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Topics in this presentation Why review the system 2. What the Committee did 3. Who are the committee? 4. Themes & Issues 5. What the Committee said 6.

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Presentation on theme: "Topics in this presentation Why review the system 2. What the Committee did 3. Who are the committee? 4. Themes & Issues 5. What the Committee said 6."— Presentation transcript:


2 Topics in this presentation Why review the system 2. What the Committee did 3. Who are the committee? 4. Themes & Issues 5. What the Committee said 6. Key messages 7. What next?

3 Why review the system? The Planning & Environment Act amended 54 times reprinted 9 times in 25 years

4 Statistics, statistics and.... 82 planning schemes average of 730 pages total approximately 60,000 pages longest planning scheme has 1,377 pages

5 VPP statistics There are 32 VPP state standard zones 23 VPP overlays Across the State there are: 1,579 different zone schedules 2,161 overlay schedules 840 Clause 22 local policies plus incorporated and reference documents

6 Planning permits in 2010-2011 57,280 planning permit applications 48,335 new applications 7,633 amended permits Decision days median number of days was 76 average gross days was 122 days 62% of all applications were decided within the statutory timeframe of 60 days

7 more stats 96% of all permit applications got a permit 94% decided under delegation 16% had objections 3,427 matters went to VCAT – 7% of all applications total estimated cost of works was $23.2 billion

8 One man’s opinion “...the Victorian planning system has become too complex. The system has become clogged with planning applications, many of which are unnecessary and do not achieve a net planning benefit.” Submission from a planning consultant

9 Planning schemes In 2010 - 2011 About 460 planning scheme amendments across the State per year 201 by ministerial action 259 through the usual process 131 panel hearings and advisory committees 99% of them done within PPV timelines or no later than 7 days after the due date

10 K.I.S.S. the system “ You'd have to be a masochist to read through all the relevant planning documents that theoretically need to be considered as part of a planning application. They're verbose, sloppy, repetitive, and have key information widely dispersed. Its time for talented editors and graphic designers to give at least Planning Schemes a makeover.” Individual submission

11 Reasons to act 1.The statutory framework is now a quarter of a century old, and is overburdened with a multitude of add-ons; 2.There have been significant changes to local, national and global conditions that affect people’s lives; and 3.State Government is preparing a new Metropolitan Strategy for Melbourne and 8 growth plans for regional Victoria.

12 Expectations For any system: make it work to achieve what it is intended to achieve For the Victorian Planning System: a system that can perform efficiently and effectively

13 Benchmarking 2011 Productivity Commission Report compared with other states and territories Victoria’s planning system performed comparatively well Least worst system

14 What the committee did Terms of Reference “...provide advice on ways of improving the planning system including the legislative base, the structure of planning schemes including the structure of state and local policy provisions, as well as regulations under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.”

15 Our tasks Advise on ways of improving the planning system Call for submissions Categorise and prioritise the submissions Advise on the perceived efficiency of the planning system from the varied perspectives of the users Recommend areas of further study

16 Listening 547 submissions Heard from 130 parties in presentations Visited each of the DPCD regions across the state

17 Prompt questions 1.What is good about the system? 2.What works well and what doesn't? 3.What are the ways to fix the problems and improve the system? 4.How can the planning system be more effective and efficient? 5.How can the planning system be made easier to access and understand? 6.Is the present planning system right for Victoria? 7.Are the respective roles of State and Local Government in the planning system still appropriate?

18 An easy job ‘Review’ ‘Improve’ ‘Improving the planning system’ Produce a submissions review

19 Who are the committee? The forgotten five : 1.Catherine Heggen 2.David Keenan 3.Terry Montebello 4.Jane Nathan 5.Leigh Phillips

20 Issues Four key themes: 1.Leadership of planning in Victoria 2.Architecture and structure of the planning system 3.Administration of the planning system 4.Processes within the planning system

21 Strong opinions Submissions for the removal of the State Government from planning the removal of Local Government a return to a metropolitan planning authority for the total administration of planning in lieu of Local or State Government

22 The work environment An environment for change for improvement to the system A good environment within which to work and shape our discussion

23 What the committee said 1. Leadership - need for a vision “The committee strongly supports 1.Vision for Victoria that aligns the medium to long term planning and infrastructure needs of the State; 2.The development of the Metropolitan Strategy and associated eight Regional Growth Plans; and 3.Bringing them together as a spatial representation of their objectives.”

24 We also said... 2. architecture and structure – ensuring the available tools are fit for purpose. Those tools are: The Planning & Environment Act - rewrite the Act after the review process The VPPs – review the structure and composition with ongoing review The Municipal Strategic Statement – re-examine the role, function and place of the MSS Local Planning Policy – question the role and form of Clause 22

25 And we said this... 3. administration - make changes to the parts to improve the whole 4, processes – for town planning permit applications: review material detriment and notice requirements for planning scheme amendments : adopt new procedures

26 Key matter: for permits Notice requirements and material detriment “........ I feel that having third party rights are important to our system and should be maintained and supported. The third party rights are of great value to the integrity of our planning system to uphold our planning laws. Although I wish for consistency of the planning scheme and Planning and Environment Act at a local level, the third party rights provide that consistency to the planning system and is beneficial when the local system fails.” Individual submittor

27 Agree to a degree The committee said: Third party involvement is an important component

28 Trimming rights “The existing system of virtually unfettered third party notice and review rights is considered to be too generous. Full third party rights to notice and appeal are particular strong medicine. Far more of the consultation in planning should be upfront through strategic planning and structure planning processes. City of Melbourne submission

29 As a result The committee said: “Third party rights are not unlimited and should be: - proportional to the scale and nature of the permission being sought; and - relevant to the exercise of discretion prescribed in the planning scheme.”

30 Sorting the simple from the complex and the easy from the hard “Changes to the planning system are required to allow planning and responsible authorities to focus resources and effort on matters of importance. The planning system must be able to differentiate more clearly between procedural matters and those that are strategically important and have potential for significant impact.” Brimbank City Council submission

31 Therefore The committee said: “The potential to stream permit applications into different classes, namely Code Assess and Merit Assess processing paths, provides a basis to align notification requirements with each processing path.”

32 On defining and classifying applications Eastern Region Group of Councils submitted: “There are essentially 3 categories of planning applications considered by councils: - straightforward applications not requiring notification, unlikely to be controversial and easily able to be dealt with inside of 60 days; - applications that require notification and assessment by council officers and which are able to be dealt with in 60 days (or thereabouts); - complex applications that require notification, that are likely to be highly controversial and have a high degree of community scrutiny and/or applications with a high degree of complexity and/or a large number of expert reports or the like to be considered.”

33 ... they said, we said “The planning system should be sufficiently flexible to provide streams that deal with each of these types of applications (with suitable adjustments for fees) and suitable timeframes.” The committee said: “Notice requirements for different classes of land use and/or development should be prescribed by: - enabling the planning scheme to set out notice requirements for different classes of applications; and - legislative change to section 52 of the Act and to the Regulations.”

34 Protect the cow The committee position: Public participation and individual rights were a sacred cow ---- but reform should redirect and reapply rights direct the involvement of third parties narrow the opportunities for comment by third parties

35 The rationale Not a contradiction in terms Not contradictory to limit an application to relevant matters and only those matters raised in the application be the subject of third party consideration Step change in the permit assess process

36 The new model

37 A paradigm shift The single stream process replaced by 5 classes of applications divided for processing according to their impact advertising not be required for low impact applications

38 Key Matter: Planning scheme amendment process A consistent approach change from a single stream approach speed up the process

39 The Goldilocks analysis Stream types of amendments technical amendments normal amendments state significant amendments

40 plus Review all steps to make the process more efficient Change the authorisation process Show impact to qualify as a submittor Dismiss irrelevant or vexatious submissions up front Where the issues are limited, deal with them alone and differently No stopping once started Question whether recommendations go to the PA or the Minister

41 Key messages It is imperative that the planning system works efficiently facilitates timely and accountable decision making produces high quality outcomes, and regulates only when necessary

42 Key messages summary Positive messages Arguing for a ‘can do approach’ Why start a planning assessment start with a negative approach? Take the initiative Don’t wait for government legislation

43 What next? An Initial Report – off to Sydney lead further reviews pointed directions for change the detailed answers from a collaborative engagement with experts in the field

44 The Government response The Government is entitled to its positions Committee saw one way - the Government sees a slightly different way The Government is entitled to their direction - we are advisors not the decision makers

45 Not the end Government response says there’s more to be done Feed your views into the next phase!

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