Councils hit back at critical report

A REPORT which got stuck into councils over their slack approach to planning has itself been savaged for being sloppy (“Top marks for planning,” Herald, September 10 Melville edition).

The Property Council WA produced the report, which found that only Melville and Belmont councils had up-to-date planning schemes and were dealing with development applications in a timely manner.

But Cockburn CEO Stephen Cain says the report was “subjective”, “superficial” and used “narrowly based criteria”.

His council’s score was affected by the lack of information on planning application turn-arounds.

“This data was provided to Planning Context (the consulting firm commissioned to prepare the report) in July this year, but was not subsequently included,” Mr Cain complained.

He said the council processed 83 per cent of applications within the 60-day statutory timeframe.

“If that information had been incorporated within the report, the city’s scorecard would have dramatically changed,” he said.

East Fremantle mayor Jim O’Neill is also fuming his council was marked down for having an out-dated planning scheme, when it’s got a brand new one that’s just waiting for state government approval.



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