Statutory Planning Team Leader Nick Vlahandreas and planning intern Ben Proctor.

Development forums part of plan to improve

Next week’s first Development Industry Forum in Myrtleford is a crucial step to improving Council’s working relationship with the development industry, according to Statutory Planning Team Leader Nick Vlahandreas.

Since joining Council in March this year, Mr Vlahandreas’ team has helped improve the average processing times for planning permits from 65 days at the start of the year to 26.

But Mr Vlahandreas believes Council can improve, with these forums providing a chance for members of the development industry to have their questions answered, by Council staff in a relaxed atmosphere.

“Council is always trying to build and maintain strong relationships with the development industry and the community as a whole,” he said.

“The Development Industry Forums are a great chance to meet Council staff informally, learn where to find information on Council’s and other websites and learn about current planning and building issues.

“The quality of the application is the biggest delaying factor in processing times.

"If the application is lodged with all the necessary information it can be processed very quickly.

“The feedback we received in our Planning Review was that the community wanted a quicker turnover time for planning and building permits.

“These forums are a great chance to find out requirements for lodging a planning permit which Council believes will help improve turnover times.”

The forums will be held at the Alpine Gate Cafe in Myrtleford on Thursday, 14 October, The Mount Beauty Country Club on 21 October and at the Alpine Visitor Information Centre in Bright on 28 October, all starting at 5pm.

Refreshments and light snacks will be provided.

The forums are open to people involved in the development industry.

People interested in attending should call (03) 5755 0530 or email

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