PLANNERS NORTH was established in 1986 as the first dedicated town planning consultancy on the NSW Northern Rivers. Today the firm is a partnership of the practices of Kate Singleton RPIA and Steve Connelly RPIA (Fellow). We provide robust, personalised and client focused advice to government, business and the general public.

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With more than 45 years of experience in local government and private practice, we are committed to working with our clients to achieve planning and development results that are sound, creative and sustainable.

Our focus is to combine our technical expertise and experience with strong project partnerships and dedicated team work to deliver solutions to often complex challenges and to satisfy often conflicting interests.

Impact Assessment

Our practice is built on the fundamentals of getting Ecological, Economic and Social impact assessment right. We achieve this by the rigorous assessment of the complex web of statutory and policy planning documentation in unison with the careful selection of the appropriate technical specialists to blend site planning with externalities to achieve a sustainable conclusion.


To meet the rigors of contemporary statutory planning regimes, quite complex and detailed assessments are required from a range of experts to allow sustainable site planning to progress to a property masterplan. Our expertise is in the astute selection of the appropriate specialists and in interpreting the resultant technical reporting (which is sometimes initially conflicting) to coalesce site planning towards an optimum outcome.

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Public Policy

We provide Public Policy advice at all scales. Kate Singleton and Steve Connelly have been involved in the full gambit of strategic planning advice from urban structure masterplanning, ecological management planning, business planning and policy planning at the local scale (Local Environmental Plans, Development Control Plans, Strategic Planning Policy) through to regional planning (Regional Strategies and State Significant Development Proposals).

Expert Testimony

In most situations, the planning system provides for the orderly and economic use of land without the need for conflict resolution. However, there are times when town planning questions require adjudication by an independent Court or Tribunal. Kate Singleton and Steve Connelly are well-versed in the preparation and delivery of expert opinions to independent assessment, having appeared and provided expert testimony in over 70 cases.

Due Diligence

Nowadays, determining the “development potential” of a property is much more complicated than simply obtaining a Zoning Certificate from the Council. PLANNERS NORTH provides an expert advice service researching published data in terms of constraints and opportunities, and the reviewing of various registers (Councils, Government Departments) to help clients truly determine the realistic development potential of a parcel.


Photographic Credits

  • Banyan Hill Estate, Ballina
  • Street Art, Alfama, Lisbon; skift.com
  • NearMap, Wategos, NSW
  • Ruth WM, via Instagram, 2018, Habitat Pool
  • Tom Connelly, 2018, The Pass
  • Steve Connelly, 2017, Byron Bay Railroad Company
  • Christie Connelly, 2017, Lennox Point looking south
  • Sam Charlton, 2017, Splendour in the Grass