DEVELOPERS have welcomed the McGowan Government’s call for qualified experts for a new panel to provide independent advice on the design of buildings and infrastructure projects.
The initiative is part of the state government’s Design WA policy suite, which aims to put good design at the heart of all development and which, when advertised, included a design review guide, updated apartment design guidelines and an overarching state planning policy to guide the development of the built environment in Western Australia.
Property Council of Australia WA executive director Sandra Brewer said the establishment of the state design review panel was the first step in finalising the draft policies and represented a significant step forward towards the certainty that industry had been calling for.
Ms Brewer said the new panel would play a welcome role in ensuring strategic and significant proposals were assessed by technical practitioners with best practice design principles central to decision-making.
“The property council urges the government to progress state planning policy 7 design of the built environment and the apartment design policy to finalisation as soon as possible to provide much needed clarity to industry on the policy parameters that the state design review panel, local government and development assessment panels must use when determining planning proposals,’’ she said.
“It is also critical to have a consistent and efficient model for local government design review panels, which currently operate differently according to individual local government preferences.
“Clear guidance on this from the state government will ensure a common approach to assessing design quality, with better development outcomes for local communities the result.’’
She said the property council commended the government on its progress with other elements of Design WA, including the new precinct design policy which the property council was pleased to be involved in the preparation of and a proposed medium density design policy.
“The property council seeks a level policy playing field for all development typologies, and the full suite proposed by the McGowan Government is a welcome means to achieving this.’’