Localised planning statements are state policies for protecting and enhancing the valued attributes of state distinctive areas vital to the functioning of Melbourne and regional Victoria. These areas have significant geographic and physical features, biodiversity, natural resources, cultural and tourism values, productive rural land and regional and national infrastructure assets.
Because of their attractiveness, accessibility and proximity to metropolitan Melbourne and regional cities these areas are increasingly coming under pressure for growth and change. These pressures could potentially undermine the long-term natural or non-urban uses of land in these areas and need to be carefully managed.
It is important to identify these areas and put in place objectives and strategies to ensure that they are protected and enhanced for present and future generations.
Plan Melbourne and the Regional Growth Plans provide long-term plans for the state and inform an over-arching vision for Victoria. These plans acknowledge the importance of localised planning statements.
Ministerial Direction No. 17 ensures that planning scheme amendments affecting these areas have regard to the relevant adopted localised planning statement for the area.
Identified distinctive areas
The Bellarine Peninsula, the Macedon Ranges, the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges are identified as key distinctive areas. It is therefore appropriate that localised planning statements are in place for these areas.
Approved Localised Planning Statements
Localised Planning Statements are in place for the Bellarine Peninsula, the Mornington Peninsula, and the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges. Work is underway to complete a localised planning statement for Macedon Ranges.
Statements of planning policy
Nine statements of planning policy were introduced across Victoria during the 1970s to safeguard the economic, social, environmental and landscape values of key non-urban areas. Some of these are still in place in planning schemes, either at state or local policy level, but in other instances, they are no longer used.
The development of localised planning statements for the Bellarine Peninsula, the Macedon Ranges, the Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley provides an opportunity to build on and modernise the old statements where relevant, and better reflect the current day values of these areas.
Local council policies and controls
Local council planning policies will continue to apply along with the localised planning statements and any new state policy. In some instances local policies may require updating to reflect the localised planning statement. In other cases they may no longer be needed if councils believe the localised planning statement and supporting state policies provide the appropriate level of guidance. It will be up to each council to determine if changes to local policies are required.
The type of land use, development and subdivision permitted will continue to be guided by the planning zones and overlays that apply to the land. In instances where a planning permit is required, the localised planning statement may provide stronger policy intent for the area and guide how council should make a decision on an application.