Research, Connect, Protect




Beyond Development Control Creating a Planning Framework for Sustainability

Karla Sperling

PhD Candate. Faculty of Law at the University of Wollongong

Planning law in NSW provides the decision making framework for development control, environmental impact assessment (EIA) and landuse planning. It is often assumed that ecologically sustainable outcomes will be achieved within the current statutory planning framework. This paper challenges that assumption. Planning directly contributes to the continuation of activities which are unsustainable. Some specific examples are provided in the paper. Planning codes for medium density development perpetuate car dependency. Threatened species law does not mandate decisions which protect habitat. EIA does not identify environmental assets, other than in the context of development proposals. The planning mechanism for dealing with the declining Koala population in NSW is presented as a case study. A major aspect of planning is the mitigation of environmental impacts which may be insignificant or irrelevant in sustainability terms. By focussing on these issues, this article argues that the planning process directs attention away from finding solutions to sustainability questions such as climate change and the maintenance of biodiversity. The form of action advocated in this article is the redesign of urban planning law, to facilitate a shift from planning for development, to planning for sustainability. This would require fundamental changes in the statutory planning framework and the paper contains a practical model for the way such a planning process could operate to: place responsibility for the formulation of sustainability plans in institutions which are capable of carrying out bioregional planning incorporate mechanisms for meaningful community participation as part of the sustainability planning process, impose new constraints and duties on decision makers (in particular, to comply with the precautionary principle)

  • All
  • 2013
  • Biogeography
  • Biology
  • Chlamydia
  • Diet
  • Disease
  • Ecology
  • Ellis
  • Eucalyptus
  • Genetics
  • Habitat
  • Infection
  • Interventions
  • Koala
  • Lunney
  • Threats
  • Timms
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