Planning is one of the more vexing issues in being a local Councillor. It is important to ensure a high standard of planning while also protecting our municipality from inappropriate development.

Whether an objector or applicant it is important to understand the planning process so that we can achieve outcomes that result in creating a better Maroondah. Planning in Maroondah is guided by the Maroondah Planning Scheme, which in turn is affected by the Victorian State Planning Provisions. The Planning Scheme defines the type of development or uses that require a planning permit.

The planning process formally begins with the advertising of a planning permit. It is during this time that people can view the lodged plans and potentially object to the application. There are a number of factors that are taken into account when considering a planning permit, one of those being Maroondah’s Neighbourhood Character Study. The Neighbourhood Character Study divides the residential parts of Maroondah into 23 areas based on their defining urban characteristics. Details on the Maroondah Neighbour hood Character Study are available from www.maroondah.vic.gov.au/NeighbourhoodCharacter.aspx

The planning process allows the opportunity to improve community infrastructure and assist in creating a more sustainable and accessible municipality . As an example, any permits within the Ringwood Transit City, require the construction of footpaths to ensure that council is able to encourage walking and sustainable transport. This also helps achieve a more accessible municipality for people with disabilities and walking aids. Furthermore I have been able to request a number of sustainability improvements, such as rainwater tanks and energy improvements as part of a planning application.

It is important that the community is offered the opportunity to provide input when council considers a planning application. To ensure that community views are taken into account I will often call planning consultative meetings. These meetings, which include objectors as well as the applicant, provide an opportunity to reinforce concerns and to see if any of the issues raised can be addressed.

While planning can unfortunately be somewhat adversarial in nature, planning consultative meetings help reduce this potential conflict by seeing whether a community supported outcome is possible. This approach ensures a higher standard of development within Maroondah while also preventing inappropriate development.

Please contact me on 0408 311 645 or email alex.makin@maroondah.vic.gov.au if there are any planning issues you would like to discuss.

Alex Makin

Alex Makin

Alex Makin is a councillor for the Mullum Ward in the City of Maroondah. Alex has been a councillor since 2005, representing ratepayers, businesses, community groups and residents. I aim to continue making a difference and welcome any thoughts you may have in regard to life, community and business in Maroondah. Phone: (03) 9870 8202 or 0408 311 645 Email: alex@alexmakin.com.au

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