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Things to look out for in 2017

As we approach mid-February and the Christmas break begins to feel like a distant memory, it’s time to start thinking about what 2017 has in store for the planning world. There’s plenty in the pipeline to get our heads around so to help you keep up to date here’s a summary of just a few of the things to look out for.

BETTER APARTMENT DESIGN STANDARDS (BADS)

The highly anticipated BADS were released in their entirety in December 2017 (read our summary here), along with an introduction date of March 2017. The Department has also released a Public Consultation Report, detailing how the BADS were amended in response to feedback on the draft. This report includes some interesting commentary on some of the changes that were made between the draft and final version of the BADS, such as the removal of numerical building setback requirements and the removal of the light courts standard.

How the guidelines will be interpreted by Councils or VCAT will be the challenge for the industry moving forward and there will no doubt be some interesting VCAT decisions arising in 2017 that will give some guidance on the interpretation of the different objectives and standards and when a variation is considered appropriate.

The Better Apartment Design Standards can be found here.

Robbie McKenzie (Senior Associate) and Colleen Peterson (Managing Director) will be hosting a series of workshops in the coming weeks to help educate our clients and their architects on the implication of the BADS.  Those of you interested in attending, please contact Timea Toth on [email protected] to register your interest.

SMART PLANNING PROGRAM / PLANNING SCHEME REVIEW

The Smart Planning Program has been introduced in response to the growing complexity and inefficiency of Victoria’s Planning System, with the objective to make the system more efficient.

With the last major review held over 20 years ago, the Smart Planning Program aims to utilise technology to create a more accessible and simplified system. Interestingly, the Program also aims to improve state-wide consistency in the application of zones and overlays to reduce repetition, limit permit triggers and increase investment certainty. This opens up the potential for significant changes to the structure of planning schemes and the application of planning policy.

More information on the program can be found here.

Ratio will keep our clients up to date on the review in upcoming newsletters as information comes to hand.

MELBOURNE METRO RAIL PROJECT

Amendment GC45 to the Maribyrnong, Melbourne, Port Phillip and Stonnington planning schemes was gazetted on 5 January 2017 facilitating the construction of the 9km rail tunnel between South Kensington and South Yarra - shown in the attached map.

While the consultation process is over, there are new Design and Development Overlays in place that may impact development in affected areas.  Get in touch with us if you have a proposal that you think could be impacted.  

The Minister for Planning has also released his assessment of the project which can be read in full here

TRANSPORT FOR VICTORIA

Transport for Victoria (TfV) is a new transport agency that will bring together the planning, managing and coordinating of Victoria's transport system and its agencies, including combining VicRoads and Public Transport Victoria (PTV). Our understanding is that this change will provide for one point of contact when applications are referred to these authorities, which we anticipate will provide for a more streamlined approach to the referral system.

BESS

Version 1.5 of the Built Environment Sustainability Scorecard (BESS), which is a common tool used to assess ESD through the planning process, will go live on 20 February 2017. While many of the changes to the BESS software relate its useability, there will be changes that provide different score criteria for different types of buildings (e.g. dwellings, retail).

We expect to learn how these changes affect the assessment of applications in the coming weeks and whether it results in improved assessment of applications.  Stay tuned for more feedback.

 

 

This article was originally published on Ratio Consultants' website. Read the original article here.

Lead image: Zero2Sixty

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Development & Planning

Monday, March 27, 2017 - 00:00
Brunswick's Nightingale 1 apartment project reached a significant milestone on Friday, with constructor Project Group holding a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony for the build. Underpinned by the principles of wellbeing and liveability, the Nightingale series of apartment projects are becoming increasingly popular with purchasers, as evidenced by the 2,000 strong waiting list for future Nightingale releases.

Policy, Culture & Opinion

Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 12:00
As part of the enabling stage of the Queen Victoria Market Renewal Project, the City of Melbourne has finally revealed their plans for the former Munro site, to be developed by PDG Corporation into a mixed-use development comprising a 58-storey Bates Smart designed-tower of 308 dwellings and a 300-room hotel, after the developer was awarded the rights to develop the site on CoM's behalf.

Visual Melbourne

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 - 07:00
Once again Melbourne has turned it on for the spectacular cultural juggernaut that is White Night. A crowd of around 600,000 took part in the all night festival of projections, performances, artworks and installations. Stealing the show again this year was the extraordinary projections upon the Royal Exhibition Building.

Transport & Design

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 12:00
The large-scale redevelopment of Richmond's former Jaques engineering complex has been marked by an number of onsite dedications. Dating back to 1885 and with frontages to Palmer, Coppin, Dyer and Griffiths Streets, the 9,945sqm site's engineering heritage has been permanently embossed across the site.

Sustainability & Environment

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 13:00
Victoria Walks, a walking promotion charity supported by VicHeath, is leading a crowdsourcing initiative that is supported by the State Government and 14 councils. The campaign aims to collect and analyse opinions on walking right across the Melbourne metropolitan area. The authorities are asking people to indicate their walking safety concerns through an interactive online map on CrowdSpot's platform.