Council is introducing a range of improvements for those involved in development applications in Bayside.
Bayside City Council Mayor, Cr Alex del Porto said that the changes come after a period of sustained growth in the number of planning and building applications Council receives.
“Since 2013, Council has experienced a thirty per cent increase in the number of planning and building applications it receives,” Cr del Porto said.
“We know that building and planning can be stressful times in peoples’ lives so Council is moving to make improvements to its Planning Department to help make Bayside’s development applications process easier, clearer and faster.”
“Over the past few years Council has worked tirelessly to find solutions to processing planning applications while continuing to maintain its commitment to keeping staffing levels low.
“However, applications for development are part of Council’s core business and with application numbers expected to continue at existing levels over the long term it is not in our community’s interest to extend application processing times at great cost and inconvenience to all parties.
“High quality new homes and new places for jobs and recreation are essential for the future of the City.
“Council has made a 35% increase in the number of planners, surveyors and support staff, the cost of which is being almost entirely offset by efficiency improvements and increased revenues from planning applications fees and charges.”
“With a major boost to our efficiency and capacities from May 2017, Council is now working to a specific plan to eliminate the legacy backlog of outstanding permit applications, while also progressing the more recently lodged applications.
“Councillors are committed to doubling the number of Planning & Amenity Committee meetings for the remainder of 2017 to further improve decision making times.”
Although Bayside is moving to make major improvements to help speed up its planning application processes, planning applications continue to be a challenge for all councils across Melbourne.
“Planning and Building Departments across metropolitan Melbourne are at the front line of Melbourne’s population boom,” Cr del Porto said.
“While Bayside’s processing times and service levels are currently on par with neighbouring councils, we recognise that there is a need to make more improvements for our customers.
“Through these changes Council is working to help ensure that all planning applicants, be they owner occupiers or professional developers, will receive a better service that will enable them to progress more quickly and efficiently to the business end of their build.”
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