Stephen O’Brien is a qualified Town Planner with over 32 years’ experience who understands that the best planning outcomes are reached when diverse minds come together. Stephen’s areas of expertise covers land use planning, highest and best-use planning, amending planning schemes and VCAT representation. With many years’ experience in Australia, the Middle East and Asia, he is able to provide strategic insights and practical advice to his clients – including businesses, government departments and public listed companies. Stephen is also a Full Member of the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA), the national body representing planning and the planning profession.
Among Stephen’s extensive work accomplishments include:
- Former City Councillor for Manningham City Council and Chair of Councils Planning Committee (2012 - 2016);
- Senior Executive Officer (Planning Services) for Yarra Ranges Shire Council;
- Senior Consultant, Urbis (Melbourne);
- Manager of Property Research and Planning, Limitless (Dubai, part of Dubai World);
- Managing Director, Knight Frank (Phuket);
- Senior Town Planner, Department of Business, Industry and Regional Development (Queensland)
Since establishing Universal Planning in July 2013, Stephen has prepared in excess of 724 Town Planning reports for residential and commercial developments, Planning Scheme Amendments and subdivision applications as well as regular appearances at VCAT. Stephen is adept at guiding clients through the complex planning processes – from planning and subdivision permits to building approvals. Having been a City Councillor, he knows Local Government very well and is highly regarded across the industry as a competent leading and respected professional. Stephen and his young family are all Members of the Melbourne Football Club and his weekends are generally spent at MCG barracking for the Dees.