New South West Joint Design Review Panel to be hosted by City of Busselton

Published on Wednesday, 22 May 2024 at 10:21:43 AM

The first meeting of an innovative new South West Joint Design Review Panel will be hosted by the City of Busselton on 31 May 2024. This is a shared initiative between the Cities of Busselton and Bunbury and the Shires of Augusta Margaret River, Collie and Harvey. 

The panel comprises professionals in the fields of architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, heritage, sustainability and environmental design, town planning, arts and culture, and will meet monthly to provide design advice on development applications, structure plans, design guidelines and any local government projects occurring in the five local government areas. Each participating local government will determine the types of applications and projects requiring design input. 

The panel will operate within an agreed terms of reference forged by the five local governments, and design feedback will be provided in response to ten design principles listed in State Planning Policy 7.0 (Design of the Built Environment). 

Mayor Phill Cronin welcomed this new initiative, “The City is delighted to be the host for the first two years and our team looks forward to collaborating with industry professionals and other local governments to deliver quality design outcomes in our communities.” 

The panel will be chaired by architect Craig Smith who said, “The panel has a great mix of capable senior professionals, including local experts, with a wide range of experience in building, landscape, environment and planning. Design reviews not only create better buildings and places but can add to the public benefit and the economic success through projects that are innovative, distinctive, and memorable.” 

Mr Smith also noted, “Reviews should find a balance between the intended future character of a place and as positive response to its cultural and heritage setting. Consistent improvement in design is a key dynamic in the process of creating better environments for all of us to enjoy.” 

Deputy Chair and urban design expert, Malcolm Mackay, also sits on a range of other panels around WA. He stated, “Good design is every bit as relevant in the regions as it is in the Perth metropolitan area and is particularly relevant in the South West of WA where better design can increase its appeal and thus help to support tourism-related activities and employment and improve the lifestyle for people who call the South West home.” 

There will be no charge to the proponent for up to three design reviews, provided one occurs prior to lodgement of a development application. Should another design review be required, the fees to be paid to the City will be in accordance with the adopted fees and charges. 

For further details, please visit the City’s website

Objectives outlined in this statement are aligned with the City of Busselton’s Strategic Community Plan (2021 - 2031) Key Themes Opportunity: A vibrant City with diverse opportunities and a prosperous economy. 

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