Town Planning Services for Individuals, Groups and Organisations
About Me

Working for better urban & natural places

Highly experienced planning professional with over 15 years of planning experience

Dedicated to making planning services more user friendly & accessible to small businesses, organisations, groups & individuals

Unique insight into planning as a result of working in multiple regions, countries & planning roles

More details below

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AT Better Planning Ltd.
AT Better Planning Ltd. is a new town planning consultancy based in Wellington.  Although the company itself is new, its founder Allison Tindale, has over 15 years of planning experience in the areas of resource consents (also known as planning applications), planning research, review of District Plans and review/investigation of planning policies.  More information about Allison Tindale is provided on the home page.  

After working for several years for Local Councils in the Wellington Region, Allison thought there was a better way to communicate with landowners and residents as to how planning could work for them.  Allison also thought that the full costs and benefits of proposals and policy/plan changes could be made more visible, and could be better supported by factual information and real-life experiences.  Rushing into new projects and policies, can rule out the potential for longer term or a wider range of benefits.   

Details of my work experience and qualifications are provided below. 

Plan Change 29: Petone West (Mixed Use zone)

Worked as the lead Council officer for this controversial plan change.  Drafted the summary of submissions and a large section of the officer hearing report.  Assisted in the organisation of pre-hearing meetings and the plan change hearing.  Presented Council's officers response to submissions raising natural hazard concerns at plan change hearing.  Presented Independent Hearing Panel's recommendations to Council.  Negotiated amendments to proposed Petone West Design Guide as part of the settlement of a plan change appeal through informal mediation.  Project was a joint initiative with consultancy Boffa Miskell.

Discussion Document: Residential Intensification​

Wrote Discussion Document (full and summary version) on options under consideration for residential intensification in Lower Hutt & adjacent suburbs of Epuni and Waterloo.  Prepared engagement and consultation strategy.  Summarised written and verbal feedback on Discussion Document, including written submissions and responses to telephone survey, focus group discussions and workshop.  
Presented a series of regulatory and non-regulatory (voluntary) options to Councillors at Hutt City Council for the improved management of these areas.  Investigated approaches used by Councils around New Zealand, and well as initiatives used in Australia.   Reported on potential costs of voluntary approaches, such as rates rebates.  Reviewed expert landscape and ecology reports.  Examined site features and planning history of potential sites of significance.  

Significant Landscapes & Areas of Biodiversity

Review of Residential Provisions in District Plan

Investigated trends in building development in selected areas, such as floor area of new dwellings, number of new resource and building consents and common planning breaches by single and multiple housing developments.  Reviewed provisions used by Councils elsewhere in New Zealand and Australia.  Examined potential for new housing in Lower Hutt and adjacent suburbs under existing provisions.  Provided recommendations on suggested changes to residential planning provisions. Reviewed expert traffic, natural hazards, water infrastructure and town planning reports.    

Submissions to regional & national government 

Prepared Hutt City Council's submissions on Greater Wellington Regional Council's 'Proposed Natural Resources Plan'.  As well as the Council's submission to the Select Committee for Local Government and Environment on the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill 2015 and Local Government New Zealand's 'Blue Skies Discussion on New Zealand's Resource Management System' 2016.  Other submissions included Council feedback to Ministry for Environment regarding the 'National Monitoring Strategy' and 'Section 32 Interim Guidance' relating to supporting material for plan changes.  

​Provided free expert advice to Public Sector Association (union) regarding 2014 proposed changes to the Local Government Act 2002, which formed part of their submission to Select Committee for Local Government and Environment.  

​I have also made a number of personal submissions to various organisations on a range of planning matters. 

Assessment of medium to large-scale developments 

Case officer for the assessment of subdivision application (with associated earthworks) for rural land in Wallaceville, Upper Hutt.  This application involved negotiations with developer to reduce height of dwellings and building platforms in relation to ridgelines.  Provided pre-application advice on redevelopment of Silverstream New World supermarket. 

Case officer for the assessment of planning applications to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council (Wales) for wind turbine (70m), redevelopment of industrial land in Treforest Industrial Estate, extension to out-of-town Tesco supermarket, Multi-storey and multiple housing developments and conversion of older buildings into dwellings/apartments.    

​Also represented the Council in appeals to the Welsh Planning Inspector, such as appeals on conditions of resource consent for off-road recreation facility and refusal of multi-storey housing.  

Assessment of developments in historical sites

Case officer for the assessment of planning applications to Rhonnda Cynon Taf Council (Wales) for new dwelling in Treforest Conservation Area, conversion of old public houses and chapels to apartments, conversion of listed building to wedding reception venue and new rural dwelling on possible European archaeological site.  

Voluntary Research Reports

Reported on the Issues and Concerns raised by the Local Government Sector (over 50 Council submissions examined) to the 2013 Proposed Changes to the Resource Management Act.  

Released a literature review in 2014 of problems experienced within New Zealand and overseas in relation to stormwater management in urban areas.  

Research & policy advice in Australia

Drafted a large portion of the NSW Office of the Commissioner's of Inquiry report on the Public Hearing into Blue Mountains Local Plan.  Assisted in investigation and report writing for the Public Inquiry into the Long Term Planning and Management of the Illawarra Escarpment and Wollongong Local Government Area.  Summarised approximately 2,000 submissions relating to development in the NSW Snowy Mountains.

Prepared reports for private consultancy, BBC Consulting Planners, on usage of community and recreation facilities/services, as well as housing stock and services/facilities available for older and disabled persons.

Prepared sections of private consultancy, PPK Environment and Infrastructure Pty. Ltd's preliminary environmental assessment of the Sydney to Newcastle intercity rail upgrade and high speed rail project between Sydney and Wollongong.

  1. JULY 2012 NOV 2016
    Hutt City Council
    Progressed from Intermediate to Senior Environmental Policy Analyst. Case officer for managing plan change reviews on residential intensification, significant landscapes and areas of significant biodiversity, surplus Council reserves and Petone West (Mixed Use zone).
  2. FEB 2012 - JUNE 2012
    Wellington City Council
    Assisted in the investigation of planning history of various land parcels, as a Land Information Memorandum Assistant. Reviewed archive material to identify properties previously subject to hazards such as flooding or slippage.
  3. DEC 2010- JUNE 2011
    Upper Hutt Council
    Determined a number of land-use and subdivision consents as the Senior Resource Consent officer. Also provided pre-application advice to landowners and consultants, in addition to responding to general enquiries.
  1. AUG 2006 -JULY 2010
    Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council (Wales)
    Progressed from Senior to Principal Planning Officer (Consents). Case officer for the assessment of medium to large scale developments in urban and rural areas. Represented Council in appeals to Welsh Planning Inspector.
  2. DEC 2002 - JUNE 2006
    South Cambridge District Council (England)
    Progressed from Planning Assisting to Acting Senior Planning (Consents). Case officer for the assessment of a variety of developments in urban and rural locations. Also provided advice to landowners & consultants on the development potential of land.
  3. MAY 2002 - DEC 2002
    Tandridge District Council (England)
    Determined a number of small scale planning applications as a Planning Assistant (Consents). Provided assistance to other planning staff.
  1. OCT 2000 NOV 2001
    BBC Consulting Planners (NSW, Australia)
    Carried out research and data analysis on a variety of topics as a planner/researcher. Projects included review of housing & facilities for older persons, producing demographic profiles and examination of perceptions and use of community/recreational facilities.
  2. JUNE 2000 - SEPT 2001
    PPK Environment & Infrastructure (NSW, Australia)
    Assisted in the production of environmental assessments for a variety of infrastructure projects as a planner. Projects included a preliminary review of high speed rail, evaluation of a new long-distance rail route and assessment of a new landfill with recycling facilities.
  3. DEC 1997 - MAR 2000
    NSW Office of the Commissioners of Inquiry for Environment & Planning
    Assisting in the administration and assessment of major public hearings and inquiries as a planner/registrar. Projects included a review of planning provisions for Illawarra & Blue Mountains Councils, assessment of an intermodal freight terminal and review of interim heritage protection order.
Masters of Urban and Regional Planning with Honours 2001
Bachelor of Economics 1997
Full Member of New Zealand Planning Institute since 2014
I have also received several communication and leadership awards from Toastmasters International (not-for-profit educational organsation) between 2013 and 2015.