Local Planning Schemes as Tools for Community Engagement
A Case Study into how Non-planners Navigate, Understand and Apply the Toowoomba Regional Planning Scheme to a Notifiable Development Application
We need to better understand how and why local planning instruments are perceived by the community to be difficult to navigate, interpret and apply to development proposals. We know little about how these instruments are perceived to be used by the planning profession to retain power, promote an adversarial process rather than outcome focussed culture and to limit authentic community engagement in the planning process. It is also suggested that electronic planning schemes will make the planning process more transparent, easier to navigate and have the potential to achieve cultural change for stakeholders in the development assessment process.
I propose to study if paperless local planning instruments can result in improved community engagement in the development assessment and plan making process, improved organisational culture in regard to partnered development outcomes and increased efficiencies to enable more outcome-focussed rather than process-focussed decisions.