so they can advise on whether the project has a likelihood to succeed or whether you need to go back to the drawing board. They will also work closely with architects, designers, traffic engineers, heritage consultants, landscapers and other experts to ensure your design meets with success.

2. Preparation of the development application

Depending on whether you are planning to develop or rezone land, there are formal documents that must be prepared and submitted. It could include documents such as environmental impact statements which you may not realise are required. Town planning consultants can prepare the development application or review the documents you have in place and highlight any missing paperwork, so you don’t fail at the first planning hurdle. They are very well versed in all the planning legislation so will ensure you don’t fall foul of planning laws. Town planning consultants also have a very good idea of estimation of costs needed to develop a project. During the preparation of the development application, you will also be setting down how to finance and budget for this initiative. If looking for an efficient and value-added way of setting a budget, tap into the knowledge of your consultant while prepping the application.

3. Being the single point of contact

For anyone who has tried to oversee a planning project in the past, communication with all parties is probably the most important part of the job. Coordinating with a number of professionals, keeping to deadlines, submission dates, any redrafts or follow up to key reports needed for the final submission, is like spinning plates. If you miss something or fail to communicate properly, it can set back your programme of development and this does take up a lot of your time. A town planning consultant can add value by being that one point of contact, and it makes it less likely for miscommunication to take place if it is routed through the one professional.

4. Representation at council meetings

If you have never been in front of a council planning meeting and you have to give a presentation or answer questions about the development, it can be a daunting task. This is where town planning consultants in Melbourne are really worth their weight in gold. They can give guidance and advice to help prepare for any submissions, highlight the areas that councillors will probably want to ask for further information and take you through the process of what a planning meeting is really like. They can also support and represent you if required, as they will have been involved in your development from the very start.

5. Support with any appeals process

From time to time, a development may present difficulties and as a developer, you could find yourself having to go to the Appeals Court. Councillors are elected officials and as they change, then the next one to sit on the Planning Committee may have very different ideas of land development projects. Submitting an appeal with all the related paperwork at a time when you have had a setback on the development project may seem like an uphill struggle. Similarly, if you do have the misfortune to be caught in a dispute, this is where a town planning consultant really adds value if you require VCAT representation.

For a professional value-added service, contact your local town planning consultants and take the stress out of your development project.

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