Resident third party objections and appeals against planning applications: implications for medium density and social housing
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This project examined two models of public engagement in planning approval processes—Third Party Objection and Appeal Rights (TPOAR) and fast tracked planning (e.g. used as part of approving developments funded under the Nation Building Stimulus Package)—to see how they impact on housing supply (especially higher-density housing), resident perceptions, and realisation of planning goals.
Higher-density housing (HDH) and social housing are critical aspects of compact city and affordable housing policies in Australia. However, policies of densification and urban consolidation have been subject to significant resident opposition. This has raised questions around the place of participatory planning approaches in development assessment, and in particular, the role of third party objection and appeal rights (TPOAR) the focus of this project.
In 2008, the Federal government required states and territories to use fast-track planning mechanisms to bypass TPOAR in the roll-out of its $5b Social Housing Initiative (SHI). However, most development applications remain open to a participatory process of third party objection and appeal.
The project used a mixed-methods approach to compare the outcomes of fast tracked projects with participatory projects. It involved analysis of planning permit activity and planning appeal data in Victoria as well as case studies of three medium-density development sites based on interviews with developers, planners and opposition resident groups.