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31 July 2018

Amendment VC148 - Smart Planning

Amendment VC148 has been gazetted today which brings into action the second round of Smart Planning reforms. The Amendment makes changes across all Victorian Planning Schemes. There are two aspects to the amendment:

  • Changes to the zones, overlays and particular provisions aimed at reducing the number of Permit triggers to allow for a more efficient planning system; and
  • A policy neutral restructure which has reordered a number of provisions without changing the content. This is aimed at making the scheme more user friendly and easier to understand.

The key changes we’ve noted to the zones, overlays and particular provisions are:

  • Deletes several of the specific provisions, such as Clauses 52.12 (Service Station), 52.13 (Car Wash) and Clause 52.14 (Motor Vehicle, boat or caravan sales).
  • Amends Clause 52.06 (car parking requirements) to delete the requirement for a permit to reduce the number of car parks required for a new use in an existing building by up to 10 spaces in the C1Z, C2Z and ACZ (subject to conditions).
  • Reduces the parking requirement for locations within proximity of the PPTN, by applying the ‘Column B’ rates currently found in Clause 52.06.
  • Amends the Development Plan Overlay provisions to clarify when an application is exempt from notice and review.
  • Require the statement of significance be included in the schedule to the Heritage Overlay. 
  • Removes planning permit triggers for certain uses, such a convenience shop and takeaway food premises in the INZ1, and service industry and take away food premises in the INZ3.
  • Exempts an application from notice requirements under Clause 52.29 (Land Adjacent to a Road Zone), typically where consent is required from VicRoads to create or amend access onto a Road Zone 1.
  • Introduction of a specific controls overlay for extraordinary circumstances. 
  • A number of amendments to signage policy and application requirements.

Importantly, there are no new permit triggers as a result of the changes.

Reducing the number of permit triggers can be a positive step, particularly for low impact uses. The changes to the car parking requirements will also have a positive impact for new businesses in existing commercial areas, which are typically well-serviced by public transport.

In addition to the above, there are also some important structural changes to the scheme. These include:

  • Deletion of the SPPF and replacement with a new integrated Planning Policy Framework (PPF).
  • A new Clause 23 to contain the operation provisions currently within the LPPF.
  • Relocation of the VicSmart Provisions from Clause 90-95 to the relevant zone or overlay (for the permit triggers), and a new Clause 59 (for the operational provisions).
  • Reorganises the particular provisions to provisions which only apply to a specific area (Clause 51), provisions that include permit triggers and exemptions (Clause 52) and general requirements and performance standards (Clause 53).
  • Inserts a new ‘Operational Provisions’ sections (Clauses 70 - 74).

We’re all for a simplified and more efficient system, and hope these changes have a positive impact on the ground. It’s a lot to take in, and as with all planning scheme amendments, the full impacts often aren’t understood until it’s put into practice.

If you have any questions about how the changes might impact on your property or proposal, give us a call on 9429 3111.


Author: Claire Whelan, Senior Planner

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