Planning reports have the following primary functions:
- to identify and assess the impacts of granting a proposed Crown lease and inform the decision about whether it is to be offered;
- to assist in the crafting of the terms of a draft Crown lease to be made available to prospective purchasers;
- to inform the Authority’s consideration of whether a Variation to the Territory Plan is appropriate; and
- to inform a plan of management for public land.
The Authority may decide to undertake a planning report or the Minister for Planning may exercise discretion to request a proponent/developer (ordinarily the Suburban Land Agency) to prepare a draft planning report on the Authority’s behalf:
- before a lease is offered;
- where a Territory Plan variation is proposed; or
- where an assessment is requirement to inform a plan of management.
For example, an intention to offer a lease over a parcel of undeveloped commercial land in the city centre may raise issues of appropriate use (commercial, residential or a mixture of both), building form (height, siting, gross floor area), provision of infrastructure, tree retention and traffic management, among others, that would best be examined by a planning report. By contrast, a small, undeveloped parcel of land attached to a local centre may raise no such issues and a planning report in this case would not be required.
Planning reports would generally be used when significant planning issues are evident, but not in the case of a Territory Plan Variation with major strategic planning implications – a strategic environmental assessment would then be required instead.