Residents 'should reclaim standing' in planning process
Peninsula residents may need to join together to "reclaim their standing" in the planning process, a leading town planner said last week.
Mr Mike Day, a partner in award-winning town planning firm Hatch Roberts Day, said "the community has a right to be heard", particularly in areas subject to growth pressure.
Residents should be provided with the opportunity to "advise the changes they want to see to create a town they are proud of and will love to continue calling home".
Designer of the Perth suburb of Ellenbrook, Mr Day said regional areas and those like the Peninsula "are expected to grow further as the work-from-home trend and affordable housing is seeing more residents leave the metropolitan cities".
The community had to make itself heard if it did not want to "lose the essence of what makes these towns so attractive in the first place", he said.
"Developers and planners must ensure they maintain the character and sense of place in these towns and villages, or face local community backlash."
He said there were advantages for councils, planners and developers if they gained the support of the community.
"Councils, planners and developers must get feedback from the community at all stages of planning and development.
"Interactive mapping and community forums provide locals with the opportunity to voice their opinions and achieve built form outcomes they feel meet local needs."
Mr Day said that, to be persuasive, the community needed to find "exemplars" of the sorts of developments and redevelopments that would like to see locally, if it did not like those being proposed.
It also needed "champions" within the planning process to ensure there was engagement with the community.
Mr Day said: "When local residents are involved early in the planning process, they can provide feedback and advise the changes they want to see to create a town they are proud of and will love to continue calling home.
"Councils and planners can get meaningful input from the community through engaging with residents, planning design forums where the community and stakeholders explore solutions and design ideas through interactive workshops, and social media.
"By capturing residents' feedback, designers and planners can ensure the community's views are reflected in the design and development of any future projects."
Among Mr Day's recommendations to councils, planners and developers were: developing codes and guidelines which respected local settings, engaging and consulting early, creating local jobs, reinforcing walkable neighbourhoods, providing housing diversity and maintaining community engagement in perpetuity.
Mr Day said he would like to "reinstate the art of town planning" in an industry dominated by "policy and process planners".
Media release, 25 Mar 2021
Mike Day, Hatch Roberts Day