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20 March 2018

Have Your Say: Land Use Terms Discussion Paper Out Now

Just as Shakespeare mused on the meaning of a name in Romeo and Juliet, planners and the public are being asked to turn their thoughts to the less romantic but important issue of land use terms following the release of a new discussion paper by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP).

The need to update and modernise the description of land use terms to reflect current practices was identified as part of the broader reforms of the Victorian Government’s Smart Planning Program.

The prohibition of smaller-scale food production facilities, such as breweries and chocolate factories, in some zones, accommodating modern concepts of pop-up galleries and shops, and the lack of clarity on how café is defined have exposed the current terms as out of step with present day commercial and community expectations.

The two-person Land Use Terms Advisory Committee, consisting of members Lester Townsend and Katherine Navarro, was established following the Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions: A discussion paper, released in October last year.

Ratio Consultant’s comprehensive submission on the Paper supported a review of land use terms.

The Land Use Terms Advisory Committee Discussion Paper seeks to lead the feedback with 67 questions reflecting on the finer points of redefining existing land uses terms and how new terms can be created that better align with current industry needs in a manner that is also not restrictive to emerging uses.

Recognising that not every proposal will fit a land use term like Cinderella’s slipper, the process’ guiding principles include focussing on what needs control due to particular amenity concerns and defining uses only when there is a need to aid interpretation.

The Committee is will also consider the legal and practical implications of land use term changes including existing use rights, consequential amendment to other aspects of the Victorian Planning Provisions (i.e. zones), and the potential effect on users of the planning system.

Submissions are due 3 April 2018. Further information on the Land Use Terms Advisory Committee can be accessed at


Author: Dean Savage, ratio: Senior Planner

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