Melbourne – The worlds’ most livable city still – Let’s keep it that way.

Now is the time – Last chance for another important step in maintaining what it is that you love about your home, and your City.

State Gov Planning changes – Code Assess – Your submission due by 5pm this Friday 21 September 2012 – example below.

State Gov Planning Reforms

Do put in a submission – even if you just use our laymen’s’ one below, the reforms focus is getting developments red tape removed to promote the building economy.

The reforms will achieve this by allowing significantly bigger things in more places including green wedge, and by removing residents’ rights to object. If it meets the guidelines there will be little or no avenue for appeal.

And most of those guides lines are not yet defined, nor are the allocation of the new zones to current places.

Comment Page : Start at the link below and copy  / paste the text below. (Maximum 3000 character per paste on the web site – ours is 4200ch)    Or if you prefer; refine then attach the word document that is attached here  RAIDID Planning Reform submission 2012-09-19   You can nominate which zone regulation you are submitting upon, or choose general at the bottom. attachments will upload when you move to the next page.

Our submission thoughts – feel free to refine to your own thoughts, get technical,  or use as is…

Melbourne – The worlds’ most livable city still – Let’s keep it that way.

The reasoning behind this amazing livability award is based around considerations which include; traffic, safety, infrastructure, education, and lifestyle.

Any new reforms should seek to protect our character, and lifestyle that makes Melbourne unique, from the city to the fringes.

Further more the proposed regulations seek to cover the state but seem to have little consideration for anything outside of the Metro areas. Our country Cities, Townships, and country side need to have their unique characters maintained and nurtured, not replaced as soon as economically viable.

We see the new reforms as incomplete and detrimental to the very amenities that define each person’s home, and neighborhood.

We also see the continued need for third party appeal process to maintain each person’s ability to take an active role in shaping / protecting their neighborhood when changes are proposed.

The current building slowdown is the ideal time not to weaken planning controls, but to strengthen them to ensure that appropriate development is channeled to appropriate locations in the long-term community interest, especially with the pressing need for development to be more sustainable in light of climate change, peak oil, transport congestion and other inadequate infrastructure.


A. Simplification is needed, both in the process and in the definitions applied to each area, but it cannot be at the detriment of the existing character of a neighborhood.

  1. Remove ambiguity, consolidate and remove conflicting regulations.
  2. Set absolute limits.
  3. Use language that can be understood by laymen – Eg the use of building storeys and height limits. Minimum setbacks, and maximum site coverage.


B. These new policies should not be passed until the full set of regulations and schedules are defined. It is impossible to get true understanding or submissions prior to the complete information being published and reviewed.


C. Maintain third Party Appeal rights.

1. A third party appeal by a resident or neighbor is only likely to ever happen once a development submission is made, this is a necessary right, as it is very likely to be the first time they understand the true outcome of the planning rules as it applies to them.  An average person, buying a home cannot be expected to read & understand every planning regulation dot point during their purchase, or how a creative builder might apply them. Further more existing owners should not have to track and understand planning changes to the same extent. Consider how much harder it is to comprehend for those that do not speak English as a first language.

2. The proposed changes will lead to increased uncertainty, which will result in more ‘red tape’, not less.

3. To improve the accessibility, effectiveness, quality and impartiality of Reviews boards such as VCAT, expert witnesses should be appointed by the review panel to consider the proposal impartially. Thus avoiding the current situations where the developer has access to a raft of experts no normal objector / resident could ever match.

D. Erosion of residential amenity – Keep Side Streets for low density residences.

Residential streets in suburbia should continue to exclude non-compatible uses such as Hotels, Nightclubs, Offices and restaurants. Their hours of operation will cause conflict with sleeping neighbors, let alone traffic and parking conflicts.


E. Set Appropriate Growth Targets, and building zones that limit to those targets.

1. Growth without destroying the character that exists. This existing character is why those living there want to be there.

2. Growth that can be accommodated by the infrastructure. Parking, Traffic, Public Transit.

3. Respect the significant value of neighbors’ amenities; Light, Privacy, Vegetation, Quiet, Views, Set Backs.

4. Spread the Growth, it can be accommodated without loosing the Green Wedges, or turning suburban side streets into high rise apartments.


F. Keep the Green Wedge Green.

The new definitions of accommodation uses is too broad definitions, and the removal of many controls will effectively allow the consumption of the Green Wedge areas for anything but the purpose they were created. Too many developments can proceed without design review nor public scrutiny in these proposed changes.

Green Wedge and Farming areas need to be maintained as an integral part of our broader city.

G. The twelve month period offered for the councils to nominate the areas covered by each new zone will be insufficient, considering that all zone schedules would also have too be defined and committed, before the councils could proceed.

In summary the changes proposed are incomplete, and not thorough enough.

They will cause significant and ongoing confusion, as well as remove the ability for the vast majority of residents to have their amenities protected, and their concerns fairly heard.

We recommend that they are not passed in their present form, and that more thorough definitions are completed, with greater focus on what makes our state and city the greatest place in the world to live.


Thank you for this opportunity to submit.




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