Urban Planning Consultants

Town Planning Consultants Melbourne

At ETW Town Planning, we offer a range of services to meet your needs. We can help you with everything from pre-purchase advice and due diligence all the way through project coordination for large scale developments – no matter how complicated they might seem! Our town planning consultants have years worth of experience working with residential landholders; architects/builders; commercial and industrial planning applications.

Our urban planners and land development consultants are your strategic partner for town planning. Urban planning firms often lead you to towards complexities of a project, but we help you avoid unnecessary costs and delays. Our knowledgeable town planners use the skills, knowledge and commitment necessary to make it happen!

If you’re looking for Urban planning companies, ETW Town Planning is the easier choice you choice you could make. Organise a quick call with our urban planning consultants today!

Land Development Consultant

Our team of town planners and mediators can help you with all your planning needs. We offer a variety service such as:

Due diligence, Development feasibility studies in order to find solutions for issues related to land use. Precinct structure plans which show how the site will look when it’s finished or an outline plan if nothing has been planned yet at this stage (sometimes called “blueprinting”). Planning scheme reviews and submissions where we examine council records on file about what they have approved up until now – do these match current intentions? If not, then perhaps there’s room for improvement before moving ahead); Permit applications requiring approval from government bodies regarding construction projects)

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Our Projects
2 Taylor Street, Ashburton
2 Taylor Street, Ashburton

ETW Town Planning worked closely with Architects to design two luxury designer homes on what was a perfectly located corner site in Ashburton. The project was a result of what using a VCAT Town Planner can achieve, and we are proud of the finished product being generously sized family homes, well-proportioned and a real statement within the area being architecturally designed.

19-21 Poplar Street, Box Hill
19-21 Poplar Street, Box Hill

The development at 19-21 Poplar Street, Box Hill took advantage of Box Hills growth into a major activity centre to substantially develop the site above what an average court bowl would allow. Utilising its close proximity to Box Hill station, the development encompassed a combination of 3 land titles which were then sold with plans and permits and has eventually been built into a 9 storey apartment building comprising a mix of 1,2 and 3 bedroom apartments.

64 Lincoln Street, Croydon
64 Lincoln Street, Croydon

64 Lincoln Street is an example of the smaller projects which ETW Town Planning works on, in which the extension to the existing single storey dwelling resulted in more space for our Clients and a more functional backyard space, where a full landscaping revamp using predominantly indigenous species combined with the construction of a timber alfresco has given the homeowners a family-friendly space to entertain guests and enjoy their backyard.

15 Parkland Avenue, Hampton Park
15 Parkland Avenue, Hampton Park

15 parkland avenue was a project where the Owner wanted to build a second double-storey house for extended family to live in. We were delighted to work with the Owner and an Architect to design a house which could accommodate their requirements while working within what was a sensitive backyard interface to adjoining properties. The end result was a cohesive design and planning permit approval which will ensure a well-developed site filled with open space, open-plan living spaces and landscaping filled throughout the development. We look forward to the construction of the second house in late 2022.

Frequently Asked Questions

The town planning permit process is an integral part of the development project and/or business start-up. Depending on the nature of the application, the process can take as quick as 14 business days up to 12 months to receive a planning permit.

A Town Planner specialises in this exact process of navigating through the complex planning system with local councils on behalf of the client to get the best possible outcome. The permit assessment process is complex in nature with many factors that may delay decision-making or even worse yet, result in a refusal. An experienced Town Planners value comes in understanding this intricate process, the political environment and the potential barriers to receiving an approval. A good Town Planner will always be upfront and set your expectations from the beginning, and through this knowledge is invaluable in both saving future costs due to delay in progress and the stress of uncertainty in both timeframes and decisions that will Council will make.

There are two main tiers of planning applications, being a full development application and simpler, minor vicsmart applications. Vicsmart applications often encompass minor buildings and works and other simple, straightforward applications where the application is not advertised and a decision is meant to be made within 10 business days.

For standard applications, the timeframe for obtaining a permit can vary greatly depending on varying factors including which council it is, the officer, amount of referrals required, objections received, political pressures and the need for negotiating and understanding councils position. In addition to this, often there are delays from either applications submitted not being incomplete with the required documents and/or the proposal being unacceptable to local policies and unlikely to be supported. It is therefore critical to ensure these two points that can be controlled are managed at an early stage. For development approvals, a standard end-to-end process to obtain a planning permit is usually within the 3-8 month period. Other applications, such as change of use (businesses), liquor licences, small commercial/industrial applications can often have permits approved closer to the 2-4 month period. ETW Town Planning will be able to give a general expected timeframe once the nature of the application and requirements of the client have been provided.

At the bare minimum, Planning fees from Council are required under the P&E Act 1987. Planning fees can vary depending on the class of application and what is being applied for. Fees are set by the state government and are reviewed at the end of each financial year. Typically, smaller applications for single dwellings and business applications (vicsmart) start from $202.90. Commercial, industrial and development of multi-dwellings have fees typically from $1164.80+. In addition to this, it is important there are other potential government fees that may be involved, including metropolitan-planning-levy, or fees from other areas of local council.

In addition to application fees, other costs will depend on the application type. For instance, an application may need town planning permit drawings done by an architect/draftsperson. A town planning permit report and copy of title is also often required. In addition to this, specialist technical reports (arborist report, car parking demand assessment, bushfire management statement) may also apply with costs from the hundreds to thousands.

When engaging ETW Town Planning, we will be upfront with the expected costs for your project, application requirements, and potential additional costs so that you can prepare in advance, not have surprises and avoid delays in council making a decision due to providing insufficient information and documents.

Issues during the permit process can be categorised into the following:

Insufficient information – Inadequately prepared applications which don’t have the mandatory report, documents, plans cause significant time delays waiting for Council to request further information. This means what might have been able to be assessed on day one as ‘decision-ready’ often is delayed at least three months by the time Council requests further information to when the documents are then obtained by the Applicant.

Not understanding what will be approved – Too often clients are promised something that clearly would not be supported by councils. Whether is financial or other feasibility requirements, the expectations of the clients should be set early so that the Consultant can work with council to obtain a positive outcome for the client. A Consultant which has strong understanding of policy and regulations, strong working relationships with local council planning officers will go a long way towards obtaining an approval from council.

Lack of transparency/communication : – 

It is important to stay on top of the planning permit process as a lot can change during each stage. By being proactive, problems can be identified and avoided, relationships can be built with the council officer and the planning permit can be received without any unnecessary delays. Having worked in local council for many years, Louie has seen countless numbers of home/business owners who have called up after not hearing from council for six months, only to find out that council has been waiting for a missing piece of information from the applicant the whole time. This is why the core value at ETW Town Planning is to provide full transparency in the process and likely outcome, along with frequent communication and updates to ensure that the client is kept as much in the loop as they want.

Objections/political pressures : –

One thing that may be out of control is any objections received or potential political intervention during the application process. ETW actively managers planning applications, and in doing so ensures that when there may be objections or political intervention, we work closely with council officers to thoroughly understand the issues at hand and the ways in which we can navigate, negotiate and work on a win-win outcome for both council and our clients. Often in these case, the need to be proactive and understanding the planning system is integral to combat what is otherwise an out-of-control situation.

In the planning world, there is never a 100% guarantee of a planning permit being approved. Notwithstanding this, unless specifically instructed by the client otherwise, ETW Town Planning will be able to clearly inform our clients on what would likely be approved, potential issues, factors, and what definitely won’t be approved. This is done through our due diligence process, understanding of local and state policies, the VCAT process and through our strong relationships working with local council planners. What this means is that from the onset we will establish the expectations of the project, our expertise is provided and the application will be managed through the planning permit application process in the best way for our clients to obtain a planning permit/decision with full transparency in communication and as little delays and surprises as possible.

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