In this issue:                                                                     May, 2015

One month to go: MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference
MAV State Council
DELWP releases discussion paper on Better Apartments
New Planning and Environment Regulation 2015
MAV presents to DEDJTR review committee
Planning Bill
Metropolitan Planning Levy
Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard launched
MAV presents on Infrastructure Design Manual

Standard referral agreement project consultation finishes
MAV Victoria Planning Provisions survey
Sector conversation on housing strategies and residential zones
Plan Melbourne refresh
Review of the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations
Interesting tid bits
Events

What’s happening in planning?

Welcome to the May edition of the MAV Land Use Planning Bulletin - everything you need to know about planning in three minutes or less.

We hope you enjoy the read!

Gareth, Michelle, Kevin and Natasha.

One month to go: MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference

This year's Rural and Regional Planning Conference will be held in Marysville on 25-26 June with the theme ‘Plan - to deliver on bold ambitions’.

We have pulled together a cracking two-day program, with only 40 tickets left.

Some of the featured speakers include:

  • The Hon. John Brumby, Chair of the DEDJTR’s Regional Economic Development and Services Review, and former Premier of Victoria
  • Trevor Budge, AM, Manager of Strategy, City of Greater Bendigo
  • James Larmour-Reid, Planisphere
  • Marcus Spiller, SGS Economics and Planning
  • Luke Martin, CEO of Tourism Tasmania
  • Kathy Mitchell, Chief Panel Member, PPV
  • Laurie Hewett, Senior Member, VCAT.

A full program is now available. Registrations can now be made online.

MAV State Council

A total of 56 motions were adopted at the MAV State Council in May.

A total of 14 were planning related covering topics such as shared housing, urban levies in the standard contribution system, planning fees, apartment design code, and housing affordability and dwellings in the farming zone. We look forward to progressing these throughout the year.

Our next State Council will be held in October.

DELWP releases discussion paper on Better Apartments

The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has released a Better Apartments Discussion Paper. The paper's focus is on how we can ensure the spaces within an apartment match peoples' needs and expectations during different phases of their lives.

The purpose of the discussion paper is to provide a context to apartment living; focus on the internal design amenity and functionality of all apartments and apartment buildings; and consider other issues that affect amenity for those living in apartment buildings.

New Planning and Environment Regulation 2015

The new Planning and Environment Regulations 2015 were made by the Governor in Council on 12 May and came into operation on 16 May.

The Regulations are largely the same. However, consistent with the MAV and council submissions the proposal to reduce the time a responsible authority has to require more information under section 54 of the Act, for a permit application that is not required to be referred, has not been included.

With a total of 41 per cent of applications not decision ready and requiring further information, we look forward to working with the Department and councils to understand how we can facilitate improved planning permit processing times.

MAV presents to DEDJTR review committee

The MAV was invited to present to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources’ (DEDJTR) Regional Economic Development and Services Review Committee, chaired by the Hon. John Brumby in May.

Our presentation commended the investment of successive governments in regional planning, and called for an extension of the rural planning flying squad.

As with metropolitan planning, we were quick to emphasise that we must now actively focus on the delivery of the regional growth plans and establishing governance frameworks to facilitate the investment and drive delivery. Without this, policy aspiration will not be realised. For further information, email Gareth Hately or call 9667 5596.

Planning Bill

The Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015 has been introduced into Parliament.

It requires VCAT and responsible authorities to have regard to the number of objectors to a permit application in considering whether a proposal may have a significant social effect.

Metropolitan Planning Levy

New provisions in the Planning and Environment Act 1987 require a levy payment prior to making a planning permit application for developments valued at over $1 million within metropolitan council areas. These provisions commence 1 July.

For more information, refer to the State Revenue Office.

Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard launched

The Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) has launched a Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS), with support from the MAV.

The free online tool will help building professionals assess the sustainability of structures at the planning permit stage. It covers the key elements that make up good liveability and design practice, and will help deliver positive outcomes for developers, buyers, and building users alike.

BESS assesses energy and water efficiency, thermal comfort, and overall environmental sustainability performance of a new building or alteration. It was created to assist builders and developers to demonstrate that they meet sustainability information requirements as part of planning permit applications.

The tool will help support the important role councils have in the transition to a productive, sustainable and resilient community.

For further information, contact Kevin Peachey.

MAV presents on Infrastructure Design Manual

At the request of Planning Panels Victoria, the MAV presented to a panel about the Infrastructure Design Manual.

We acknowledged the City of Greater Shepparton’s leadership in developing and promoting the use of the Infrastructure Design Manual across rural and regional municipalities. We also discussed two projects we are working on that directly relate to the project, namely the referral agreement project with the CFA and the managing built form project.

We also shared our thoughts on how the manual could be given statutory weight in the planning scheme. For further information, contact Michelle Croughan.

Standard referral agreement project consultation finishes

We have been working with the CFA to streamline permit assessment by facilitating the development of agreements between councils and referral authorities.

We had over 90 council planners attend the six sessions held across the state, with the last session held in Bendigo. The agreements are now being further developed to address feedback. We are hopeful that this joint project will reduce the burden on the CFA and enable councils to assess simple applications under the agreements in a more expedited manner.

Based on feedback from the consultation session, the MAV is in the process of contacting other referral authorities to understand their appetite to develop similar referral agreements on a statewide basis. Should you wish to discuss this matter further, email Gareth Hately or call 9667 5596.

MAV Victoria Planning Provisions survey

As many of you will know, the State Government’s pre-election planning platform called for a review of the Victoria Planning Provisions.

Consistent with feedback from the sector through our survey, we do not believe the Victoria Planning Provisions are broken, but councils as a user of the system have valuable feedback on how it can be improved. Sixty-seven planners from a range of councils have now completed our survey. We would like to thank everyone who participated.

The results are now being analysed and a report prepared. For further information, contact Michelle Croughan.

Sector conversation on housing strategies and residential zones

We hosted a workshop to provide councils with the opportunity to understand the different approaches adopted to develop housing strategies to inform the application of the residential zones, and how councils are evaluating and monitoring the implication of the application of the residential zones.

Seven councils shared their approach; what’s working well, and what they have learnt. It also provided the council host with an opportunity to ask questions of their peers. Notes summarising the conversations from the workshop have been circulated to delegates and planning directors. A total of 60 officers attended.

This session was important in the context of the Ministerial Direction 16, and the government’s commentary around the residential zones.

Plan Melbourne refresh

We recently attended a meeting of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Plan Melbourne refresh.

The Committee was particularly interested in understanding how housing affordability, the impacts of climate change, energy efficient design and urban governance could be addressed in the strategy.

The CASBE BESS Tool and local government model for the metropolitan planning authority developed with the sector in 2013 was also discussed.

Review of the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations

As many of you will know, the Victorian Government has committed to reviewing the native vegetation permitted clearing regulation under the Victoria Planning Provisions.

The MAV, along with two councils have been invited to participate in a stakeholder reference group. The first meeting of the reference group is happening in early June. If you have any feedback on the native vegetation framework, please email Gareth Hately.

Interesting tid bits

Upcoming MAV events...

11 June

BESS Domestic workshop (1-10 dwellings)

15 June

Local government forum: FOI, privacy and protected disclosures

25 - 26 June

MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference

 

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