Support for residents’ panel

Local residents could soon be given a louder voice if Lord Mayor Sally Capp is successful in establishing a “residents’ panel”.

Speaking at Residents 3000’s annual general meeting on September 6, Cr Capp said the idea had support within the City of Melbourne and was progressing.

She said the idea was first raised at a “meet the candidates” forum in the lead up to May’s lord mayoral by-election.

“It would be a way in which we could have residents more involved in planning decisions, but really, more pre-application discussions with the council and, hopefully, also with developers if we can get them involved,” Cr Capp said.

“So, since I’ve been in, we’ve started those discussions.  I’ve had a more detailed submission on how it could work.  And there have been a number of discussions with other councils and a lot of discussions internally.”

“We are currently working through what a residents’ panel might look like, what its terms of reference might be, and the sorts of issues which that group would consider.”

“And I hope to come back to you before the end of the year with some draft ideas on how a residents’ panel might work.”

Cr Capp said property developers she had spoken to were enthusiastic about the idea.

“I’ve also introduced this concept to developers because, as we know, if there was earlier engagement with the community, particularly those impacted by projects, then your thoughts and inputs can be considered as part of their planning process,” she said.

“I believe we would end up with better results for everybody. Not all of the ideas, all of the time, could be incorporated. But, certainly, having those conversations earlier in the process would be welcomed.”

“The major developers who I have spoken to are very interested in that as a concept.”

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