Green Wedge & “Accomodation”

Rosa Miot & I went to Parliament house last Thursday to hear about “Planning Reforms” from the Planning Minister Brian Tee, and RMIT Professor Michael Buxton.

There were several topics covered in some detail, and a lot of enthralling reading handed out – I hope to have the soft copies on this site soon.

As previously discussed, a number of types of development will no longer require scrutiny, nor will you be able to object to them, they will pass as a right of Act.

Although all areas are affected by the new rule soon to be rules, some of the most obvious ones affect the current green wedge protected areas….Dramatically.

You can still submit opinions on these changes and others in VICSMART / CODE-ASSESS until Sept 21st 2012.

Green Wedge : Beware of new definitions of permit allowed activities in the Green wedge – referred to as “Accommodation”

  • Abbattoir, sawmill, Medical center, place of assembly, schools.
  • Function center  (Prior restrictions : link to agriculture, 150 patron limits, min lot of 40 hectares – ALL GONE)
  • Group accomodation ( Prior restrictions: link to aggriculture, limit of 40 dwellings, min lot of 40 hectares – ALL GONE)
  • Research Center ( Prior restrictions: link to agriculture, min lot of 40 hectares – ALL GONE)
  • Residential Building ( Prior restrictions: link to aggriculture, non-normal residence, min lot of 40 hectares – ALL GONE)
  • Restaurant (Prior restrictions : link to agriculture, 150 patron limits, min lot of 40 hectares – ALL GONE)
  • Also service stations & display homes are no longer prohibited.

Other major changes in Residential areas with new zones all around, and no clear guide as to how the council will be expected to merge / replace their overlays ( Like DD08 , C96 , etc) with the new state wide zones.

Generally the state level zones have the most power, and the overlays have too much discretion weakening them. The one that seems to match Manningham DD08 (areas around activity centres,) is the RGZ – and that would take height limits from 9/10/11 meters to 12.5mtrs, which would allow most buildings to reach four storeys – even inside streets.

Code Assess was just one part of the changes, more are passing through State Gov as we speak, and some of them are “Enabling” policies, such that the concept is enacted, and the detail added later, when it’s too late for us to change it. These “Classes of Permit” are undefined, and will be implemented later via Planning Scheme amendments.

It certainly puts the power in the hands of the developers, & you have ot wonder about the long term affect on Melbourne’s livability.

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