_ANOTHER WAR ON PLANNING RED TAPE?
PLANNING SYSTEM REVIEW – ADVISORY COMMITTEE INITIAL REPORT
A recent media release from the Minister for Planning, Mr Mathew Guy, was titled “Government declares war on planning red tape“. The media release accompanied the Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee initial report (11 May 2012) along with the Government’s initial response to this report.
The Minister for Planning established the Advisory Committee, chaired by Mr Geoff Underwood, in mid 2011 to review the planning system in Victoria. The report (commonly referred to as ‘the Underwood Report’) and the Government’s initial response can be found via the following links.
- Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee, Initial Report (PDF – 2.4 MB)
- State Government response to the key findings of the initial report (PDF – 429 KB)
Some of the key recommendations of the initial report or items identified as needing further work include:
- continuing to develop a new metropolitan planning strategy and regional growth plans;
- clearly defining the roles and responsibilities and leadership of the Minister and DPCD;
- taking action to reduce the backlog of cases and waiting time at VCAT;
- considering changes to the role and operation of Planning Panels Victoria;
- re-examining the Municipal Strategic Statement, its role, its function and its place within the planning scheme;
- reviewing the adequacy of the current schedule of application fees;
- reviewing all stages in the amendment process to help reduce costs for all parties;
- giving further consideration to the practice of securing infrastructure funding via permit conditions;
- streamlining the processes associated with creating, amending and removing Section 173 agreements;
- developing a new code assessment process for straight forward, low impact permit applications;
- reviewing the permit and amendment processes to make them more efficient;
- giving further consideration to the structure of zones, including the possibility of allowing local variations;
- reviewing the operation of aspects of planning schemes, such as how local policy and planning overlays work;
- improving how the development contribution system works.
We will be very interested to see what planning system ‘reforms’ are instigated as a result of the Underwood report and particularly whether they will lead to a real reduction in planning red tape.
A NEW MELBOURNE METROPOLITAN PLANNING STRATEGY
The Victorian Government has also recently announced that they will be preparing a new Metropolitan Planning Strategy over the next two years. The Strategy is to provide a vision for Victoria over the next 30 to 40 years, along with the Regional Growth Plans.
For more information visit www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au
WHAT WILL THE STRATEGY CONSIDER?
The aim of the strategy is to ensure the valued aspects of Melbourne are protected while allowing for future needs including:
- housing choice;
- transport accessibility;
- economic growth;
- environmental protection;
- infrastructure and services to support growth.
The strategy will be informed by stakeholder and community input and feedback together with research and evaluation.
Preliminary consultation will begin with metropolitan councils and major planning stakeholders and will eventually include regional councils, certain community groups and the general public.
There are also a number of ‘forums’ on the website where views can be expressed about various aspects to be addressed by the Strategy.
The Strategy is at an early stage in its expected timeline and the results of the forthcoming consultation will be input into a discussion paper that will then lead to preparation of a draft strategy, which it is anticipated will released for public comment before finalisation and implementation.
The following timeline indicates where in the process we sit at the moment.
STRATEGIC PLANNING HISTORY – WORTH A LOOK
The Strategy web page provides a link to historic strategic planning documents that have guided development in Victoria since the 1920s. We encourage you to have a look through this interesting planning history of Victoria – these documents shed some light on various features of Melbourne.
For more information on the Underwood Report or the Metropolitan Strategy and how it could affect you, please contact