Monday, April 30, 2012

changes to planning scheme - who's heard?

report from the roundtable - 24 apr
One of the items on this week's agenda was some proposed changes to the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPPs - they're the statewide planning controls).

The Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD) is seeking feedback to proposed changes to provisions that relate to walls on boundaries, community housing, residential aged care facilities and broiler farms.

The two that particularly caught my eye were the changes in relation to community housing and residential aged care facilities.

The changes put up for community housing raised concern with the proposed changes omitting of a number of standards as part of permit exemptions including neighbourhood character considerations, private open space requirements and energy efficiency requirements.

If changes to the VPPs mean we want buildings to stick out like sore thumbs, mean people live in places with no private open space and in buildings that cost a fortune to run then that is disgraceful. 

The other issue that particularly raised my ire was around residential aged care facilities. The proposed changes mean there would be no specific consideration to the location and the proximity of shops and public transport. What a shocking outcome this would be.

Council was concerned that the public had not had a good opportunity to understand or comment on the proposed changes and as such not only endorsed a submission to the DPCD highlighting our concerns but we will also be writing to the Minister for Planning seeking assurances that the community will be fully consulted on any proposed changes to the planning system that will
affect public consultation, notification and appeal rights.

Given this government's election commitment to open and transparent government I'd hope that the community is given ample opportunity to comment on changes to the planning scheme which will have a fundamental affect on the places they live, work and play.

Council supported the motion unanimously.

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