In this issue:                                                                     July, 2015

Infrastructure contributions
Heritage Act review
Managing residential character: report released
Floodplain Management
Apartment review
Metropolitan levy
Native vegetation
Site contamination
Interesting tid bits

What’s happening in planning?

Welcome to the July 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.

Infrastructure contributions

An Infrastructure Contribution Implementation Reference Group has been established to provide the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) with input into various implementation decisions, such as deciding the criteria for development settings, and establishing standard levy rates. The MAV is represented along with Banyule, Ballarat, Warrnambool, Whittlesea and Wyndham councils.

The first meeting has been held and we intend to seek input into the process from all councils.

The Planning and Environment Amendment (Infrastructure Contributions) Bill 2015 is currently before parliament, and is expected to be debated by the Legislative Council in August. The government priorities for implementation are growth areas followed by strategic development areas. Both of these development settings are included in the Bill, however, urban areas are not. DELWP advise that more work is required for urban areas and they intend to tackle this setting in 2016.

The Bill proposes that an Infrastructure Contribution Plan (ICP) be prepared to apply a standard levy (and a supplementary levy/levies where required). The ICP system will run alongside Development Contribution Plans (DCPs). Existing DCPs will continue and be required for urban areas that fall outside of strategic development areas.

Please look out for our emails seeking your input into proposals put by the Implementation Committee. Thank you to those that have provided feedback on the proposals already and those that have filled out the survey. This feedback will be used to inform a sector position paper.

For further information, email Michelle Croughan or call 9667 5541.

Heritage Act

A review of the Heritage Act 1995 is currently underway. Heritage Victoria has released a discussion paper which identifies a range of areas to strengthen the operation of the Act.

We held a briefing at the MAV on 14 July that outlined the initiatives of the discussion paper and provided the opportunity for questions.

Suggested improvements of particular interest to councils include additional emphasis to be given to the views of councils in the consideration of heritage permits, the potential designation of State significant precincts and cultural landscapes, increased enforcement provisions including increased penalties, and shifting the consideration of ‘subdivision of a place’ permits to councils instead of Heritage Victoria with the referral to Heritage Victoria.

We have prepared a draft submission to address these matters and have also suggested that the scope of the review be widened to include local heritage protection and the distinction between State and locally significant heritage. Feedback is sought by 31 July. Our submission has been circulated to planning directors for comment. Heritage Victoria has indicated some flexibility in the submission date.

If you are interested in finding out more there are still some information sessions underway in regional areas.

Managing residential character: report released

We are delighted to release our Managing Residential Character in Rural and Regional Victoria report.

The report was commissioned, with funding assistance from the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, in response to concerns expressed by rural and regional councils about their ability to manage residential development that is distinct from development occurring in metropolitan Melbourne.

Planisphere has undertaken some terrific work to define the essential characteristics of residential development in rural and regional areas, and outlines the range of mechanisms that can be used to guide improved future residential development and identified areas of potential reform.

We would like to thank the members of the Steering Committee (Greater Bendigo, MPA and DELWP) who provided valuable insights and generously gave their time. The input of the councils who provided case studies and/or attended the two workshops is also gratefully acknowledged.

We hope the report is of benefit to you and we welcome your feedback.

Floodplain Management

The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning have released a revised Draft Victorian Floodplain Management Strategy that is currently out for comment. The strategy sets a direction for floodplain management, defines policies and actions. The MAV has prepared a submission that has been circulated for comment.

The Draft Flood Management Strategy Port Phillip and Westernport (Flood Strategy) has also been released for consultation. The Draft Flood Management Strategy - Port Phillip and Westernport proposes a framework for managing flooding at a regional level, and sets the priorities for flood management in the region. A draft MAV submission on the Draft Flood Management Strategy Port Phillip and Westernport has been prepared.

For further information, contact Martijn Gough on 9667 5540.

Apartment review

The review of apartment standards ‘Better Apartments’ has commenced a consultation process with the release of a discussion paper. There is also a companion document the Minister's Forum Context Report.

Submissions to the discussion paper are due by 31 July. The MAV will make a short submission outlining State Council Resolutions about apartment standards.

Metropolitan levy

A new metropolitan planning levy was introduced on 1 July. The levy largely funds the work of the MPA.

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.

The levy rate is set at $1.30 per $1000 (or 0.13 per cent of the whole value of the development) for affected projects. This will be about six per cent of all planning permit applications received each year in the Melbourne metropolitan area.

Applicants will need to check if the levy applies to their application. If it does, the levy is paid straight to the State Revenue Office and a levy certificate issued. Councils are required to check that a valid levy certificate, if required, is submitted with an application.

For questions about the operation of the levy please contact the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning on 1300 366 356 or via email.

Native vegetation

The Department of Environment Land Water and Planning is reviewing the native vegetation permitted clearing regulations as part of an election commitment. A series of consultation sessions will be held across Victoria in July and August. There will be nine sessions in regional Victoria and two in Melbourne.

A survey has also been sent out seeking the views of local government. DELWP would like only one survey per council to be filled out.

Site contamination

Site Contamination Practitioners Australia is implementing a new national certification scheme for practitioners to benchmark, maintain and improve the standard of professional services in the contaminated site sector.

A directory is now available of all SCPA certified practitioners who are either accredited environmental auditors in their jurisdictions or have been assessed by accredited environmental auditors to deliver a standard and quality of assessment, management and remediation for contaminated sites.

The scheme is designed to complement the accredited environmental auditor system currently operating in Victoria. The new standard and certification schemes are relevant to those commissioning or reviewing site contamination reports or have involvement in contaminated land issues.

Councils seeking further information can contact Paul Saeki on (08) 8302 3933.

Interesting tid bits

  • City of Melbourne releases latest Development Activity Monitor
  • The NANA project: a new architecture for the new aged that advocates a better built environment for older people – NSW Architects Registration Board
  • MPA seminar on housing affordability on 11 August, 9:30am-12:45pm, MPA Boardroom, Level 25, 35 Collins Street, Melbourne. RSVP to Jenni Tesmer on (03) 9651 9616.
Upcoming MAV events...

19 - 20 August

MAV Technology National Conference

24 & 28 August

Facilitating Living Smart Course

26 - 27 August

The Future of Communities: Power to the People


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