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National Planning Systems Principles

In December 2009, the Local Government and Planning Ministers' Council endorsed the purpose, issue and system principles in their document National Planning System Principles.... - Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, BACKGROUND NOTE 16 December 2010, Of the plan: Commonwealth city planning systems

National Planning Systems Principles

December 2009
Prepared by the Queensland Government
LGPMC Local Government and Planning Ministers' Council


Executive summary 2
Background 4
Purpose principles 7
System principles—best practice 8
Issues principles 15
Appendix—National bodies considering planning reform 16

Executive summary

Planning systems throughout Australia face significant challenges in dealing with a range of complex social, economic and environmental issues in an increasingly technological and global environment.

While efficient, equitable and sustainable land use planning and infrastructure provision underpin the planning goals of each state and metropolitan region, the development of these plans and their implementation varies widely between states and territories.

A set of national planning systems principles would provide a framework to:

There are three types of national planning systems principles:

Why we plan? Purpose principles

To facilitate and manage change in land use and the built environment in a way that contributes positively to the wellbeing of individuals and communities, and the natural and built environments on which they rely.

Forms, patterns and legibility—improve urban form, legibility and coherence to balance and achieve social, economic and environmental outcomes.

Prosperity and equity—foster efficient and effective settlement patterns to promote prosperity, equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.

Amenity and security—promote attractiveness, convenience, utility, physical safety and a sense of security in built form and urban design.

Avoidance, amelioration and sustainability—predict, avoid and ameliorate the adverse economic, social and environmental consequences of human activities (e.g. climate change, degradation of natural environments), promote intergenerational equity, prudent use of non-renewable resources, the sustainable use of renewable resources, and the precautionary principle.

Community and knowledge—reflect our distinctive national character and nurture vibrant communities and contribute to our knowledge of ourselves and our built and natural environments.

How we plan System principles

Integration and coordination—combining and rationalising structures, functions, policies and processes under a clear set of rules to produce a coherent, integrated outcome. Integration can be vertical (combining and rationalising higher order and subsidiary systems, e.g. a hierarchy of plans), or horizontal (integrating different aspects of a single system, e.g. a state government).

Certainty—consistency regarding the conditions under which development will proceed, the rate and scale at which it will take place, and the way planning principles and mechanisms will be applied.

Responsiveness—the flexibility needed to respond to changing or unforseen circumstances.

Equity—fairness, such as protection of personal rights, equitable access to appeal mechanisms, and procedures that do not discriminate against individuals or groups.

Efficiency, effectiveness and economy—no unnecessary processes and governance arrangements, the integration of appropriate performance measures into evaluation mechanisms, and outputs that promote the economical use of resources (without compromising equity and accountability).

Transparency, accessibility and accountability—clear and appropriate accountability for decisions, as described in legislative provisions, organisational structures and planning instruments, for example; open and legible planning systems that users can access and interact with.

Community engagement—promotion of community engagement, including consultation, participation and increased community understanding and support for planning processes.

What issues should be addressed through planning Issues principles

Urban form—the design of urban structures, from the macro or regional scale, to the relationship between individual built forms and the public realm; community diversity and vitality in urban environments.

Infrastructure coordination—integrating infrastructure provision with land use and development; linking coordinated infrastructure provision to funding arrangements such as government investments or developer contributions. Social equity—determining the national distribution of social opportunity and disadvantage and ameliorating social inequity.

Environmental protection and restoration—protection or restoration of environmental values—usually part of a 'triple bottom line' commitment of environmental, social and economic outcomes.

Resource management and security—integrating resource management and security with land use and development planning.

Housing choice and affordability—dealing with housing choice and affordability in an integrated way through the planning system.

Source: (1MB) viewed 18 Dec 2010 © Ramin Communications 2010. Last modified 29 Nov 2013.