13 May, 2012

New Planning Strategy for Melbourne

We are being given an opportunity to have a say on Planning for the future of Melbourne. A Ministerial Advisory Committee is currently considering it's recommendations for a new planning strategy to replace the failed Melbourne 2030 and its update, Melbourne @ 5 Million. A preliminary report gives a lead on how it might be which has some good points depending upon how the changes are likely to be implemented. In the meantime we can have some say by going to a new website www.planmelbourne.vic.gov.au 

Already the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has announced a new planning feature called "code assess"- for fast tracking low level planning applications that meet pre-determined regulations that are developed after community consultations. There will be much less red tape and this system will cover fencing, garages, additions and the like but just how inclusive will the consultation process be we wonder? In these cases there will be no notification or appeal rights for neighbours, This could be OK if the community consultation is done properly and residents are satisfied with the level of regulation control.

BRAG has always pushed the point that residents must have a say on how their area is developed. In the past this has not been the case with the restrictions imposed by Melbourne 2030 and the way VCAT handled appeals. However , this new approach may offer us a better deal. BUT, the devil will be in the detail so we will be doing our best to influence the final plan to suit residents, not the developers as in the past.

We urge you to say what you think on the website. If you don't they will think you don't care!

A few suggestions to think about :
No densification or high-rise in our residential suburbs.
New developments should be sympathetic to the existing streetscapes -i.e. maximum two storey or if a third is required it must be within the streetscape roof line ( attic).And the most important point is the elephant in the room, population growth. Its the rate of immigration that is driving the planning problems so there must be a sustainable population policy (which of course is a Federal issue).
For more, scroll down to the Item below "Victorian Planning System Review"
1st September 2011 for a list of our recommendations in our submission to the Committee.

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