17 September 2013

Development Assessment Panel Annual Report

Each year the Panel is required to present a report to Council on their activities.
It is interesting to note that earlier this year they suggested a change in delegations (that was approved by Council) to give the staff more discretion  in the decision making process. This has reduced the number of items coming to the DAP for a decision. Hopefully, this will have allowed for more time and consideration being given to the items that needed a decision. The number being dealt with have dropped from a maximum of 16 to as few as 2 at a sitting. Good, healthy debate has led to many decisions that did not concur with the staff recommendation (up to 2 per meeting). The report does not tell me if the recommendation was for approval and the application was refused or vice versa. However, if this was the case these are the decisions that would often lead to appeals to the Environment, Resources and Development Court.  There were only 6 appeals lodged in 2012/13 and of these 1 was dismissed, 1 withdrawn, 2 compromised and the others must still be before the court awaiting an outcome. Interestingly, more than half the meetings did not have all members attending, this potentially gives the chairperson both an ordinary and a deliberative vote.

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