The ACT Government has undertaken the Pre-DA Community Consultation Guidelines Review (the review) to determine if the Pre-DA Community Consultation Guidelines (the Guidelines) are meeting their aims since being implemented on 8 November 2017.
The Review looked at a sample of development applications that undertook pre-DA consultation since the Guidelines were introduced and included consultation which targeted the users of the Guidelines, including members of both the community and industry.
The results and recommendations of the Review included:
- That pre-DA consultation is generally implemented in accordance with the minimum requirements of the Guidelines.
- Opportunities to update the triggers and exceptions of pre-DA consultation have been identified to ensure the scope of development captured meets the aims and intent of the Guidelines. This includes:
- Adding estate development plan DAs within existing suburbs and all development that are reviewed by the National Capital Design Review Panel to the prescribed development types requiring pre-DA consultation
- The areas currently excepted from pre-DA consultation be reviewed and limited only to greenfield areas with no existing communities.
- Opportunities to encourage proponents to utilise a range of more innovative consultation methods and tools to attempt to reach more diverse views from the community.
- A need to better inform participants of what to expect from the consultation process and to clarify what aspects of the proposal can be influenced.
- A need to implement stronger enforcement methods to ensure consultation has been undertaken in accordance with the minimum requirements of the Guidelines and that all suggestions have been considered and responded to.
The results and recommendations of the Review reinforce the purpose of the pre-DA Community Consultation Guidelines as an opportunity for the community to provide feedback early in the design process for significant developments. This is one part of the delivery of a more citizen-focused planning system with the goal of delivering good planning outcomes for both the community and industry.
The Chief Planning Executive and the Minister for Planning and Land Management have agreed to implement all recommendations from the Review and work is now underway and expected to be completed by mid-2020.