• Streamlining Approvals in PSP Areas: VPA Update


    Streamlining Approvals in PSP Areas: VPA Update

    The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has written to advise UDIA Victoria of recent approvals by the Board of the VPA regarding completion of two projects, and to foreshadow the imminent release of a third Board- approved project, that will enhance the efficiency and outcomes of post-PSP approvals in VPA structure plan areas:

    · Generally in Accordance Guidance Note
    · Growth Area Model Planning Permit Conditions review
    · Small Lot Housing Code review

    These projects were funded by the Streamlining for Growth program. They are another example of the value of the program supporting systems improvement, speeding up approvals and helping achieve greater clarity and efficiency to support Greenfields planning.

    Generally in Accordance

    The Generally in Accordance Guidance Note – April 2020) assists the development industry, planners and referral authorities in interpreting the term ‘generally in accordance’ in the precinct structure plan (PSP) context.
    The goal is to ensure that relevant authorities interpret and apply PSP requirements as an enabler and facilitator of innovation, as well as a regulatory backstop to ensure quality standards are met.
    At its meeting on 15 April 2020, the VPA Board adopted the Generally in Accordance Guidance Note – April 2020). The guidance note can be accessed on the VPA website at https://vpa.vic.gov.au/generally-in-accordance-guidelines/
    By way of background, it is a mandatory requirement of the Urban Growth Zone (UGZ) that a permit granted in a PSP area be generally in accordance (GiA) with the PSP. This approach ensures PSP requirements are met and also ensures that, where a proposal departs from the requirements of the PSP (and/or the Small Lot Housing Code), third party notice and appeal rights apply.
    While the legal meaning of ‘generally in accordance’ is considered relatively settled, its application in individual circumstances has been a source of recurring inconsistency of views between councils, landowners and other stakeholders.
    As well as providing a useful resource for practitioners, the VPA believes the guidance will also promote a better understanding of PSPs and an increased confidence in their use as a flexible and effective tool in planning for sustainable and resilient communities.

    Growth Area Model Planning Permit Conditions review

    This purpose of this document is to achieve greater consistency in the structure and wording of conditions attached to growth area subdivision permits.

    The document has been prepared to assist responsible authorities, referral authorities and industry professionals operating in Melbourne’s growth areas with the drafting of planning permits and conditions. Planning departments in Melbourne’s Growth Area Councils will be encouraged to use this document to promote a level of consistency in the way planning permits are drafted and efficiently deliver on legislative objectives
    At its meeting on 13 May 2020, the VPA Board adopted the Greenfields Subdivision Permits – A Model Approach May 2020. This document supersedes the 2011 manual. Once again, this document can be accessed on our website at https://vpa.vic.gov.au/greenfield-subdivision-permits/

    Small Lot Housing Code review

    Finally, you may be aware that the VPA has been working on an update to the Small Lot Housing Code. The update will refine aspects of the current (2014) Code to address a number of implementation issues. We expect that the updated Code will come into effect in the near future.
    The Code is a critically important measure that supports housing diversity, affordability and design quality in PSP areas by providing a simple easy-to-use set of requirements that, if followed, obviate the need for a planning permit for dwellings on lots under 300 square metres. We know the Small Lot Housing Code is highly regarded by industry and is another example of a project funded by Streamlining for Growth, further highlighting the value of this program.