Amendment to City of Melville planning policy gives council power to decide fate of major developments

Amendment to City of Melville planning policy gives council power to decide fate of major developments

MELVILLE councillors will have the power to call up and decide the fate of some major development applications submitted directly to the City, following an amendment to planning policy.

Councillors on Tuesday voted to adopt a number of changes to City of Melville planning policy, the biggest of which will allow them, in certain situations, to overrule decisions made by City officers under delegated authority.

The amendment means any major development (defined as containing 10 or more dwellings) can be called up by two councillors who sign a request to chief executive Shayne Silcox and quote a relevant planning matter.

Previously there was no mechanism for Melville councillors to call up development applications ruled fully compliant by City of Melville planning officers.

Speaking in favour of the change, councillor Nicholas Pazolli said the amendment would allow residents to approach councillors with concerns, which where applicable could be heard and determined in the public forum of a council meeting.

Cr Matt Woodall agreed, stating that under the previous policy there was no way for residents to hold anybody accountable for major developments of extreme concern.

The change does not apply to joint development assessment panel applications where the City is not the ultimate decision maker.

Councillors also voted to adopt a new requirement for the details of any major development application, even those deemed compliant, to be advertised via onsite signage as part of the informal notification process.

City officers will now also be required to consider all formal submissions received from members of the public when assessing such development applications, although formal consultation will not be entered into when a development has already been determined compliant.