Green Wedges proposed planning scheme amendments

Proposed planning scheme amendments

Purpose

The purpose of this listing of proposed planning scheme amendments (attached as a pdf file) is to alert your groups to any proposed land use changes in your municipal planning scheme that may be of concern to your organisation for the future of the Green Wedges.. And assist in pointing your organisation to the appropriate sources of information and most importantly timelines. Please forward this information to any groups as you think appropriate.

Introduction

The following information on how proposed planning amendments are handled in Victoria may be second nature to a number of you but experience shows that most people have at best a rudimentary understanding of the planning system and are often either unaware of the opportunities afforded for community participation or intimidated by its seeming complexity.

Municipal planning schemes

Municipal planning schemes are the key instrument for governing land use and development in Victoria. Every municipality is responsible for an individual planning scheme covering its local government area. Any proposed future changes to the individual planning schemes must be the subject of a planning scheme amendment process. This process is standard across all municipalities and incorporates provision for public participation.  Such amendments will often propose major changes in land use such as from rural to urban land use. Others may be more about proposed changes to the future nature of development allowed such as height of buildings or density of sub division.

All proposed planning scheme amendments must first obtain ministerial authorisation for preparation and will involve documentation, the extent of which expands with the scale and potential impact of the propose changes. Proposals may ultimately require to be accompanied by an Environment Effects Statement.

Public participation

All this documentation is required to put on public exhibition by the appropriate planning authority that is most commonly the municipal council where the proposal is located.

Public exhibition and submissions

So initially the essential thing to do is find out when the proposed amendment is going on public exhibition and the closing dates for submissions. The minimum period for exhibition and receipt of submissions by the respective planning authority is usually one month. This relatively short period means that community organisations need to be alert to any proposed changes and review their potential environmental impact and if decided respond by the due deadline for submissions.

Planning panels

There is a second opportunity for public participation if the planning authority (e.g. municipal council) decides on receipt of the public submissions that a planning panel be requested.  The role of a planning panel would be to provide an independent assessment of the proposed amendment. 

These panels are organised through Planning Panels Victoria and the planning panels provide for public participation through consideration of submissions and opportunity to be heard at the panel hearings.

The first step in the panel process is a Directions Hearing and people wishing to make a submission to the Panel Hearing should attend this Directions Hearing to make this formally known and subsequently complete a ‘Request to be Heard’ form.  People making submissions are not subject to cross examination at the panel hearing but questions of clarification can be directed through the panel chair.

Expert witnesses can be called by community organisations (e.g. a person with good knowledge of an issue) to present at the panel hearing and these people can be subject to cross examination.

The planning panels offer a very real opportunity for the issues of concern to be heard and thoroughly considered by the panel members.

The planning panel ultimately prepares a report for a planning authority that contains recommendations to accept, modify or reject the proposed amendment. These recommendations (in contrast to VCAT) are not binding and after consideration by the planning authority are forwarded for a final determination to the Minister for Planning.

Comprehensive information on the planning panel process is available at the Planning Panels Victoria website.

Listing of proposed planning scheme amendments

The source of the information for this listing comes from  State Government website for proposed planning scheme amendments..

I will update this listing of proposed planning scheme amendments on a monthly basis.

If you find an amendment that may be of interest

If you find an amendment that may be of interest and you want to investigate further go to the State Government website for 'Planning Scheme Amendments Online' and access the proposed amendment documentation.

Abbreviations

These are abbreviations used in the table text.

DH = Directions Hearing

PH = Panel Hearing

Further information

I have identfied with pale blue shading two proposed planing scheme amendments that I know have direct relevance to the Green Wedges and would appreciate if you could look at the proposed amendments for the respective municialities encompassed in your Green Wedge areas. I would also be happy to provide further explanation of the process you might want.

My email contact are

Email: alancthatcher@gmail.com

Mobile: 0417387678

 

Alan Thatcher

12/04/16

 

Green Wedges: 
Date: 
Tuesday, 12 April, 2016
Author: 
Alan Thatcher