A representation of the Landbridge Darwin Luxury Hotel on a brochure given to us at an ELTON consultation. It was clearly stated that it was early days, with a long way to go before finalisation. It was actually said that the hotel may not even look like this. Note the proposed use of the public foreshore which is not permitted by the existing Waterfront Area Plan. We, and others expected a series of commercial public consultations. Note the wording: "Community Newsletter 1" on the front of the brochure.
PLan has asked the NT Government, through the Development Consent Authority (DCA) to carefully delay, rather than making a hasty decision on the rezoning of land in the Waterfront Precinct, for the proposed Landbridge Darwin Luxury Hotel. The DCA hearing went ahead on Friday, 9 June, 2017.
Strong indications are that few members of the public had any idea where exactly it was intended to build the hotel it in the Waterfront area, except that it would not clash with the Deckchair Cinema.
PLan was included in a brief CONCEPT ONLY discussion session with commercial consultants ELTON, a few weeks ago.
We were informed that it was early days. The mock-up of a building, which looks like a bastion, with aerial bridge type public access, as shown on a single-sided A4 sheet, the consultant said, might not even be like that. It would be some time before more details were available. We certainly had the impression that that we would be involved in more such details before any applications were made. Other stakeholders share that impression.
The subdivision application which was to be considered on Friday, however, includes hundreds of pages. There is a recommendation by staff of the Department of the Infrastructure, Planning, and Logistics for approval by the Development Consent Authority(DCA). Very few people knew to make submissions.
The NT News on the morning of Friday, 9 June, 2017 (page 7) contained the following quote:
LUXURY HOTEL CREEPS CLOSER
The Development Consent Authority will today pass an application to subdivide waterfront land to pave the way for Landbridge's luxury hotel project. Darwin Council raised concerns around restricted public access along the foreshore. However the DCA is expected to approve the application to subdivide regardless Plans show the hotel will have private foreshore access. The DCA meeting will be held today at the Novotel on the Esplanade.
Though we are not surprised about this anticipation before the event, we would like decisions to be less predictable in an 'independent' body making complex decisions.
NOTE THAT: The Planning Act makes on provision for public appeals against subdivision applications, even though, like this one, they can be very important.
There are three major issues here which must be taken into account:
- The Area Plan for waterfront land uses is established by the 'Darwin City Waterfront Planning Principles and Area PLan'. This is an essential part of the NT Planning Scheme (Part 8 - Clause 14.1.1). This includes a map showing a wide public foreshore. THIS FORESHORE IS PUBLIC LAND, AND SO IS SHOWN AS NOT AVAILABLE FOR BUILT DEVELOPMENT. The proposed hotel in this new application, is to include this foreshore land for its development. Historically, public use of the port area, including the foreshores, has been a major issue through the life of the waterfront. Foreshores are used world wide for public recreation. A subdivision process, or a change in land ownership does not nullify the well established Area PLan, based on this principle.
- The proposed subdivision for the hotel takes in this public foreshore, as if by routine. The reason given for this is that the actual site of the hotel is in the Darwin surge zone. The subdivision application by the hotel a major change to the Area Plan to incorporate seven metre protective wall. This would take in all the foreshore at front, and some of the sea. This would deny the public of its foreshore rights. A different engineering arrangement is needed for the surge protection.
- Having regard to national security issues, including those raised very recently by Four Corners, a diligent pause is wise for the NT Government in which to assess more widely whether it is in the public interest now or in the future, to have the hotel situated in such a nationally strategic position.
Considering these serious issues, we ask the NT Government to avoid making an immediate decision, and also to provide the general public a longer and more thorough consultation period.
Our Facebook page cover photo is of the colour-keyed zoning map for Darwin. Zoning is the very basis of professional planning. It is how our various land uses are arranged to work together in a compatible way. Each zone has its own NT Planning Scheme rules, and appropriate infrastructure. This includes, the several types of residential uses in zones with different characteristics.
The zoning initially set down provides an orderly pattern with which new developments must comply. Land values are to a large extent based on established zoning.
What then is Dual Occupancy?
Dual Occupancy is an idea, which if applied, allows existing residential zoning patterns to be disrupted. Dual Occupancy equals the effect of spot rezoning when occurring in built up areas. The zoning fabric and pattern is destroyed by one by one changes. This is the very 'spot rezoning' that is supposed to be avoided by the strategic planning using the Area Plans. These plans for future growth were imposed on Darwin by CLP Planning Minister-Dave Tollner, Commissioner Gary Nairn, and NT Planning Commission in the last few years.
In simple terms, ‘dual occupancy’ is permitting the building of two houses on lots zoned specifically for SD(Single dwelling/s), and 1000sm or over. This is a ridiculous duplication of density. It retrospectively undermines planning, by causing smaller house sites within established zones. It has a cumulative effect.
Dual Occupancy Amendment no.452 to the NT Planning Scheme
In the dying days of the CLP Government, Planning Minister Tollner rushed major planning changes and newly introduced NT Planning Commission planning processes through the NT Parliament. This included Amendment no.452 to the NT Planning Scheme, allowing Dual Occupancy. This was opposed by the public in submissions, and at a hearing before Denis Burke. About 50 attended, though held in office hours. The opposition was strong.
Strangely an approval decision followed by Minister David Tollner.
The approved no. 452 with new NT Planning Scheme clauses was signed by Minister Tollner on 27 July, 2016. It was published with other of his decisions on 29 July, 2016. The NT Government election was held on 27 August, 2016.
Review by Our Planning Minister Manison
ALP Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics - Nicole Manison on 19 October, 2016, established an Interim Order preventing Amendment 452 from being used for 12 months. Now she has implemented a review of the provisions of the decision, setting up a consultation process by the firm of Elton Consulting.
Contacts for Consultation by Elton Consulting
Elton Consulting has prepared a Consultation Paper, April. 2017, called Northern Territory Dual Occupancy to be available on their project website at www.elton.com.au/dualoccupancy. If that reference fails, as does now for me (Google search elton.com.au/dual occupancy-Dual Occupancy community consultation-Elton consulting).
There is discussion paper to download, a register for updates, a place to register for a workshop, a detailed on line survey of your details, and a brief space to comment on dual occupancy. There is a free workshop in Darwin on Saturday morning, 6 May, 2017 for which you can register. The telephone hotline is 1800 870 706, not responding at present.
We explained the short notice to Elton’s adding that we expected the community to be at the Seabreeze Festival - the focus on Saturday, 6 May, 2017 at Nightcliff. They are unwilling to change that date, as their programme is tight, and they have other ‘Stakeholders’. This, and the short window, is most unsatisfactory.
Community Opinion, and the Content of the Discussion Paper
We do not know who wrote this Discussion Paper, but in our view it is superficial, but at the same time strongly biased towards a tick for Dual Occupancy. The full story, and the true picture of its impact on our tropical living are not being told.
In 2012 there was strong opposition, including from Council, when Elton was involved in a move to introduce Dual Occupancy. This failed. Its introduction would benefit a few individuals, but could spread like a pox on our suburbs, and destroy suburban character, and ultimately the planning system. ‘Random’ exceptions to zoning through dual occupancy could be approved all over Darwin.
The strong objections given by home owners and suburban residents, as part of due process during the exhibition period, and at the hearing in 2016, should have been adequately sufficient to quash Planning Minister Tollner’s attempt to legalize dual occupancy for years to come.
WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO NOW TO STOP DUAL OCCUPANCY
- This proposal needs to be rejected. 500sm is not large enough to build a separate tropical home.
- Amendment 452 is unnecessary now. There are a serious overestimations of the rate of growth of the Darwin population in the coming years.
- Dual Occupancy would destroy our highly prized suburbs like Larrakeyah, Brinkin, Nightcliff, Northlakes, by randomly splitting land into small lots.
- Location, location, location is the catch cry of real estate agents. This would destroy certainty of suburban values.
- Good planning rests on informed zoning, with a proper mix. Dual Occupancy is random and can be cumulative.
- Dual Occupancy is not about overall housing need.
- Smaller homes on share lots are catered for by the MD (Multiple dwelling zoning, and by independent units.
- Rarely is existing utility infrastructure in older suburbs sufficient for dual occupancy, though the saving on infrastructure is often used as a poular argument.
- Roads, particularly in circuits, are narrower, leading to parking and traffic problems.
- Battle axe blocks, regarded by planners as undesirable, would multiply.
- Dual occupancy affects three sets of neighbours, reducing privacy affecting lights and noise.
- Most existing homes are placed centrally, and addressing the street, meaning demolition before a second house can share the lot.
- Dual occupancy would result in loss of tree cover for natural shade, and cumulative loss of valued gardens in older suburbs.
- Denser dwellings have a greater dependence on air conditioning as the breezes are lost. Clothes dryers are also needed.
- Overall, there is a cumulative loss of amenity in affected suburbs.
- The large figures for lots of 1000+ show that there is a huge potential for insecurity amongst the neighbours of such homes. With a big investment, and possibly a mortgage, waking to a development sign in a ‘safe’ zone, would cause severe uncertainty and stress followed by disruption by noise.
- Given that public opposition has centred on the concept of dual occupancy per se, the Amendment no.452 clauses have as yet not been properly assessed by residents. For instance , attached dwellings would lack acceptance in large lot suburbs.
- With subdivisioning left optional for dual occupancies, Councils face uncertainties about services, land values and rating.
- Our opinion is that the discussion paper is superficial, but biased towards dual occupancy. It lacks critical analysis. It is unbalanced and misleading when it uses Cairns with a different planning system as an example. Most of the pictures are of copious modern duplexes. Duplexes are already catered for in Darwin the MD zone.
I hope there is now greater understanding of planning and the negative implications of allowing Dual Occupancy and the clauses of NT Planning Amendment no.452.
Published in The Conversation.
Author: Hugh Mackay, Honorary Professor of Social Science, University of Wollongong; Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Arts, Charles Sturt University
Disclosure statement: Hugh Mackay does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond the academic appointment above.
Partners: Charles Sturt University - Charles Sturt University provides funding as a member of The Conversation AU.
A ‘loss of community’ is one of the most common concerns among contemporary Australians. AAP/Tracey Nearmy.
This is an edited version of the Gandhi Oration, delivered by Hugh Mackay at the University of New South Wales on January 30, 2017.
I wonder what Gandhi would have made of Australia in 2017 – a place that many people who live here regard as the best country in the world.
Attachment below is a copy of a Letter to the Leader of the Opposition. This amendment gives the NT Planning Commission power over the NT Planning Scheme, and reduces the public and local government's right to comment on proposed changes.
Planning Act Amendment 2016
Below is Plan's media release after the bill was passed. This was passed on the last day of the Parliament, in spite of being opposed by the Opposition.
Flagstaff Park (Lot 5180, Town of Darwin) is the public park (zoned PS- Public Open Space) on the top of the end of Myilly Point. It has l panoramic views of the Darwin Harbour, and is of history and heritage significance. The old 'gardens' are a remnant of Flagstaff House, which was a Vice Regal home, until destroyed by Cyclone Tracy in 1974.
This park was publicly dedicated by Chief Minister Clare Martin to the people of Darwin in 2001.
The land behind McDonalds and fronting Dick Ward Drive (off Fitzer Drive) is in imminent danger and could be lost forever, we urgently need your support.
The NT Planning Commission expects that Darwin's population to double in 40-50 years. The NT Government intends to densify by infill developments in Darwin's Inner Suburbs, from Stuart Park to the Narrows. This is as well as the Darwin CBD doubling in size.
The Gardens is a small suburb almost hidden between the Botanic Gardens and the Stuart Highway. A tight nit community has chosen to live here, supposedly out of harms way. They are now literally campaigning to save their community from destruction by high rise development. On Saturday 30 August, about 100 of them rallied close to the proposed site. Lot 7820 is at the corner of Blake Street and Gardens Hill Crescent (look it up in a directory if you don't know where).
A yellow sign alerted them to a Planning Notice for the following:
To rezone Lot 7820 Town of Darwin (4 Blake Street from Zone CP(Community Purpose) to a Specific Use Zone
This means there has been an application for a lot officially zoned for a community use to be rezoned for the construction of a development. In this case, the ultimate objective is to build two nine storey apartment buildings which would be totally out of character with the suburban area. It has a mix single detached dwellings, and modest one to two storey town houses, perhaps with the odd three storey.
Full details of the proposal, and how to object, are under 'Details of Proposed Planning Scheme Amendments'.on the internet at 'NT Planning Notices', or 'One Stop Shop NT'.
Closing date for objections is 12 September 2014
The decision is to be made by the minister for Planning after a hearing by the Development Consent Authority at which all objectors can attend and speak. Local residents are objecting strongly to the prospect of Community Purposes land being taken for development, and see this as the 'thin end of the wedge' for the complete destruction of their much loved suburb and community which they have invested in, and call home.
THE GARDENS COMMUNITY would welcome more objections based focussed on the use of Community Purposes zoned land for residential densification. (See also more details below).
Please download/print out the following document:
The new Australian Fighter Aircraft will be the F35A LIGHTNING II. Details of the Environmental Impact Statement(EIS), other relevant information, and comments will be at www.f35evolution.com.au.
Pitch Black Air Exercises 2014
There will be aircraft noise during PITCH BLACK quite separately. This has a major disrupting effect on parts of Darwin, which affected people may want to minimise. People have asked at least for a timetable, and monitors at various parts of Darwin to record sound levels.
Complaints may be made to the Air Services website.
Reports about all types of air noise complaints can be found here. Very few complaints have so far come from Darwin.
The NT Planning Commission now has on exhibition a copy of the Draft Darwin Regional Land Use. This is the next stage on from the Towards a Darwin Regional land Use PLan, and is supposed to reflect the consultation on that document. The plan is the big picture future plan. The Commissioner Gary Nairn has commented that the plan does not look very different, but the noters with it contain a lot of information for consideration.
The Draft can be downloaded from: www.planningcommission.nt.gov.au
There are big changes proposed, so please have your say, particularly Do not dam the Elizabeth River.
COMMENTS DUE BY 1 SEPTEMBER, 2014.
The Northern Territory Government, via the NT PLanning Commission, has at last put together a draft proposal about the OLD HOSPITAL SITE/MYILLY POINT/FLAGSTAFF PARK/KAHLIN.
Unfortunately it proposes that over 60% of the land would be taken up by residential development 'to pay for' making green open space available. Not really appropriate when it is all crown land which we already own, and support through out taxes. I do not know where our government's have got this concept of charging us twice for what is ours, and what has been neglected for years. (The ALP had proposed a 20% to 80% public balance, which was bad enough).
WAY BACK IN 2001, CHIEF MINISTER CLARE MARTIN PROMISED FLAGSTAFF PARK, AT THE END OF MYILLY POINT, TO THE COMMUNITY, BUT IT WAS NEVER IMPLEMENTED.
View the concept plan here
More useful details for members who want to express an opinion to the NTG by the cut off date 11 June, 2014, will find more detailed information at Territory Planning Commission
Feel free to make your own posted submission if you want to say more than the online response seems to allow. Your opinion is important.
Consultation continues on the CBD Masterplan project to be finalised by the end of 2013.
See further information contained in attached pdf, or on the City of Darwin website, participate, and make a submission.
Darwin CBD Master Plan Update
After a long delay, City of Darwin finally announced its consultation on the idea of building a Cafe/Restaurant on the Nightcliff Foreshore near the Nightcliff Swimming pool.
Lord Mayor Katrina Fong Lim made it quite clear on ABC TV News (25.3.2013) that those who are totally against any such building here on the foreshore headland, that is who are for the 'status quo', can say so now, in the consultation process.
The attachment below from the C of D website provides an outline of the situation.
There is additional information on the C of D website which you can find by searching 'Nightcliff Foreshore Consultation'.
Council's online survey has great detail about preferring one of the two optional buildings, but there is nowhere you can state you are against any buildings at all in this location.
The consultation will close at 5pm on 6 May, 2013.
IF, LIKE ALL MEMBERS OF THE PLAN COMMITTEE, YOU WISH TO VOTE FOR NO NEW BUILDINGS ON THE NIGHTCLIFF FORESHORE AT THIS LOCATION, WE SUGGEST YOU SIMPLY EMAIL THE REFERENCE OFFICER LISTED AT THE END OF THE SURVEY AS FOLLOWS AND SAY SO:
After two people searched unsuccessfully to find within the 'consultation survey, a place to vote for the 'status quo' , that is, NO CAFE/RESTAURANT, a call was made to Council.
Council advised that THE PLACE IS WITHIN QUESTION 6. SO PLEASE USE IT IF THAT IS YOUR WISH.
Just check carefully, as the rest of the 'consultation survey' is about the two built options.
Please note that this survey is for anyone who cares, not just the residents of Nightcliff.
The consultation survey is on the main City of Darwin website. Just wait for the Nightcliff Foreshore feature as it roll around onto the screen.
LOCAL PROPOSED MASTERPLAN FOR ENHANCING THE NIGHTCIFF FORESHORE HEADLAND WITHOUT A RESTAURANT
This proposal has been put together by a group of Nightcliff residents calling themselves Friends of Nightcliff. The group includes Simon Scally an architect and Marisa Fontes a landscape architect and other community members.
Like many of us, they do not want a restaurant, but love the Nightcliff foreshore for relaxation. They see this time of focus as the occasion to improve the Nightcliff Headland for the enjoyment of all residents and ratepayers. The greatest urge seems to be for a cafe/coffee shop, rather than a restaurant.
The main suggestion is to improve safety and landscaping on the area and improving the pool infrastructure, modernising it, and tucking a cafe into the end of the refurbished pool building. There would be no 250sm+ $1.5 million+ restaurant on the headland, on the eroding cliffs.. Other costs would need more carefully managed.
A major feature would be the re-routing of the walking/running circuit around to the sea side of the pool, away from Casuarina Drive, and the car parks. This would eliminate clashes between cars and pedestrians.
Here is the Masterplan, with key references shown below on the map. PLan suggests you may wish to vote NO at question 6, on the Council Survey, and instead support some of these ideas for improving the precinct. for everyone. Voting NO leaves the options open.
Nightcliff Pool Precinct Masterplan
Palmerston City Council is exhibiting a draft Masterplan for their CBD for comment and consultation.
The coloured draft masterplan brochure is NOW on display at www.palmerston.nt.gov.au
The link is on the main website page, and all pages can be opened and viewed.
Details are given about the consultation process.
On the morning of 1 March, 2012, Chief Minister Paul Henderson announced his Greater Darwin PLan for our beautiful tropical city by one of the best natural harbours in the world. It introduces chaos, and leaves residents living in uncertainty.
Largely as a result of having attracted INPEX LNG Plant here, the Northern Territory Government (NTG) expects Darwin to grow at an exponential rate. We have already been experiencing housing shortages, with unaffordable rents and home prices. However, this is not the answer Darwin residents need, or can tolerate.
Our old Darwin Town Plan set the minimum size for the single dwelling (SD) house lot in Darwin at 800 square metres for tropical living.
The NTPS also lists this as a minimum size lot for a house. This size was a step down from earlier minimums of 1000 square metres and 1200 square metres still much sought appreciated in suburbs like Nightcliff.
Most of Darwin was planned in the days of the Commonwealth administration, up to 1978.
The Northern Territory Planning Scheme (NTPS) was introduced in 2007, supposedly to have Territory wide uniform effect. Since that time, it has been amended over 200 times. Its greatest impact has been through through special conditions (SU's) for suburban developers.
New housing in Palmerston was on much smaller lots. than in Darwin. The NTG had become dependent on developers for new suburbs, IT agreed to smaller lots for projects oh more than 50 homes. That later spread to Lyons and now Muirhead.
Planning means planning for appropriate uses in appropriate places and relationships. Needed are areas for various types of residential, commercial, industrial, community uses, such as schools, tertiary education, aged care, hospitals, libraries, museums, community centres, child care centres, youth drop ins, etc., and parks for sport and recreation, and environmental conservation. Infrastructure is essential, and planning must respect land capability constrains such as water supplies and storm surge.
Darwin suburbs each have their own character. People choose the amenity of the place where they purchase or live.
The Henderson Greater Darwin Plan brings home the insecurity thrust this year on rural dwellers, to your own suburb.
We have already seen a series of spot rezonings for multiple dwellings and apartment blocks. Now we face dual occupancy before its ramifications have been thought out.
Your way of life would be destroyed if two or three neighbours go for dual occupancies for profit in this plan, or if there is a deceased estate. Trees and gardens are at risk, as is tropical design, as houses closer together will need airconditioning.
We have already seen rezonings of Community Purposes land for residential projects, as by Charles Darwin University at Palmerston. Exceptional Development Permit (EDP) applications have become the rage, In Conigrave Street, Fannie Bay, the NTG has already approved an EDP for two four bedroom houses side by side on one lot, despite objections.
Strange that Department of Planning staff assert that such changes based on policy, some of which predate actual amendments to the NTPS, will not increase density, nor affect the amenity of particular suburbs, precincts or neighbourhoods.
This is not good planning.
THE COMMUNITY MUST HAVE ITS SAY ON THIS THREAT TO OUR WAY OF DARWIN'S UNIQUE TROPICAL WAY OF LIFE.
For more information, visit our Shop 23 in the Rapid Creek Business Village in Trower Road, Rapid Creek.
We are open Tuesdays and Thursdays 1-5 pm. In addition, we will also be open on Sunday, March 4 and 11 12noon-3pm to discuss these issues.
IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN HELPING ORGANISE A PUBLIC MEETING IN THEIR AREA, PLEASE CONTACT US, ASAP.
Greater Darwin Plan (Full Version)
Greater Darwin Plan (Stakeholders Version)
In unseemly urgency to densify the suburbs of Darwin, the Northern Territory Government wants to undermine rules of the Northern Territory Planning Scheme (NTPS)-again. This time the catchword is 'DUAL OCCUPANCY'
The idea is to amend the rules so t that the Development Consent Authority (DCA) could consent to two houses on any single lot zoned for a SD(Single Dwelling). That is if it is at least 1000 square metres in area. This, it seems, could be ANYWHERE in an ordinary residential suburb. There goes choice and certainty. THIS WOULD BE IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE MINIMUM LOT SIZE FOR AN SD LOT IS 800 SQUARE METRES. THIS WOULD MAKE A NONESENSE OF THE NTPS.
Some may welcome the opportunity. However, the impact on the community and its tropical lifestyle could be greatly negative. This is densification of our tropical lifestyle by stealth.
Address it to: Strategic Planning, Department of Planning.
Identify ' Planning Amendment 2011/0935' DUAL OCCUPANCY'
Provide your name, address and contact, and list of your reasons against having two houses in each of your neighbour's back yards.
These might include perhaps loss of privacy, loss of gardens, noise, smells,cutting off of shade and breezes, more traffic, and strained infrastructure services.
Then there is possible loss of house values, and perhaps higher council rates because of your lot's new development potential.
Your home ownership may be at risk in the future if you’re the owner of a strata titled unit. See the Unit titles Scheme.
S15 Termination by resolution
A scheme may be terminated if:
- the body corporate of the scheme decides to terminate the scheme by a unanimous resolution; or
- all of the following conditions are satisfied:
- this paragraph applies under the management module;
- the scheme has existed for at least 20 years after the commencement of this Act (May 2009)
- the body corporate of the scheme decides to terminate the scheme by a resolution prescribed by regulation that is supported by unit owners holding at least 90% of the total interest entitlements.
The Property Council would like to reduce that to 75%. Read more
The CLP supports a transport hub on the corner of Smith & Daly Streets – link to file attached called State of the Union Takeouts CLP Nov 2011.pdf
Find out what is happening with your roads here:
A Strategic Planning Commission is proposed by the CLP. It will be the creative thinker. The DCA will become the enforcer – read more
Here is a handy website to stay on top of what is happening in your area – just put your address in and it will alert you to any planning or development notices within a 2 km radius of your address – http://www.planningalerts.org.au/
A lot of hard work has gone into setting up our new Information Centre at Shop 26/16, Charlton Court, Woolner, opposite Middys Lighting. This is down the hill from Le Cornu's.
There is environmental and planning information in books, magazines, and maps, on our databases, photographs and displays.
We open on Thursdays from noon to 6pm, and can usually be available at other times, given some notice. If you feel you need to call us, or come in at different times, phone 8927 1999, and we will see what we can do, either at the shop, or on your site. This is office is now where our committee meetings are held.
We are all volunteers, as there are no paid staff. If you want to be a volunteer on Thursdays, in the shop, please let us know. We can soon bring you up to speed.
The shop is pleasant, air conditioned, has access to toilets, and has plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits.
Be prepared! Residents need to be aware of how planning changes can affect their own way of life, quite suddenly.
Be alerted to what development or planning applications are being made in your immediate area by this handy website – just type in your address and you will receive an email alerting you to any application made within a 2 km radius of your address.
The NT Government's new current policy of densification for Darwin and Greater Darwin, increases the chance of such unwelcome changes. People need to be ready to respond, having the right knowledge to react positively. They need a better understanding of the planning system.
Too often, pink and yellow notices seen on site are ignored. Then it is too late to be involved. If you see these notices, there is little time to act. We can usually help.
PLan aims to provide people with a better understanding of the NT Planning Scheme, and the planning system. Major sources of NT planning information are found at http://www.nt.gov.au/lands, and on from there.
Residents should not be shy about phoning the Department of Planning, through the NT Government switch (89995511), or contacting their local electorate office (see our website for the list), writing to the NT News, or contacting other media. These actions are part of our democratic right in the NT.
Yesterday, I attended a residents' meeting at Leanyer. There people are working with the two local members- Paul Henderson and Peter Styles to save a fine section of eucalypt vegetation environment between their homes and the new suburb of Muirhead. People are passionate in these situations, and should not be afraid to act.
Suburban Darwin residents are seriously in danger of losing green open spaces to 'infill' development, or having new four storey buildings overlooking them. In Greater Darwin, residents' rural lifestyles are under threat, by denser settlement.
There will be large cumulative effects. Heritage will once more be threatened. There is strength in group action.
Industrial development is threatening the environment in which we live. Without a 'best practice' transparent executive EPA, and minus a strong and independent Darwin Harbour Management Committee, the land and sea environment of Darwin will continue to be destroyed. We need to tell governments, or all persuasions, that this approach is not sustainable.
Development needs to be independently managed, and a safe balance kept in our living environment.