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Planit takes out business excellence award

In our first tilt at the Lennox Head Chamber of Commerce’s Business Excellence Awards, Planit Consulting has taken out the top gong.

The awards were announced in August 2019 at a gala event in Lennox Head, New South Wales.

Director Ben Gohl said he and two other engineering colleagues merged their town planning and civil engineering consultancy firm with Planit Consulting three years ago.

He said it was “really exciting” to win the local award, and now progress to the regional awards in October.

Planit Consulting employs 11 people at Lennox Head. Local staff are involved in work for ‘mum and dad developers’ through to large scale contracts for private companies and local government. Some of the projects on the books at the moment include the North Lismore Plateau development, the redevelopment of Oakes Oval in Lismore, project management the Byron Bay bypass, sewer and water work for Ballina Shire Council and the design of roundabouts at Yamba for Clarence Valley Council.

Lennox staff are also involved in Planit Consulting projects in other parts of the country, including an 1800-lot residential development in the Whitsundays.

Ben attributed the award to the quality of the work the staff do and the reputation the firm has built.

“Winning the award is an acknowledgement of that,” he said.

Planit Director appointed as Queensland Land Court expert

In 2019 the Queensland Land Court established the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) panel to help parties find a suitably qualified convenor.

To be accepted for the panel a convenor must be accredited under national mediator accreditation standards. Importantly, they must also possess qualifications or experience that is relevant to the types of cases filed in the court.

Their additional qualifications and experience mean the convenors will have a better understanding of:

· the circumstances of the parties and the issues likely to arise in their disputes

· the options to resolve the disputes

· the court processes if the case must be heard by the court.

The intent of the ADR panel is to broaden the professional backgrounds of those involved in the proces

Boyd Sargeant, founding Director of Planit Consulting, has been appointed as a member of the ADR panel after undergoing the selection and training process. Boyd’s qualifications were deemed suitable for this register of experts with his dual professional qualifications in town and environmental planning.

Additionally, Boyd was selected by the Land Court to be trained as a convenor for Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCA) for land access under the Mineral and Energy Resources (Community Provisions) Act 2014. Boyd is one of only seven experts in Queensland performing this role.

RSL unveils upgrade after dispute over council’s definition of a ‘club’

The Gympie RSL has unveiled plans for a major upgrade – but not without a dispute with Gympie Regional Council over whether the club is a club.

Under the plan, which the RSL said would likely cost $8 million in total, the building is to be upgraded over three stages.

A new car park and extensions to the first floor of 780sqm are among the proposed improvements.

But the biggest hiccup for their application to council has turned out to be an argument over the definition of a ‘club’.

“We prepare and lodge a significant number of development applications and this issue has never arisen,” said Bede Emmett, a Director of Planit Consulting.

Work to commence in 2020 on million-dollar playground

Millions of dollars will be spent to create or revamp playgrounds across the Gold Coast under a new scheme announced by the local council.

Projects approved under the scheme aim to create imaginative play spaces, improved facilities and appealing landscaping where locals and visitors can relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Planit Consulting was awarded the design contract for an inclusive adventure playground at Nerang’s Country Paradise parkland on the Gold Coast. Work will start in March 2020 with a theme derived from the history and character of the area – ‘country, farm and nature’.

The project involved master planning the design of the parkland to account for constraints such as roads, a creek and a series of existing buildings. The concept also needed to accommodate a wide range of users with elements targeted to specific age groups, whilst also being an inclusive space for people of all abilities. The playground will incorporate bespoke play equipment focusing on imaginative experiences. Also Included are picnic facilities, car parking, amenities building and improvements to traffic and pedestrian access.

New South Wales Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel (IHAP)

Director Boyd Sargeant has been approved for appointment as the independent expert to an Independent Hearing and Assessment Panel under the relevant provisions of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The pool of experts established through this process have been approved by the Minister for Planning.

IHAPs became mandatory for all councils in Sydney and for Wollongong City Council from March 2018. IHAPs have been put in place so that the process of assessment and determination of development applications of high value, corruption risk, sensitivity or strategic importance is transparent and accountable.

New biodiversity and native vegetation laws for New South Wales

News South Wales has new laws for the management of native vegetation and biodiversity. The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and amendments to the Local Land Services Act 2013 commenced in August 2017 and transitional arrangements for application of the BC Act expired in February 2018.

These new laws repeal and replace the previous protections and requirements under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Native Vegetation Act 2003, Nature Conservation Trust Act 2001 and parts of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

The laws also overhaul biodiversity impact assessment and offsetting under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Biodiversity Conservation Act Regulation 2017 introduces the Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM). The BAM has been established for assessing certain impacts on threatened species and threatened ecological communities (TECs) and their habitats and the impact on biodiversity values.

Importantly only ‘accredited assessors’ are able to undertake BAM assessments.

Planit Director Boyd Sargeant and environmental planner Tomy Rados have both successfully completed the New South Wales Biodiversity Offset Scheme training and BAM training. Both are now accredited assessors for the new BAM process.

Contact Planit for any queries on how these regulations may affect your development proposal, Part 5 applications or land management.

Self-storage facility approved for Point Lonsdale

Planit Consulting has successfully gained approval from the City of Greater Geelong for a self-storage facility in Point Lonsdale, Victoria.

The applicant has proposed the facility, which will cost about $80,000 to construct, be located at 1641-1649 Queenscliffe Road.

Planit Consulting stated in its report that “the site consists of a relatively small parcel of rural land comprising approximately 1.5 hectares in area.

“For this reason, it is submitted the proposal is unlikely to have any significant impact on the surrounding rural environment on the Bellarine Peninsula.”

The application states that the containers will only be 2.59 metres high and security measures will include a key code entrance gate.

“Each container will be pad locked with key supplied to the person renting the container.

“A camera and light pole will be located at the entrance gate for additional security measures. “The latest the storage area will be open is 7pm.”

New caravan park for Winch

Winchelsea in regional Victoria is set to get a new caravan park following the Surf Coast Shire’s approval of the planning submission from Planit Consulting.

Kamps International is planning to construct nine permanent self-contained cabins, one powered caravan site and one powered tent site.

The site on Willis Street adjoins another caravan park, but Planit’s submission outlined that “although the two parks will be in competition with each other they will provide different levels of accommodation”.

The planning report by Planit Consulting said the proposal was considered worthy of council support because the caravan park would provide tourist accommodation in support of strengthening the Winchelsea-Deans Marsh Road as an alternate route to Lorne and the Great Ocean Road.

The application proposes each site will have a single car space next to the cabin or site while two visitor car spaces will be provided next to the manager’s office.

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