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Advanced Development Assessment

If you are a skilled professional operating in the area of development assessment, this five-day course is for you. Learn key themes in complex development assessments.

About this course

This course is designed for experienced practitioners who want to upgrade their skills to remain agile and effective in a rapidly changing planning system. The sessions are designed for experienced practitioners seeking to broaden and refresh their practical skills, consider new ideas and reflect on current approaches. This five-day course looks at managing the development assessment process and how to align with relevant community strategic plan outcomes.

Course structure

Are you an experienced professional looking to sharpen your development assessment expertise?

This course promotes fresh thinking to improve development assessment techniques and processes.  It explores assessment, urban design and the role of planning law and policy to develop essential skills. Immerse yourself in discussions and workshops with a strong practical focus, enabling both urban and rural practitioners to benefit from the shared knowledge and experience of fellow students, lecturers and guest speakers.

Topics covered include:

  • Current planning directions
  • Interpreting and applying planning instruments
  • Engaging communities in spatial planning
  • Relationship between strategic and development assessment planning
  • Navigating communications between state and local government authorities
  • Site, neighbourhood and environmental analysis
  • Handling the NSW Land and Environment Court.


Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Understand and appreciate the complexities of the strategic, legal and institutional context of development assessment
  • Interpret and apply performance based measures using planning instruments
  • Evaluate the benefits and issues with 'collaborative planning'
  • Develop the capability to identify and respond to key development assessment issues
  • Undertake precinct, site and environmental analysis
  • Evaluate and analyse urban design and development outcomes
  • Consult and facilitate understanding and resolutions regarding complex development situations
  • Interpret and apply judgements and principles from the Land and Environment Court and understand planning and processes to resolve issues to mitigate or avoid this avenue.


COVID-19 information

UTS is undertaking a number of social distancing initiatives, as informed by NSW Health advice, to help reduce social interactions in support of the government’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. As part of this response, some of our short courses may be postponed to a later date.

Please note however, bookings are open for all courses offered by the Institute for Public Policy and Governance (IPPG). If a course needs to be postponed, participants will have the chance to transfer to a later date, a new course or request a full refund. IPPG will also be offering a range of online or blended learning options facilitated via zoom video conferencing. If you have any questions in the interim, please do not hesitate to contact our team at

Who is this course for?

Any professional involved in the process of development assessment, including (but not limited to):

  • Architects
  • Building surveyors
  • Developers and planners.


08 April




5 days

Meet the Expert

Danny Wiggins

Danny Wiggins
Director, Danny Wiggins (Planning, Facilitation and Education Services)

Danny Wiggins has been a town planning consultant for 30 years, specialising in statutory planning systems and local planning controls. He has worked at all three levels of government and for a range of private sector clients. Examples of his work include external reviews of local council development assessment (DA) systems, advice to the State Government on DA items (and training), facilitating the IP&R framework at a range of local councils, authorship of the DUAP publication “Guiding Development: better outcomes”, and work with the Heart Foundation/ Premier’s Council for Active Living and the UNSW Healthy Built Environments Program (HBEP) on supportive environments for community health and well-being. As well as consultancy work, Danny is also an experienced educator and facilitator, having been involved in the preparation and delivery of education and training packages for a variety of State and Local Government agencies and Universities. He has an honours degree in Town Planning and a PhD in residential location theory.

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Alison McCabe

Alison McCabe
Director, Planning, SJB

Alison has over 35 years of experience in statutory and strategic planning for state and local government and private practice. In conjunction with Stuart McDonald, Alison started SJB Planning NSW in 2005. Prior to this, she was Director of Environmental and Community Management for Leichhardt Council. Alison is experienced in all facets of urban and regional planning, including local government administration and statutory processes, policy development, public participation, appeals and conflict resolution. She holds a Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning, University of New England; and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law, Sydney University and has lectured on planning at Sydney’s University of Technology.

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Joshua Palmer

Joshua Palmer
Partner, Pikes and Verekers Lawyers

Joshua has extensive experience in local government and planning and environmental law, regularly acting for local government, private developers and accredited certifier clients in both Class 1 and Class 4 of the Land and Environment Court’s jurisdiction. His experience enables him to adopt a whole-of-matter approach that allows for creative yet simple solutions to complex problems. An important part of Pikes & Verekers' Planning & Environment team, Joshua works closely with local government clients. He is an excellent communicator who advises on construction and interpretation of planning instruments and Development Control Plans, existing use rights, development contributions, construction of development consents and commencement of development. His understanding of local government and planning and environmental law allows for creative legal solutions to otherwise intractable problems. Joshua also has extensive experience in development applications including Part 3A approvals, planning proposals and development benefited by voluntary planning agreement.

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Book a session

Thu 08 Apr 2021 -
Fri 07 May 2021
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Alison McCabe, Joshua Palmer
  • UTS – Venue TBC
  • On-campus
  • 5 sessions, 40 hours total
Mon 30 Aug 2021 -
Wed 29 Sep 2021
Expert: Danny Wiggins, Alison McCabe, Joshua Palmer
  • UTS – Venue TBC
  • On-campus
  • 5 sessions, 40 hours total
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