What a big month - Plan Melbourne has been released, a new Metropolitan Planning Authority created and amendments to the Planning & Environment Act came into action. Interestingly, the Terms of Reference for the SPPF Advisory Committee were amended to provide advice on the role, structure and format of local planning policy to align with the new SPPF. It’s pleasing to see that additional consultation, including a formal call for submissions will occur to inform this process. Surely, the release of the Development Contributions report will not be far away.
It’s a short bulletin, but all you need to know in two minutes. Enjoy the read.
Gareth, Michelle, Stuart and Kevin
What’s happening in planning?
Plan Melbourne has been released
A draft Metropolitan Strategy, titled Plan Our Melbourne was released by the Government on 9 October. The Strategy contains seven objectives, 41 directions and 115 initiatives.
Based on feedback during our consultation with members on the discussion paper, the policy principles contained within the document are generally sound. The strategy’s success will depend on how it influences infrastructure, services and job investment decisions over the next 37 years. As a result, our submission will focus on implementation of the Strategy and the Government’s future interactions with councils.
We will be seeking your feedback shortly.
STEP Planning gets ready for VicSmart
Eight STEP councils from metropolitan, regional and rural Victoria gathered last week to ‘redesign’ their process for simple applications in the lead up to the introduction of VicSmart.
The Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure advises that VicSmart will come into effect early next year with 10-12 categories of permits initially. It is estimated that roughly 10 per cent of applications will fall into the VicSmart process path.
The councils examined their processes, looking at all the entry portals for applications (such as service centres, mail and electronic), steps in the process, timeframes between steps and the number of handovers. They were then able to piece the puzzle back together making sure they best connected the value-adding components of the process. All councils were able to re-engineer their processes to meet a 5-8 day timeframe. A list of projects and actions needed in order to achieve their redesigned process was also achieved. The councils continue to share their preparatory work over the STEP Planning Yammer network.
Another group of STEP councils will go through this exercise soon. An audit undertaken by the MAV’s process consultants shows that very few councils are VicSmart Ready. A letter has been sent to all councils that are not members of the STEP Program, to invite participation in 2014. For further information contact Michelle Croughan on 9667 5541.
Resource implications of overlay controls project – tender review
As part of the planning scheme amendment process, councils are required to consider the resource implications of a planning scheme amendment. Currently no methodology exists to calculate these implications. All explanatory reports have the same response – the amendment has minimal resource impact.
To address this knowledge gap the MAV, with funding from the Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure, has developed a project brief to develop a modelling tool to forecast likely resource implications. A project steering committee has been established to assist with consultant selection and to ensure the tool is fit for purpose and meets council needs.
A better understanding of the resource implications of overlay controls will enable councils to forecast likely staff implications and budget for staffing requirements. It will also equip councils to meet planning scheme amendment report requirements. Three case study councils will be used and a number of briefing sessions will be arranged once the project is complete.
For more information contact Stuart Grigg on 9667 5595.
MAV and CFA work towards reviewing BMO conditions
A small group of councils have been invited to participate in a working group to inform a CFA review of bushfire planning permit conditions. Glossop Town Planning will collate feedback and provide a report making recommendations on how conditions can be improved.
For more information contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
MAV hosts Bushfire Planning Projects Workshop
Last week the MAV hosted the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure’s (DTPLI) Bushfire Planning Projects Workshop. The Department funded projects aimed at improving the implementation of bushfire provisions. Council representatives provided updates and shared findings from a range of strategic planning projects being undertaken in response to bushfire risk. Many involved the preparation of schedules to the Bushfire Management Overlay.
Other project themes included: mapping bushfire threat levels; determining defendable space requirements; reconciling Bushfire Management Overlay application with growth planning for towns; and the management of fauna and flora biodiversity.
Both DTPLI and the CFA will provide an update on bushfire planning at the Rural and Regional Land Use Planning Forum on Friday 8 November.
Rural and Regional Land Use Planning Forum
The MAV, with support from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI), is proud to announce our next Rural and Regional Land Use Planning Forum being held at the RACV Club in Melbourne on 8 November. The agenda will cover a range of topics, including the revised rural zones, the case for an agricultural overlay, the revised native vegetation regulations and the CFA’s Bushfire Management Overlay schedules. Six councils will also discuss current projects, from major agricultural developments and flood studies, to tourism and salinity management. An update on regulatory changes to the Planning and Environment Act will also be delivered by DTPLI.
The Forum is open to all local government councillors and planners, and provides a great networking opportunity, typically attracting between 60 - 120 delegates from across the state. For further information contact Stuart Grigg on 9667 5595.
In other news...
Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area
The Fishermans Bend Urban Renewal Area is located to the south-west of Melbourne’s CBD and covers an area almost double the size of Melbourne’s existing central city. The recently released Draft Vision seeks to transform this existing industrial precinct into a thriving, mixed-use, inner city environment. The Vision anticipates that over a period of 30 to 50 years, Fishermans Bend will become a flourishing community, providing a home for more than 80 000 residents and a workplace for up to 40 000 people.
Planning and Environment (General Amendment) Act 2013 comes into action
The Planning and Environment Amendment (General) Act 2013 came into being on 1 July 2013. Some provisions were given effect immediately. Stage 2 and associated changes to planning schemes and Ministerial Directions came into effect on Monday 28 October. Regulations were introduced on Tuesday 29 October. The MAV has prepared a short summary document on these changes.
We will host a local government briefing session on 12 November from 10 am to 11 am in room 11.01 at the MAV. The briefing will provide an overview of key aspects of the changes and the opportunity to ask questions. An invitation has been sent to planning directors and managers. For further information contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
PPARs report available
The release of the tenth 2012/13 Planning Permit Activity report (PPARs) is now available on the DTPLI website. Highlights include a decrease in the number of permits received by six per cent and a two per cent reduction in the number of applications going to VCAT. A total of 96 per cent of all applications still result in permit/notice of decision, with the estimated costs of works for permits issued increasing by 9.2 per cent.
Moreland Open Space Amendment
The City of Moreland is seeking to increase the public open space contribution for Brunswick East/North Fitzroy, Brunswick and Glenroy. In its Municipal Strategic Statement, the planning scheme amendment references the revised Moreland Open Space Strategy (2012) and Public Open Space Contributions and Subdivisions Report (2011).
Interesting tid bits