CANNING Council has shown its support for third party appeal rights in planning in a move that could help residents fighting developments they believe are against the character of their neighbourhoods.
The WA Local Government Association (WALGA) recently sought submissions for its discussion paper Third-Party Appeal Rights in Planning.
The discussion paper said WA had no third party appeal rights under the Planning and Development Act 2005 and included arguments for and against the concept.
The City officer’s recommendation for the council to not supporting the introduction of appeal rights was overturned at the July 18 council meeting, with seven councillors voting in favour and four against a motion to support the introduction of third party rights in planning.
A City officers’ report said the introduction of third party appeal rights would lead to staff requiring more time to prepare and attend appeals and would have an effect on the ability of staff to process development applications within the required statutory timeframes.
Cr Patrick Hall said the proposal could lead to increased staff costs.
“We are trying hard to cut back on red tape and reduce our staffing costs,” he said.
“This could lead to so many appeals to process that it could paralyse are planning process. This is potentially going to cost this City and the ratepayers.
“It is our duty as the governing body of this City to act in the best interest of the residents.”
Deputy Mayor Lindsay Holland, who spoke in support of the concept, said he did not think the introduction of third-party appeal rights would be onerous on the City.
“Third party appeal rights should be inherent in the law. It is against natural justice for one side to have the right to appeal and not the other side,” he said.
“If it is going to entail more red tape because someone has exercised their democratic right, then that’s the way it should be.”
The council requested WALGA look into how third party appeal rights in planning could be implemented without placing significant administrative and resourcing costs on local governments and limiting appeal rights to applications that were advertised and to people who lodged a submission on that application.