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Regional Growth Plans update and response to questions Damien Kennedy, Department of Planning & Community Development MAV Rural Land Use Planning Forum.

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Presentation on theme: "Regional Growth Plans update and response to questions Damien Kennedy, Department of Planning & Community Development MAV Rural Land Use Planning Forum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Regional Growth Plans update and response to questions Damien Kennedy, Department of Planning & Community Development MAV Rural Land Use Planning Forum 4 November 2011

2 Regional Growth Plans

3 Regional Growth Plans will Enable streamlining of development planning Set out a strategic land use and settlement framework Identify core regional economic values and features to be supported Improve resilience through avoiding hazards Set out a confident land budget and key infrastructure requirements Identify and progress resolution of anomalies impeding effective growth Identify regional landscape scale outcomes Have or lead to a statutory impact Be a basis for improving Municipal Strategic Statements and regional input to State Planning Policy Framework

4 Alignments DPCD Work Metropolitan Strategy Peri Urban Population Strategy Regional Cities growth planning Ongoing DPCD work / place based work with local governments Other Departments and Agencies Examples..... Transport Solutions DSE Catchment Management Strategies Coastal Murray River Settlement Strategy Future Farms Bushfire / Flood work Election commitments Etc etc

5 Scope and focus strategic land use and settlement framework through a map/diagram (readable at A3) that shows a broad outline of future direction and the nature of change. infrastructure analysis informed by current and future land use patterns (with graphic illustration) will inform regional level infrastructure considerations. high level growth area frameworks (diagrams) for key urban growth centres. The plan may include targeted locations or nodes for accelerated and future development and staging considerations. environmental, economic, social and cultural resources – identification and geographic location of key regional assets to be preserved, improved or created. land use planning direction for accommodating urban growth, including residential, commercial, industrial and community activity, as well as agriculture and other rural activities and regional or state scale infrastructure. land budgets - short, medium and long term (development ‘pipelines’) for residential and employment land (infill, consolidation and greenfield)

6 Partnership with local government Minister wants an ‘equal partnership’ approach with local government to develop plans - all regional councils involved Partnership reinforced through governance arrangements (Steering Committees of CEOs and key Regional Directors; joint Chair arrangement) Each council represented in a ‘home plan’ - some are also involved or contributing to adjoining plans given practical links Commenced work with local government in July and August 2011 Inception meetings held with councils in July / August All Steering Committees up and running now Technical working groups being formed Initial grants of $100k for each sub-region – significant additional DPCD resources

7 Timelines and process Key StagesMODEL Dates Project Initiation and Data Review Partnerships & Governance, Project Charter, Communications plans July – August 2011 Development of Issues PapersSeptember – October 2011 Integrated Issues Analysis Vision, Values and Principles Scenarios, based on opportunities and constraints map Public consultation on scenarios to inform options for growth Consultation with key stakeholders on preferred options November – March 2012 Develop Draft RGPs Executive summary, Main report, Supporting documentation, Maps April – June 2012 Public Consultation* *Note council elections in October. Timing of consultation may vary project by project. July – August 2012* *or December 2012 Develop Final RGPsSeptember – February 2013 Council EndorsementMarch – May 2013 Ministerial Endorsement Includes consideration of status of RGPs June – November 2013

8 Issues raised at previous MAV Forum Questions & Answers Program planning & resourcing Climate change & data availability Planning issues

9 Program planning & resourcing

10 How can the regional growth planning process address local planning issues and reduce the need for local government strategic work? RGPs will identify a strategic view of land use at the regional / sub-regional level. This will inform and guide the need for any further detailed local strategic planning and in a lot of cases will confirm existing strategic direction. Many Municipal Strategic Statements have not been or are due to be reviewed and refreshed. RGPs will provide a refreshed strategic context and directions for local use and development. RGPs can support and reduce the workload associated with this, particularly for smaller councils who in many cases have experienced challenges with maintaining the currency of local and regional strategic work due to resource pressures. The RGP also provides the opportunity to align local strategic views between local government areas and Department and Agency thinking. The development of RGPs will involve the identification of local planning issues and a preferred approach towards these.

11 Program planning & resourcing How will the regional growth plans be implemented to achieve the planning outcomes? The outcome should be the starting point for any strategic project. The planning outcome will be RGPs that provide Councils with a clearer regional policy context to inform and influence future local strategic planning, scheme amendments and local decisions. Future re-zonings and decisions at the local or municipal level would be expected to have regard to achieving regional strategic outcomes as expressed in RGPs; they should identify preferred locations for different land uses and key nodes for growth. It is proposed that, on completion, each RGP will be provided to the Minister for Planning for consideration and endorsement. The Minister may then undertake a Ministerial Amendment to give effect to the RGP and its strategic directions in all Planning Schemes. The Minister would need to be satisfied that the RGP accords with State as well as local policies, that the relevant tests to undertake a Ministerial Amendment are met, and that sufficient engagement has occurred in each case. DPCD has provided information about RGPs to the Victorian Planning System Ministerial Advisory Committee so that the committee can give consideration to how RGPs can be implemented through the planning system.

12 Program planning & resourcing What is the expected accuracy and will it be reviewed? The RGP will identify land use directions at a regional level for the next 15 to 30 years based on existing information and incorporating new data where available. It is likely that further information required to improve on RGPs which will progressively become available. RGPs will be refreshed similar in timeframe to how MSSs are reviewed and will incorporate available data at that time.

13 Program planning & resourcing Should councils hold off undertaking major strategic projects that are due to commence soon? No. Upcoming projects should continue although consideration should be given to how future work aligns with or complements RGP work. There is an opportunity for councils to expand currently programmed work to include other local government areas or to expand the scope to answer any questions identified through the RGP process.

14 Program planning & resourcing Infrastructure has to follow the planning of the RGP - where does the money come from to supply and maintain the infrastructure required for growth? The cost of infrastructure, and its maintenance, is a consideration for identifying land uses within the RGP. Development of the RGPs with key agencies such as DoT, VicRoads, CMAs and water authorities will improve discussions about the costs of infrastructure and what the appropriate solutions to this could be.

15 Program planning & resourcing How feasible is it to achieve the regional growth plans in 2 years? Particularly for small councils? Project planning has identified a program of work, including milestones and corresponding timelines, to be undertaken to achieve regional growth plans within the 2 year timeframe, announced by the Minster for Planning. This process will utilise existing work and build on Regional Strategic Plans and work already undertaken by local government and other Departments and Agencies. The RGP Program has resources to ensure smaller councils are supported to participate in regional growth plans, in addition to a separate Rural Planning Flying Squad that will assist them with key strategic and statutory work.

16 Program planning & resourcing What is the resource commitment required by councils to make it work effectively? e.g. officer time, financial commitment DPCD wants RGPs to be developed through a partnership approach with local government. Local governments are encouraged to participate fully to maximise the benefits of taking a regional approach to land use planning. Local government commitment is sought to contribute time to fulfil governance arrangements including CEO involvement on the Project Steering Committee, Senior management and technical expertise in the Technical Working Group, and engagement with their elected members (in particular) and constituents. The nature of and extent to which local government resources will be drawn upon will vary throughout the project phases. DPCD has resourced to deliver the project through a Senior Project Manager and additional resources in each region, as well as a regionally-based team of 5 technical staff. A small central program management team oversees the program. Financial resources have already been granted to each RGP to commence the process ($100k in each of the seven RGP sub-regions). Other statewide will also be undertaken to deliver RGPs. In order for RGPs to work effectively, local governments need to ensure that they will be comfortable with the RGP produced and they are able to endorse and proceed to implement it as required to bring the RGP into effect.

17 Program planning & resourcing Are there any plans for DPCD to coordinate sharing of council staff across councils for the Regional Growth Planning Process? Local Governments have organised to develop Regional Growth Plans in partnership with DPCD. Where there is an opportunity or need for staff between councils to work together, this can be undertaken through mutually agreed arrangements. DPCD does not undertake a formal role but it is a matter for all members of Regional Growth Plan Project Steering Committees to consider how best to progress the development of their Regional Growth Plan.

18 Program planning & resourcing What work is being done on models for community engagement? In every region there are articulated community groups based around key issues e.g. wind farms who are very resistant to change - How can we manage this? Each of the 8 RGPs is developing a Stakeholder and Communications Plan that will identify key engagement opportunities for stakeholders and the community. DPCD will ensure assistance is provided to project teams to tailor their engagement to the needs of unique regional communities.

19 Program planning & resourcing Can the G21 model be used as a template for other councils? Could this be delivered through the DPCD website? The G21 Regional Growth Plan commenced earlier than the other seven projects, following on from work done under the G21 Regional Plan. Lessons learned from the G21 RGP are being incorporated into the RGPs across Victoria. These have included the adoption of a similar project plan, governance structures, and engagement and communication processes. The G21 has its own website through which a range of information and project documents will be made available as the project progresses. DPCD is establishing a website to provide information about all other RGPs. DPCD’s website will include a link to the G21 site. The 8 RGPs across Victoria are being developed to enable them to come together and form a total land use picture for all of regional Victoria.

20 Program planning & resourcing Can DPCD create templates for various study briefs? Using an information sharing portal just for councils to share experiences and documents? Yes. DPCD program and project staff will share information with RGP stakeholders on best practice study briefs and approaches to RPG related work. The DPCD project website will provide a location for sharing project documents associated with RGPs.

21 Climate Change & Data Availability

22 Climate change & data availability How does the regional growth planning process incorporate and plan for climate change when developing scenarios for growth? Climate change, as much as can be modelled and understood, will influence all appropriate sections of the RGP. For example, where possible long-term climate impacts on water availability or incidence of fire will be considered as growth is planned.

23 Climate change & data availability What will be the climate change impacts on planning zones? How can we manage development in catchments that are predicted to have 40% less water? Planning Policy and Reform Branch of DPCD will work with the Water Resources Division, Office of Water, DSE to secure the most current thinking on climate change impacts on water resources. The potential consequences for planning zones will be considered based on this information.

24 Climate change & data availability Are the climate change scenarios available for all of Victoria? Climate change scenarios are available for all of the state (run in 2008) - these are available for temperature and rainfall for 2030 and 2070 under 3 emissions scenarios for 10th, 50th and 90th percentiles. All the current information 2008 regional climate change profiles is available on This information is based on Victoria’s Catchment Management regions.www.climatechange.vic.gov.au

25 Climate change & data availability How will climate change data be integrated into state and regional planning schemes? The Climate Change Act 2010 requires all planning to consider climate change. Best available advice will be accessed through DSE and CSIRO to inform Regional Growth Plans.

26 Climate change & data availability How do we as planners use the land capability assessment data? Land capability assessment data is an important input to the mapping of opportunities and constraints for agriculture areas. At the Regional Growth Plan level this data will help confirm key productive areas that need to be protected from uses and development that may inhibit future production.

27 Climate change & data availability How can DPI’s land capability tool and climate change data be used in planning scheme policy development? The levels of reliability of the land capability tool will be confirmed by DPI in relation to climate change data. There is a need to resolve how guidance that refers to trends rather than absolutes is used in planning. This currently being tested through the G21 Regional Growth Plan.

28 Climate change & data availability Will local climate google maps provide probability components? CSIRO is working on this approach but this work is unlikely to be available for use in the first iteration of Regional Growth Plans.

29 Climate change & data availability Data requirements - social, environmental, economic? DPCD RGP project teams are currently preparing Issues Papers that identify the key data that exists to inform RGPs, as well as any gaps in information required to go forward. A lot of relevant data is already available from the Regional Strategic Plan process and projects undertaken by councils. At the regional level, some of the information gaps will be able to addressed through work authorised by Project Steering Committees that utilises the $100K grants. Where there are gaps in data that have statewide or cross regional implications DPCD will commission work.

30 Planning Issues

31 Planning issues How do you prevent the small lots (too small for farming) from becoming rural living lots that then impacts on land values and reduces the ability of neighbouring farmers to buy them out? This issue will continue to be a problem where there are willing buyers prepared to pay a premium for “lifestyle” purposes and smaller lots in farming areas created by previous subdivision. The RGP, however, provides an opportunity to take a regional strategic view of farming land and areas that may be suitable for rural living. The land use planning system includes clear statements about the protection of agricultural and non-urban land, and seeks to direct rural living development to appropriate areas (Clauses & of the Victoria Planning Provisions and Ministerial Direction No. 6 – Rural Residential Development).

32 Planning issues It does so firstly by limiting the subdivision of land below a certain size, with the objective of preventing further fragmentation of agricultural land. In the Farming Zone for example, the default minimum lot size for subdivision is 40 hectares. Many rural shires have taken advantage of existing flexible provisions in the planning system to amend their local planning schemes, and set minimum lot sizes for subdivision that best suit the needs of agricultural enterprise in their region. Secondly, to encourage more concentrated settlement patterns and discourage dispersed urban activities in rural areas, there is usually a limit in planning schemes of one dwelling being built on farm land unless associated with agricultural activity. This is also to ensure that non-agricultural uses do not adversely affect the use of land for agriculture on neighbouring properties (Clause 35.07).

33 Planning issues The Rural Living Zone provides for residential use in a rural environment. It is the zone that caters for lots in a rural setting that are large enough to accommodate a dwelling and a farming use. Because of the zone’s primarily residential function, a planning authority must be able to show that using the Rural Living Zone is part of a strategy to provide appropriate housing diversity and choice to meet housing needs. In the Rural Living Zone, development must be provided with physical and social infrastructure and employment (Clause ) normally expected for residential areas. Implementing a strategy that provides for appropriate housing diversity and choice in appropriate locations to meet housing needs, together with planning controls that limit dwelling approvals in the Farming Zone (not associated with farming), gives Councils a sound basis for refusing inappropriate dwelling applications in the Farming Zone.


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