NORTHERN TERRITORY Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics Minister Nicole Manison last week announced there will be no blanket dual occupancy policy following a review of the provisions that were introduced last year by the former government.
In July 2016, Amendment 452 changed various clauses of the NT Planning Scheme to allow for the development of dual-occupancies in Zone SD (Single Dwelling Residential) on lots of 1,000 square metres or greater, subject to a number of conditions. The changes were intended to accommodate population growth and provide additional housing options.
After its election in August last year, the new government placed an Interim Development Consent Order (IDCO) over dual occupancy applications to enable further consultation to occur, and with the review now complete, the dual occupancy provisions are to be removed from the Planning Scheme.
"This decision follows an independent consultation process with Territorians, which included one-on-one community meetings, peak industry and local government council workshops," Ms Manison said.
"This is a government that listens, and residents in the older suburbs that would be most affected by these changes have expressed their views and we have heard loud and clear that the current dual occupancy arrangements do not meet the expectations of Territorians.
"It is inevitable that from time to time we will still receive applications from owners to change their properties, and each application will need to be assessed on its merits.
"We need to plan for the future and there are exciting, Territory-building, job-creating projects ahead for our two major capitals, Darwin and Alice Springs, which will help to revitalise these city areas and follow through to our suburbs.
"This Government will shortly commence its Planning Reform agenda to restore trust in the planning process and gain a better understanding from the community about ways to improve planning decision-making and outcomes.
"Our reform process also includes the opportunity to have your say on a proposed future vision for our cities and towns, as we recognise how important it is for all Territorians to be included in strategic planning," Ms Manison said.