What can I do with my block?

An enquiry I often receive as a consulting Town Planner is “What can I do with my block?” or “I’m think of purchasing a property, but want to know that I can develop it.”  Town planners are (or at least should be) the best suited to answer this question as we specialise in understanding the complex regulatory environment surrounding land use development and how to present proposals for success.  Regulation affecting development potential comes from all tiers of government but is primarily the responsibility of State and local governments with each state having its own development system.

In Queensland, the Planning Act 2016 and the accompanying Planning Regulation 2017 sets the legislative framework for land development in the state.  It provides a host of measures but among its most important are how various state interests are considered in relation to potential development of a site and the requirement it places on local governments to each prepare a Planning Scheme for their local government area.  The Planning Scheme is the chief document that is consulted to determine what development can and can’t be done on a property and what the critical issues are that need to be considered in the project proposal.  Planning Schemes are substantial documents that  can be quite overwhelming if you are not experienced in navigating them.

Most Council’s in South East Queensland have a very helpful PD Online service (e.g. Brisbane City Council PD Online), that provides information about a property such as its zoning, size, real property description and mapping overlays.  This information needs to be interpreted against the Planning Scheme however, which is where the expertise of a Town planner is really vital.  To establish if there are any state interests that affect a site, there are other online searches to be undertaken and other statutory documents to be reviewed.  The input of other consultants such as civil engineers and environmental specialists at early stages is also often required.

To make it as simple and cost effective as possible for our clients to explore development potential whether on a property they own or are considering purchasing, we offer a specialised development investigation service by a qualified town planner.  This is offered as three standard options, depending on the scale of the project being considered as follows:

  • Preliminary Investigation
  • Development Investigation
  • Pre-lodgement Process

For more information on these investigation options please see Development Investigator

 

‘Winning’ Capital Grant Applications

Well we are six months into this venture now and we are beginning to see confirmation around the things that set us apart from other development consulting firms and the groups in the market that we can best service.  We’ll be sharing more on this in the coming months…

We have just recently completed the project, educational and costing components of capital funding applications for six Christian Schools.  The cost of these projects ranged in size from a few hundred thousand dollars to a few million.  We have also recently been engaged by a community group to prepare a grant application for a major piece of sporting infrastructure to be added to their existing offering.  These projects are wonderful to be involved with because they seek funding for facilities that directly benefit people in critical social areas, in these cases, in education and recreation.  So what are the critical factors in preparing a good capital funding application?  Here are my top three tips…

  1. Ensure that your project meets the purpose and objectives of the grant.  Sounds simple enough, but you would be surprised how many grant applications don’t actually do this or don’t do it very well.  This is the first filter that your grant application must get through so you must do it well.
  2. Spend the time and money to prepare an excellent application.  The capital grants that are available for various institutions and community groups are into the millions of dollars.  The Committees that review grant applications are thus looking for well-researched, well-considered and well-presented proposals that stand out from the pack.  You simply cannot produce a high quality application at the last minute.  So set aside the time and for large applications in particular, expect to engage an external consultant to assist you.
  3. Ensure that you have an achievable plan to implement the project.  For most grant applications you will be required to provide an implementation or project management plan upfront.  The reason is that the body offering the grant has a vested interest in ensuring that your organisation is able to deliver the project on time and on budget.  Once again, if you do not have the expertise on staff, you should expect to engage an external consultant to manage the project for you.

‘Winning’ capital grant applications do not just fall out of the sky.  They are achieved through a deliberate strategy that is appropriately resourced.  If you would like to talk through your next capital funding application don’t hesitate to Contact Us

Call Andrew 0438 761 619

 

3 months in…

Three months have passed since I commenced Lennox P+D and we have just commenced our twentieth job.  These jobs range in size from providing advice or undertaking a Development Investigation for a site, which may only take a few hours, through to managing large development applications and projects, which span months.  We are presently undertaking projects in the following local government areas in Queensland:

  • Ipswich City Council;
  • Logan City Council;
  • Moreton Bay Regional Council;
  • Southern Downs Regional Council; and
  • Western Downs Regional Council.

Some of the projects of note are a development application for a one into five lot subdivision, a multi-staged development application for an independent school and the project coordination of a residential and school development, which is at tender.  I enjoy the diversity of projects that comes across my desk and the excitement of receiving a phone call from a prospective client who is looking at options to develop.  So if you are interested in exploring some options for your property please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

 

Awarding of Registered Planner Grade

Registered Planner Logo

The Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), which is the professional association for town planners in Australia, has for the last couple of years been undertaking a thorough review of its professional recognition framework of members.  After a substantial process, PIA decided that the old Certified Practising Planner (CPP) grade would be replaced with a new membership class know as Registered Planner, bringing it into line with counterpart international organisations in the UK, USA and NZ as well as like professional bodies in Australia.  The foundation of the Registered Planner grade is the following practice areas:

  • Professionalism and integrity;
  • Understanding, interpreting and using spatial thinking;
  • Using a creative and integrative approach, drawing on a range of disciplines and methods;
  • Communicating and engaging with stakeholders;
  • Understanding and working with planning frameworks; and
  • Developing and applying technical knowledge.

The awarding of the Registered Planner grade, recognises that the individual is competent in these practice areas and importantly is committed to continuing professional development to ensure that the service provided is at a consistently high standard.  As an existing CPP I was invited by PIA to demonstrate my competency in the above practice areas, which I was able to do, and thus on 27 July 2016 I was awarded the grade of Registered Planner.  As a Registered Planner you can have confidence in my commitment to excellent town planning advice and service, so why not contact me for a no-obligation discussion of your next project.

Welcome

DSC_0018Welcome to the website of Lennox Planning and Development!  My name is Andrew Lennox.  After serving as the Planning and Development Manager of Christian Community Ministries Ltd., the owner and operator of a network of Christian Schools in three states of Australia, I have decided to commence my own consultancy offering planning and development services to a diverse group of clients.  My specialist experience is in the education and community sectors but I also have experience in property development.  My desire is to provide excellent service that achieves great outcomes, at cost-effective rates.  I am based in South East Queensland but able to service projects throughout Queensland and beyond.  I would love the opportunity to meet with you for a no-obligation discussion of your next project so why not Contact Me.