Planning picks up despite pandemic

Planning permit applications across Latrobe City have increased despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, March and April have been the busiest months in terms of the number of planning permits received. And the statutory planning team have adjusted the way they work to continue processing applications.

Latrobe City Council Mayor, Cr Dan Clancey, said it was pleasing to see such activity in the midst of the challenges of the pandemic.

“This mini ‘boom’ is a sure sign of confidence in our regional city. With a wide range of application types including heavy industry proposals, commercial interests and multi-unit developments across the municipality, we can expect to see new jobs and increased economic activity. The average development cost for applications lodged in March 2020 was $334,206.31 in comparison to $148,749.72 in March 2019.

“By offering e-planning, video-conferencing, direct emails and telephone appointments, the team can continue to offer business as usual in an efficient, streamlined way,” Cr Clancey said.

Latrobe City’s planning permit processing times are one of the lowest across the state. The e-planning portal went live on the Council website almost a year ago and since then more than 60% of applications have been lodged online.

“This trend has seen a corresponding downward trend for paper applications which saves both time and money for customers, and allows them to lodge applications when they want to.

“Positive indicators such as the increase in planning permit activity combined with a wide range of planning permit types is heartening in such a difficult time. We’re confident that Latrobe City can come out of this period of lockdown as resilient as ever,” Cr Clancey said.

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