Home' API Magazine : December 2014 Contents 38 n APIMAGAZINE.COM.AU n DECEMBER 2014
preliminary enquiry for free, but since
the new plan has come in, he charges
just over $100.
The next stage is to get a more detailed
report. This is anywhere from $250
to $500, Hammoud explains (see QR
scanner for an example of a report).
A more detailed report, looking at
calculations, yields and concepts, would
start hitting around $1000.
“We investigate property details,
what property controls there are and
the type of development you can do,”
“We look at if the type of development
the client has in mind is compatible,
what the next steps are and what
they need to do. If we find something
else with a better option, then that’s
something we might suggest and
recommend. We’ve got that ability
to give them the information. We
essentially project-manage the
A town planner will normally
prepare a statement of environmental
impact and it’s usually prepared with a
“It gives council the assessment of
the development and where there are
impacts, discussing what measures
there are to mitigate the impact,”
In many cases, clients ring Hammoud
and say ‘I want to develop a duplex.
Just solve it for me’. He’ll ring architects,
landscapers and people he’s worked with
in the past.
“We know who we need and what we
need,” he says. “We ask for quotes and
present the client with a package, saying
‘this is what you need’. We can manage
the whole process.”
That usually costs around $5000 and
includes full management of the DA.
But if you’re thinking of hiring a town
planner, it’s always best to call them as
soon as you find a potential site.
“The ability to change the concept of a
development or a design is much harder
and more expensive in the later stages,”
Player says. “In the early stages, it’s very
inexpensive to change a line on a page.
But if you lose a storey at the later stage,
all of a sudden finance (and losing the
loan) comes into question.”
nWHEN PLANNING IS THE PITS
One of the biggest cons when it comes
to town planning is that many people
expect something for nothing. They’ll
call a town planner and ask them to
check the zoning or potential number
of townhouses that might be allowed
on a site, with no plan to pay the
town planner or use their services at a
“Being in the position I’m in, I’m
also running a business and so it’s
about spending my time wisely and not
wasting time on people fishing around,”
“You get a lot of people asking
questions and wanting answers and not
engaging anyone to help them. It’s about
filtering those kinds of people.”
Red tape and regulation can also
put a delay on developments, which
is obviously frustrating for both town
planner and investor.
“ The government’s position is
constantly changing, so you constantly
have to evolve,” he says.
“And out of all the professions in
property development, town planning
seems to get the least amount of credit. It
would be the first to go if anyone was to
get rid of something.”
Richards adds it’s also tough at times
to know the exact legislation for each
area and many applications are difficult.
“If they ask ‘can we do this?’ 90 per
cent of the time we say ‘no’.”
Council meetings can also drag on.
“They can go on for a very long time.
You can be sitting there until 11pm
when you thought it would be finished at
7pm,” Player says.
The good news is if you hire a town
planner, they’re the ones sitting in
meetings and doing the hard yards
for you. More
their work could
save you tens
of thousands or
Better yet, rather
than save that
money, some clever
designs could also
net you a healthy
profit for your next
Use your smartphone
or tablet and your
favourite QR scanner
app to see a typical
town planning report
for a property and
learn more about
WHAT ARE THE ROLES OF A TOWN PLANNER?
BEHIND THE SCENES n Town Planner
Use the button below
to see a typical town
for a property and
learn more about
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