Amendment VC148 – Changes To all Victoria Planning Provisions

On 31 July 2018 the Minister for Planning gazetted Amendment VC148 to introduce a suite of changes to all Victoria Planning Provisions. The Amendment provides the most significant overhaul of the Victorian Planning Schemes since they were first introduced in 1997.

The changes are a result of the Government’s Smart Planning Reform Program – a long term project to simplify and modernise planning in Victoria.

The Amendment has two aspects:

1. A significant restructure to all Victorian Planning Schemes which includes:

  • Combining State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF) and Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF) into a new Planning Policy Framework (PPF). The PPF is then broken up into 3 tiers:
    • Statewide policies which apply to all planning schemes in Victoria to deal with matters of state significance;
    • Regional policies derived from Regional Grown Plans and Plan Melbourne and which deal with matters of state significance that apply to planning schemes based on geographic and thematic policy groupings; and
    • Local policies which apply to an individual local planning scheme and deal with matters of individual significance.

The first two tiers are implemented by the Amendment, with the move of current local policy content in the Local Planning Policy Framework (LPPF) to form part of the PPF in the future.

Councils will be required to prepare a Municipal Planning Strategy (MPS) when local policies move from the LPPF.

  • A new Clause 23 to contain the operation provisions currently within the LPPF.
  • Integration of the State VicSmart applications so that they now form part of the relevant zones and overlays.
  • Reorganisation of particular provisions to provisions which only apply to a specific areas (Clause 51), provisions that include permit triggers and exemptions (Clause 52) and general requirements and performance standards (Clause 53).

2. Changes to specific zones, overlays and particular provisions to improve their structure and operation, including:

  • Changes to the Heritage Overlay to mandate a statement of significance for any added heritage place.
  • Deletes the requirement for a planning permit to reduce the number of car parking spaces for a new use by up to 10 spaces in the commercial zones (subject to conditions).
  • Reduces the car parking requirement for locations within proximity to the Principal Public Transport Network.
  • Applications under Clause 52.29 (Land Adjacent to a Road Zone) are now exempt from notice and review.
  • Phasing out of the Priority Development Zone (PDZ).
  • Alterations to Clause 52.05 regarding signage, including policy and application requirements.
  • Removal of planning permit triggers for certain uses, including convenience shop, take away food premises and service industry in industrial zoned areas.
  • Introduction of a new Specific Controls Overlay (SCO) to replace the particular provision at Clause 52.03. Although it will have the same function (ie. Enabling specific controls in an Incorporated Document to override other parts of the Planning Scheme), it will now appear in Planning Scheme Maps and Property Certificates, making it easier to assess when an Incorporated Document applies to a site. Currently incorporated documents will be transferred to the SCO.

No new permit triggers have been implemented as a result of the changes. Importantly, there are no transitional provisions as it is not expected that applications will be disadvantaged by the Amendment.

For more information about the changes implemented by the Amendment, including how they may impact on any of your current applications, please contact our office.

This update does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. It is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on matters of interest and it is not intended to be comprehensive. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.