Most developments must go through statutory planning processes, including approval of structure plans, zoning, development permits and planning appeals. The likelihood of wide-scale adoption of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) could be vastly enhanced if WSUD principles are embedded in statutory planning regulations and processes. The project considers the extent to which WSUD has already been adopted in modern statutory planning frameworks and whether current frameworks are able to maximise the take-up of WSUD opportunities.

The project aims to assess the role of statutory planning legislation, regulation and processes in facilitating or constraining the adoption of WSUD and identify best practice planning legislation and policies to facilitate water resilience in cities.

Key outcomes

The project will demonstrate how synergies between WSUD principles and other town planning policies can be created and exploited in order to minimise the cost on housing and maximise public benefit when implementing WSUD. Literature reviews have been published on five jurisdictions (Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide) that explore WUD regulations in the statutory planning frameworks of those cities.

The project will deliver:

  • a set of benchmark town planning policies and standards for applying WSUD to developments of different planning scales (for example greenfield and in-fill);
  • better linkages with methodologies for costing WSUD infrastructure in town planning processes (for example, through the use of development levies) as an alternative to relying on funding of large-scale capital items through expenditure of public funds; and
  • recommendations for integration of WSUD principles with other planning policies (for example, links between WSUD and public open space planning policy).