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Episode 13: The Role of a Town Planner

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23 Jul, 2020
Philip Robison

This episode features Lorenzo Rigoni – Director of Terrain Consulting.

Lorenzo spent 10 years in Local Government and the last 20 years in Private Consultancy. He has extensive experience facilitating the management of a wide range of projects across all areas of residential, commercial and industrial development.

He is often called on to represent clients before VCAT – The Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal, at Panel Hearings, Council Meetings and Community forums.

Straight off the bat I quiz Lorenzo on what is a Town Planner & secondly how does the role of a Town Planner differ from that of a Draftsman?

We discuss when thinking of the work a town planner would be doing where they are to be found would I imagine think they are working for a Local Council or Government Authority but that’s not always the case is it?

Lorenzo shares with me the different professionals they collaborate with which include traffic engineers, landscape architects, heritage consultants, arborists and ecologists.

With my role as a Buyers Advocate in Regional Australia I am often looking for the highest and best use of land which can involve the possibility of a Land Subdivision. Lorenzo looks at whatโ€™s involved in assessing the suitability of a property for a possible subdivision.

Lorenzo shares some examples

  • Converting an existing dwelling to a medical centre
  • Converting an existing shop to a cafe/restaurant
  • Changing the intensity of a land use

These are three examples of changes which would require a land-use application.

We chat about Rezoning of Land & Land Use Applications and cite examples.

Urban Planning – Clearly Melbourne is growing fast and there really needs to be a very strategic approach to future development I guess this is where Urban Planning comes in?

Lorenzo explains just what is Urban Planning?โ€“

Urban planning typically deals with the planning involved in the creation of medium and high density housing, heritage dwellings and buildings, commercial and residential area.

This covers instances such as:

  • Turning single-lot dwellings into multi-unit sites
  • Development of medium-to-high density housing blocks, such as apartment complexes
  • Development of mixed-use buildings
  • Heritage home extensions
  • Converting brownfield sites to habitable residential buildings
  • The construction and use of commercial uses and areas

Urban planning is the process of assessing what is possible and permissible when a property owner is looking to develop or redevelop land they own and the preparation of all the required expert advice and evidence for a planning application.

Lorenzo sums up beautifully the role and the responsibility of Town Planners in shaping our future.

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