Welcome to 2014 and the first edition of the MAV Land Use Planning Bulletin. After a two month break, we have compiled all you need to know in two minutes.
We hope you enjoy the read. Gareth, Michelle, Stuart and Kevin.
What’s happening in planning?
Sector submission on Plan Melbourne
Thank you to all planning directors and managers who informed our sector submission to Plan Melbourne. We understand our submission is one of 430 being reviewed to inform the final strategy.
We are pleased to see the recognition of sub-regions to enable planning at a sub-regional level, consistent with the MAV Strategic Plan and the establishment of a Metropolitan Planning Authority (MPA) that will improve the coordination of state departments and agencies.
We look forward to release of the final document, the development of a state – local government protocol to guide the relationship between the MPA and councils, and the development of a monitoring framework to track progress.
Further details are available in our media release. For more information contact Gareth Hately on 9667 5596.
State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) review
In January we caught up with the SPPF review Advisory Committee to discuss the draft SPPF.
The review has been prompted to ensure all state policy matters align and integrate with the key strategic directions and maps that have been identified in the Plan Melbourne strategy and eight Regional Growth Plans.
The revised terms of reference also indicate the ‘role, structure and format’ of a revised Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF) should be considered in the review. We understand the Advisory Committee will seek sector feedback on a revised model shortly.
Coming soon - MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference
The MAV Rural and Regional Planning Conference will be held in the last week of June or the first week of July with the date still to be confirmed.
We have a bumper list of keynote speakers and workshops to enable delegates to nut out the big issues. Our events and sponsorship team have been given a brief to top our venue from last year.
Further details will be announced soon.
Planning Delegation Report
Making the most of the Christmas break, we surveyed planning directors to understand the different approaches to planning delegation across the sector.
The majority of councils completed the survey, which means you worked over the break.
A short report summarising the results will be distributed to the sector. We hope the report will inform future reviews of your delegation procedures.
Greyhound Racing Review
The MAV along with Shepparton, Ballarat, Bendigo, Wellington, Casey and Geelong councils participated in a review of the Greyhound Industry and the planning system at the request of the Premier and Minister for Racing, Denis Napthine.
The review was focused on developing a code similar to the Tennis Code. The MAV forwarded our views on the review to the department last week.
We understand it is being recommended that the code now go through a public consultation process to seek broader feedback.
CFA and MAV BMO Standard Planning Permit Conditions Review
The CFA and the MAV commissioned Glossop Town Planning to assist with a CFA review of its standard planning permit conditions and identify opportunities to improve drafting and supporting material.
This was following some concerns that conditions can be difficult to understand, for both applicants and council staff.
To inform the review a small working group of councils was established. The CFA has agreed to prepare a document which sets out plain language explanations of its standard planning permits and conduct a detailed review of its standard planning permit conditions in consultation with councils.
The CFA has advised that the plain language explanatory document and draft conditions incorporating feedback from the working group will be circulated to the planning directors for comment in March.
On behalf of the MAV, I’d like to thank Greater Shepparton, Greater Bendigo, Golden Plains, Murrindindi, Nillumbik, Northern Grampians, South Gippsland, Surf Coast, Whittlesea and Yarra Ranges councils for their involvement in the working group and the CFA for engaging with the sector on this important issue.
Planning Workforce Survey Report
The Department of Transport Planning and Local Infrastructure (DTPLI) has published a survey report on the Victorian planning workforce titled Who We Are: Victoria’s Planning Workforce 2013.
The Department’s Office of Planning Performance, in partnership with the MAV and PIA undertook three online surveys to inform the report.
The results indicate that we are a young, high qualified and satisfied workforce with an even gender balance. The MAV would like to thank planning directors for undertaking the survey and we hope the results are useful.
MAV calls for an update on the Development Contributions Review
All has gone quiet on the Development Contributions Review front. We have written to the Minister calling for an update on the review initiated in 2011.
We hope to see some progress over the next couple of months. For those of you keen to understand the different approaches to Development Contributions nationally, PIA is running a Leading Practice Forum on 27-28 February at the Melbourne Museum Theatre.
The forum will include presentations from a range of different government and industry speakers, including Peter Seamer, CEO of the Metropolitan Planning Authority, Pat Fensham from SGS Economics and Planning and Adrian Miller, Director Infrastructure Contribution Reform, NSW.
Feedback provided on Agricultural Land Use Overlay
The Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and the DTPLI met with the MAV to run through our report detailing the sector’s views on the concept of an Agricultural Overlay.
The concept of developing an Agricultural Overlay was identified in the draft Metropolitan Strategy as an option for investigation.
We sought feedback from planning directors in December.
The report was forwarded to the Department. For further information contact Stuart Grigg.
Final call for the MAV STEP Planning Improvement Program 2013-14
We are making our final call for councils to join the MAV STEP Planning Improvement Program 2013-14.
Process performance can be a costly exercise when undertaken individually and the MAV provides value to councils through a low cost and structured program that allows councils to make efficiency breakthroughs.
This program has delivered measureable results to many councils who have taken part in it to date.
The program includes:
- Initial self-assessment – A local government consultant visits your council and runs through an assessment process with planners, records and engineers (the more involved the better for this stage) to formulate an initial assessment of the council's issues and needs. This process is fed back to the program’s process engineers and is used as the starting point for the process
- Folio of analysed data specific to your council created by the program’s process engineers
- Full day audit workshop held at the MAV offices to review council’s data, analyse issues and assist council in redesigning planning processes
- Four hour program workshop – either webinar access available or attend in person at the MAV offices
- Access to STEP Planning Yammer website, a secure social media facility set up to post resources and share experiences between councils enrolled in the program.
The benefits for councils are:
- Improved efficiencies
- Better planning outcomes by freeing up resources for priorities
- Better risk, compliance and performance management and reporting
- Ability to set, monitor and improve levels of service
- Access to consistent and sound performance data
- Access to good practice ideas and procedures.
For further information or to see if your council is already enrolled please call the MAV STEP Planning Improvement Program team on (03) 9667 5529
In other news...
GAIC Works In Kind Guidelines released
The Growth Areas Infrastructure Contribution (GAIC) is designed to contribute to the funding of essential state infrastructure in Melbourne's growth areas.
The Department has released guidelines for Work In Kind Agreements.
Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee appointed
Consistent with our submissions on the reformed zones and the Advisory Committee recommendations, a Residential Zones Standing Advisory Committee has now been established to assist councils introducing the new zones.
Councils have until the end of the month to make a request to DTPLI, who will prepare public notification documents before March - April 2014.
The committee will then review submissions and make recommendations to the Minister in May for gazettal by July.
Expiry of the Victorian Building Regulations
Victoria’s building regulations are sunsetting in June 2016 and DTPLI has begun work on reviewing the regulations. There are a number of stages to the review project, including evidence collection which will occur until June 2014, preparation of draft regulations in October 2014, and release of the Regulatory Impact Statement (RIS) in August 2015.
The basis of the review is that all regulations need to be justified even if they currently exist. There are also two particular policy areas, bushfire protection and environmental sustainability standards, for which considerable work will be undertaken.
Consultation will occur at the evidence gathering, draft RIS and final RIS stages. Councils interested in participating in the initial evidence gathering stage of the review can contact Michelle Croughan or Gareth Hately.
Central Geelong Action Plan approved
The City of Greater Geelong adopted its Central Geelong Action Plan on 28 January.
The plan represents a 15-year blueprint for attracting more investment and enticing more businesses and people to live, work, socialise, visit and play within central Geelong. It was developed by the Central Geelong Taskforce Special Committee in consultation with the community and a Stakeholder Reference Group.
The plan details a series of projects and implementation actions which are scheduled across three, five year periods and outlines how council intends to annually monitor and review the progress of the plan.
Well done City of Greater Geelong.
State Government to address live music venue planning issues
DTPLI are currently working on developing a planning policy response to recent conflicts between live music venues in the inner city and new residential developments.
The Minister has described the approach as relying on an ‘agent of change’ principle, which is intended to require new development to pay for sound proofing works at nearby venues.
The Department is currently exploring a range of policy options, including a review of EPA noise regulations, but cannot yet provide a specific timeframe for the project at this stage.
New Deputy Secretary for Planning
Christine Wyatt has been announced as the incoming deputy secretary for planning within DTPLI.
Christine was previously a global environment leader for consulting firm GHD and replaces outgoing deputy secretary Prue Digby, who has been appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Building Authority.
We welcome Christine to the role and look forward to engaging with her on behalf of the sector.
Interesting tid bits