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The Planning Minister in NSW, Anthony Roberts, is looking into establishing independent panels to grant development approval.
What this shows is strong pressure from the NSW State Government on councils to allow for development, in a bid to tackle run away house prices. The reason being, and as mentioned in our previous post on housing affordability “Increasing supply to tackle growing property values”, a potential solution to ever growing property values is to increase supply.
Local councils in well-established suburbs are notoriously anti-development in an effort to maintain the character and a feel of a suburb or street, keep population density levels under control and perhaps even too protect (or enhance) local residents property values. In our previous post, we shared a letter which I received from the Boroondara local council, urging occupants and owners to email the Minister with their concerns over the relaxation of rules around development. It will be interesting to see if the Victorian State Government will follow suit and look at independent panels as another solution to improving housing affordability.
The juggling act for government and councils alike is maintaining a balance between providing supply whilst maintaining the character and feel of our suburbs. We cannot just throw the keys to Pandora’s box to developers to randomly butcher parts of our most beautiful and historical streets and suburbs!
There is always two sides to every story. The challenge is to get the balance right – not an easy prospect. Perhaps rightfully, the pendulum is swinging somewhat towards increasing supply given the current environment!
All the best with your Property Planning and Happy Easter!
David Johnston is the founder of Property Planning Australia and the author of ‘How to succeed with property to create your ideal lifestyle’ and ‘Property for life – using property to plan your financial future’.