Urban Melbourne recently sat down for a chat with Mark Naughton (Founder and Managing Director) and Paul Little (Director) of Planning & Property Partners, in order to profile the practice and discuss their expanding workbook. The multi-disciplinary planning and environmental law firm recently came to prominence with the planning submission for a six tower scheme within Fishermans Bend on behalf a pool of owners.
Located within Duckboard House at 91-93 Flinders Lane, the firm was established by Mark Naughton as part of his vision of providing greater value to clients by serving them on a more intimate level.
As one of a select group of accredited legal specialists in environmental, planning and local government law, Mark Naughton has been a lead partner of the planning and environment law groups in both Minter Ellison, and what is now Maddocks Lawyers. Mark also appears regularly as an advocate before VCAT, Advisory Committees, Planning Panels and EES Inquiries.
Paul Little on the other hand joined Planning & Property Partners after extensive experience in a broad range of town planning and environmental approval processes, both in government and the private sector, including a decade with international consultancy Aurecon. Paul's charge is to advise on all aspects of land use and development projects from feasibility to approval.
And it's this point where the firm's expertise was called upon recently to facilitate the mass lodgement of applications for 6 separate freehold sites yielding 1500 apartments along Normanby Road within the Montague Precinct of Fishermans Bend. The multi-disciplinary nature of the practice allowed Planning & Property Partners to deal with the many factors that arise when dealing with separate sites and owners.
Covered by Urban Melbourne during July, the Hayball-designed 'precinct' would see an allocation of apartments to Port Phillip Housing Trust.
Previous projects include You & I which was recently completed, along with developments in Brunswick and Hawksburn where the firm's proactive approach in foreshadowing issues with local government and their requirements led to favourable and successful outcomes for their clients at VCAT.
On Hawksburn Village for example, Planning & Property Partners were able to successfully navigated complex heritage, VicRoads and DDA issues, enabling building use conversion for a building structure that was in disrepair, had significant heritage constraints, a long history of quasi-retail use, no subdivision entitlement and difficult car parking and DDA accessibility issues. They were able to garner support from Council for the overall project, and ultimately VCAT endorsement of that support.
Another difficult and high profile project saw the Woollen Mills site within Williamstown successfully navigated through VCAT under the guidance of Planning & Property Partners.
Mark Naughton and Paul Little explain there's a real passion for seeing clients’ projects come to life, but are also quick to point out that they share a common interests in terms of urban development in and around Melbourne.
We’ve swept away old, ‘linear’ process-based consulting approaches that only react to events as they occur. In its place we have developed a rigorous holistic and agile ‘win strategy’ model aligned to clients’ risk appetite and the desired development/planning outcomes.
Good news spreads and we are proud to be a referral only business with deep networks.
Clients tell us they value our commitment and service delivery. We empower our clients with knowledge and regular, detailed updates and forward thinking.
We attempt to be quicker, smarter and more agile than others, so assisting clients with improved project KPIs. When it’s serious and the stakes are high, we strive to get the outcomes our clients seek.Mark Naughton, Planning & Property Partners
Despite being an exclusively referral only consultancy, Planning & Property Partners' experienced directors are readily and easily accessible. As Paul explained, they pride themselves on being able to provide game-changing approval strategies that are defined early on in the process - which in turn allows for greater yields and reduced project lead times - thriving on problem solving with a strong desire to raise the odds of success for their clients’ benefit.
Planning & Property Partners clients include developers, private individuals and both overseas and local investors.