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What is green wedge land?
Green wedge land is defined under the Planning and Environment Act 1987 as land that is described in a metropolitan fringe planning scheme as being outside an Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).
A metropolitan fringe planning scheme is a planning scheme applying to any of the following municipal councils:
- Greater Dandenong
- Hobsons Bay
- Mornington Peninsula
- Yarra Ranges.
What is Part 3AA of the Planning and Environment Act 1987?
Part 3AA of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 provides protection for metropolitan green wedge land by establishing procedures for planning scheme amendments affecting that land. These procedures require:
- Authorisation from the Minister for Planning to prepare an amendment to a metropolitan fringe planning scheme that would amend or insert a UGB or amend or insert a provision that relates to or affects green wedge land.
- Ratification by Parliament for any amendment to a metropolitan fringe planning scheme that has been approved by the Minister that:
- amends or inserts a UGB, or
- has the effect of altering or removing any controls over the subdivision of any green wedge land to allow the land to be subdivided into more lots or into smaller lots than allowed for in the planning scheme.
What are the Core Planning Provisions?
The Core Planning Provisions (CPP) are set out in clause 51.02 of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and 17 metropolitan fringe planning schemes. The CPP set out prohibitions and restrictions on certain uses and subdivision of land in a non-urban zone between the UGB and the outer boundary of the 17 metropolitan fringe planning schemes (green wedge land).
The CPP do not apply to land:
- inside the UGB
- outside the 17 metropolitan fringe municipalities
- in an urban zone (for example, townships in green wedge areas)
- in public land zones (except the Public Conservation and Resource Zone)
- excluded by the schedule to clause 51.02.
The schedule to clause 51.02 can identify specific sites where the CPP do not apply.
How do the CPP and the Part 3AA Planning and Environment Act 1987 provisions relate?
The CPP and Part 3AA of the Act operate together to ensure protection of metropolitan green wedge land by:
- Setting out particular provisions for the use and development of land in the CPP.
- Establishing procedures for any amendment to change the schedule to the CPP in the Act.
What do the CPP control?
The CPP control some land uses. The use controls are set out in clause 51.02-2. A use listed in the table to clause 51.02-2 is prohibited if:
- there is no condition opposite the use in the table; or
- a condition opposite the use is not met.
If the condition opposite the use is met, the use is not prohibited.
Uses that are prohibited outright include warehouses, offices and shops. Uses that are prohibited unless they meet certain conditions include dwellings, restaurants and residential hotels.
The use controls need to be read in conjunction with the land use terms and nesting diagrams in clauses 73.03 and 73.04 of the planning scheme to be understood. If a use is listed in the table to clause 51.02-2 and that use includes other uses, the same restrictions or prohibitions apply to those other uses unless they have been specifically excluded by the planning scheme. For example, ‘Retail premises’ is a prohibited use. Other uses included in the ‘Retail premises’ nest are also prohibited except ‘Manufacturing sales’, ‘Market’, ‘Plant nursery’, ‘Primary produce sales’, and ‘Restaurant’ which are specifically excluded.
The CPP also affect the subdivision of land. The creation of lots smaller than the minimum subdivision area in the zone is prohibited unless the subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots or a subdivision to create a lot for a utility installation.
How do the CPP affect other parts of the planning scheme?
The CPP do not replace or change the existing zones and overlays. Rather, the CPP apply an additional requirement affecting subdivision and how land may be used.
A responsible authority cannot issue a permit for a use or subdivision that is prohibited by the CPP, even though it may be allowed in the zone or an overlay.
A use or subdivision that is not prohibited by the CPP must continue to meet other requirements in the scheme.
Can the CPP be changed by a council?
No, the CPP can only be amended by the Minister.
An amendment that proposes to change the zoning of land to a zone in which the CPP do not apply or to change the schedule to clause 51.02 requires authorisation from the Minister before it can be prepared. An amendment that changes the schedule to clause 45.12 (specific controls overlay) in a way that affects land outside the UGB also requires authorisation from the Minister.
An amendment that alters the UGB requires both authorisation from the Minister and ratification by Parliament.
How do the CPP affect existing uses, permits, permit applications and special planning scheme provisions?
- Existing lawfully established uses can continue to operate and existing permits (which have not expired) can still be acted upon as provided in Clause 63.
- Clause 45.12 is used in extraordinary circumstances to achieve particular land use and development outcomes. The CPP do not override any special provisions set out in clause 45.12. An amendment to a planning scheme to include a reference to a new specific proposal on green wedge land in the schedule to clause 45.12 requires the Minister’s authorisation to prepare. If that specific proposal also has the effect of altering or removing any controls over the subdivision of any green wedge land to allow the land to be subdivided into more lots or into smaller lots than allowed for in the planning scheme, the amendment also needs to be ratified by Parliament.
- The schedule to clause 51.02 in some planning schemes exempts some special use and comprehensive development zones, allowing specific developments that vary from the CPP.
Application of zones to green wedge land
Green Wedge Zone
The Green Wedge Zone recognises and protects non-urban land outside the UGB in the metropolitan area for its agricultural, environmental, historic, landscape or recreational values, or mineral and stone resources.
The zone provides opportunity for all agricultural uses and limits non-rural uses to those that either support agriculture or tourism, or that are essential for urban development but cannot locate in urban areas for amenity and other reasons (such as airports, schools, waste treatment plants, land fills and reservoirs). A dwelling requires a permit and is restricted to one dwelling per lot.
The zone provides a minimum lot size of 40 hectares unless an alternative is specified in a schedule to the zone. The creation of smaller lots is prohibited unless the subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots or the creation of a small lot for a utility installation.
Green Wedge A Zone
The Green Wedge A Zone recognises and protects non-urban land outside the UGB in the metropolitan area for its agricultural, environmental, historic, landscape, infrastructure, natural resource and rural living attributes.
The zone provides opportunity for all agricultural uses and limits non-rural uses to those that either support agriculture or tourism, schools, major infrastructure or rural living. A dwelling requires a permit and is restricted to one dwelling per lot.
The zone provides a minimum lot size of eight hectares unless an alternative is specified in a schedule to the zone. The creation of smaller lots is prohibited unless the subdivision is the re-subdivision of existing lots or the creation of a small lot for a utility installation.
The Rural Conservation Zone
The Rural Conservation Zone is applied to conserve, maintain and enhance the environment. The zone recognises the opportunity for agricultural production while seeking to also protect and conserve the natural environment and natural processes for their historic, scientific, landscape, habitat or cultural values. The zone could also be applied to rural areas degraded by environmental factors such as salinity or erosion. Restrictions apply to development and the range of discretionary uses is limited to those that support farming, agriculture and tourism. A schedule to the zone requires specific environmental values of the land to be listed.
In the metropolitan green wedge area, the CPP apply in addition to the Green Wedge Zone, Green Wedge A Zone and the Rural Conservation Zone.
Page last updated: 23/06/23