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Planning  


 

Terrain Consulting Group has proven experience in dealing with a wide range of land use and development projects, including residential, commercial and industrial assignments.

 

We have close working relationships with a number of specialised consultants including traffic engineers, landscape architects, heritage consultants, arborists and ecologists.

Planning Consultants

Every successful development comes down to solid planning and strong working partnerships. At Terrain Consulting Group, we strive to provide the best planning and development consultant service in Melbourne.

Terrain Consulting’s proven experience in dealing with a wide range of land use and development projects, including residential, commercial and industrial assignments, as well as our expert land surveying solutions makes us the ideal planning consultants for your next project.

With a full suite of land planning services, we can help developers, architects, builders or even Mum and Dad investors realise their land's potential.

Our ability to foster close working relationships with a number of specialized consultants, such as traffic engineers, architects, landscapers, heritage consultants, arborists and ecologists ensures a team of specialists works smoothly to achieve the best result possible.

Our team of land development consultants bring absolute clarity to the matters at hand and combine expert advice from a wide range of specialists with the facts of the land and its surrounds to ensure a detailed planning process and application you can trust, from planning applications to representation at council meetings.

Planning Applications

Each Council will have a slightly different process for planning approvals, and that's no different with planning applications.

With staff boasting over 35 years of experience as land planning consultants, Terrain Consulting Group has had extensive dealings with various City Councils in greater Melbourne and have built an understanding of the intricacies of different Councils and their planning applications.

In addition, our stellar reputation as planning and development consultants with professional integrity and a solid reputation within our industry have helped to foster positive relationships with Council officers.

Our planning consultants have professional experience in both local government and private practice positions, which helps to ensure timely application and processing of planning applications.

We understand the importance of project timelines and have developed a proven ability to work closely with the client, designer and Council officers to facilitate a positive outcome.

 

Planning Reports

The supporting documentation for your planning application can greatly assist the Council in understanding your application.

Terrain Consulting Group's planning reports are tailored to your application and present a mass of complex information in a thorough report.

Our planning consultants work cohesively with the expert advice of specialists, from architects to traffic engineers and arborists to ecologists, to ensure your case is presented in a language the Council will understand.

At Terrain Consulting Group, we are experienced in creating detailed planning reports that assess the proposal against the range of policies, strategies and provisions of the planning scheme, ensuring that planning applications have the best chance at success.

Our professionally presented A3 colour reports provide an assessment of the application against the provisions of the relevant planning scheme within an illustrative format that includes the integration of plans, photographs, graphics and maps.

 

Representation at Council Meetings

A planning application often needs to be considered in a public forum.  This could comprise a meeting with Council officers and/or residents as well as a formal Council meeting.

We are experienced in professional representation at such forums where we focus on the key issues to facilitate positive resolutions.

Our planning consultants have worked hard to earn a fantastic reputation as strong, but reasonable negotiators, capable of navigating Council regulations, while still keeping the client's goals in mind.

 

Representation at VCAT

The planning application process includes the opportunity to have a Council decision reviewed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

At times, we have clients come to us with a planning application which has been rejected by the Council and need help navigating the VCAT system.

Terrain Consulting Group’s planning consultants will provide you a transparent and honest assessment of why your application may have failed at the Council stage and how the situation can be turned around at VCAT.

Alternatively, the developer's application may have been approved by the Council but is facing the prospect of VCAT because of objections from residents or other concerned parties.

A Merits Hearing at VCAT includes a review of the relevant town planning controls and policy documents that affect the site.

As part of the preparation for a Merits Hearing, our role includes an inspection of the property, liaison with the designer and the client, preparation of the appeal submission, and presentation and advocacy at VCAT.

Frequently, VCAT will attempt to resolve the matter via a Mediation Hearing where the aim is to achieve a negotiated consent between parties prior to and without the need to proceed to a Merits Hearing.

We have a proud track record of representing our clients at such meetings with fantastic results.

 

Planning Scheme Amendments

An application to amend a planning scheme (for e.g. change of zone, overlay or planning provision) requires the support of both local and state government. A proposed planning scheme amendment, therefore, requires a detailed submission that justifies the request with regard to the State and Local Planning Policy Framework.

To satisfy this requirement, Terrain Consulting Group prepares a detailed submission supplemented by an explanatory report and list of changes to the municipal planning scheme that is presented in a professional manner with coloured photographs and relevant strategic diagrams.

Throughout the amendment, our planning and development consultants work closely with Local and State Government representatives, facilitating a smooth process.

As part of this process, the amendment will be advertised to the general public.  Our role here is to monitor the public exhibition, liaise with Council officers, summarise and review any submissions as a result of the public notification process, and respond accordingly to Council officers.

If any submissions are received to the amendment, it is required that the matter is heard by an independent Ministerial appointed Panel. This Panel will hear submissions from the objector(s), Council and the applicant. 

Our role in the Panel process are advocates, on behalf of the client, and where necessary the briefing and cross examination of expert witnesses.

Where necessary, our role in this process may also include the briefing of lawyers and consultants, and attend the hearing in a support role or, if deemed appropriate by the planning lawyer, provide planning evidence at the panel hearing.

Ultimately, the Panel will report back to the Planning Minister with a copy of their recommendation to be provided to the Council.

Please contact our office for more information or to obtain a project-specific estimation of fees for any of the above services.