Michael Buxton on Proposed Vic Planning Zones 3 – GoodBye Green Wedge

Michael Buxton is a well published expert on Planning from RMIT.

Search for him On the web and you will find a wealth of content, these excerpts are his review on the new proposed Victorian Planning revamp – and they are significant and in some cases scary. some topics you will have heard, but the extent of impact is Huge. We will break his report into several sections dealing with each Zone. This is the Green Wedge section.

Green wedge areas

The amended Green Wedge zone will remove restrictions on current non-urban uses leading to the use of the zone for a wide range of commercial uses. In effect, the new zone will render the urban growth boundary (UGB) irrelevant by allowing a wide range of urban related uses on either side of the UGB, effectively removing the differentiation between urban and rural land.

The detrimental effects on the landscapes and biodiversity of green wedges and Melbourne’s broader green belt will be substantial. Existing agriculture will also be detrimentally affected because the new range of commercial uses will bid up the price of rural land, reduce the comparative rate of return from agriculture and increase conflict between uses. Returns from commercial uses and subdivision will out compete agricultural returns. The planning system will enable substantial windfall profits from commercial uses on land which has always been rural. A new round of land speculation for rural land will be the result which can only benefit a small number of people.

Large residential hotel-conference/function centre-restaurant facilities and other forms of accommodation will be located in areas of high landscape amenity.

Major changes proposed are to allow:

  • primary produce sales to 50 sq mt as-of-right, and any other size subject to permit, on land outside 100 metres of a dwelling; and rural industry to 200 sq mt outside 100 metres of  dwelling
  • the introduction of intensive industrial type agricultural uses
  • removing key restrictions on the introduction of function centres, group accommodation, residential hotels, residential buildings and restaurants
    –  for function centres and restaurants, removing the requirement that they be used in            conjunction with agriculture, outdoor recreation, rural industry or winery, with a limit of 150 patrons or a number specified in a zone schedule, and on a lot equal          to the minimum subdivision area of the zone or at least 40 hectares
    –  for group accommodation and residential hotel, removing the same requirements  except that in place of 150 patrons, removing a limit on dwelling numbers of 40 dwellings for group accommodation and of 80 bedrooms for residential hotel
  • abattoir and intensive animal husbandry subject to permit
  • any other use subject to permit not in section 1 (as-of-right) or section 3 (prohibited) allowing a large range of uses not elsewhere specified. These include allowing a wide range of currently prohibited uses such as primary school, secondary school, place of assembly, medical centre and service station.


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