At Terrain Consulting Group, we pride ourselves on being a consultancy with professional integrity and a solid reputation within our industry.
Our planning consultants have professional experience in both local government and private practice positions, providing us with a strong understanding of council processes in addition to positive relationships with council officers.
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 applications require a variety of information and we have found that a detailed planning report assists greatly in the council’s understanding and consideration of the planning application at hand. At Terrain Consulting, 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.
Representation at VCAT
The planning application process includes the opportunity to have a council decision reviewed by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
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 would represent the client’s interests at such hearings.
Planning Scheme Amendments
An application to amend a planning scheme (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 state and local planning policy.
To satisfy this requirement, Terrain Consulting 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, we 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 be heard by an independent ministerial appointed panel. This panel will hear submissions from the objector(s), council and the applicant. Our role in this process is to brief 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 minister with a copy of their recommendation to be provided to council.
Please contact our office for more information or to obtain a project specific estimation of fees for any of the above services.