The Sunshine Coast Council has racked up another pioneering move, becoming the first local government in the country to develop an application that makes it easy for residents to find, track and be alerted to development applications in their street, suburb, division or even across the whole region.
Development.i was launched on October 10 by Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick, and the council.
Mayor Mark Jamieson says this simple-to-use but powerful information tool will enable the community to be better engaged in the planning process.
“Development.i replaces council’s previous PD Online application tracking system and will provide all the same information but in a much more accessible and user-friendly way,” he says.
“Importantly, it empowers our community to be informed on what development is proposed or planned around them.”
Project Urban managing director Andrew Stevens was among those who participated in a pilot program to test the effectiveness of Development.i before its launch.
“The council’s existing development information systems are excellent, so we were interested to see how this new platform would improve the existing services that council offers and the impact that it would have on the way we conduct our business,” he says.
“We have been using the system extensively since the trial commenced to research the background and context of particular sites we are working on, obtain alerts about the progress of our applications and to monitor particular types of development on the Sunshine Coast.”
Mr Stevens says the ability to search for specific types of development applications or approvals within a targeted area will be an invaluable tool for Project Urban.
“There is no doubt that it will improve the general public’s access to a whole range of development information… the development of this new platform is another clear indication of the council’s commitment to continually improving the quality of service that it provides to the local community.”
Planning and Development Portfolio Councillor Christian Dickson says Development.i is as easy to navigate as a real estate search website.
“This new online tool lets you see what development is happening near you on a map, easily change filters and save searches you are interested in, receive alerts when new applications are lodged and track the status of an application as it progresses – plus lots more,” Cr Dickson says.
“It’s as simple as typing in a suburb, hitting enter and results appear on a map representing development or building applications currently in progress.
“Or you can change the filter to see past applications back to 2007.
“For community members and our many residents’ groups, the new Development.i is a more intuitive and easier to navigate website, meaning they can be more easily engaged in the planning process and stay informed.”
Development.i has been developed by council, with the assistance of the Queensland Government’s Planning Act 2016 Innovation and Improvement Fund.
Check out the new platform and a series of ‘how-to’ videos on the Development.i website, developmenti.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au.