Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP)
As part of the Red Hill Ward Consultative Group, the Shoreham Community Association, in conjunction with other community groups in the Red Hill Ward, has challenged recent State Government changes to planning provisions. The changes could adversely affect the character of Shoreham and the whole of the Mornington Peninsula. Under a program of Reforming the Victoria Planning Provisions, the State Government released the two tranches of changes since March 2017 “reforming” the state’s planning schemes. The SCA has responded to calls for comments on these changes.
The most important changes that became operative in March 2017, are:
An increase to the building height limit and number of storeys allowable in General Residential Zone (GRZ). Much of the residential areas of the Peninsula, including Shoreham, is covered by the GRZ (see the map below for Shoreham).
An increase in the threshold costs for development that can be fast-tracked through the VicSmart scheme. See https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/planning-permit-applications/vicsmart for more information.
What the changes mean for Shoreham
In 2014, the State Government ‘reformed’ residential zones across the state.
The result was that a substantial proportion of the residential areas on the Mornington Peninsula were re-zoned General Residential Zone (GRZ). Significant parts of Shoreham are now included in the GRZ (see areas shaded musk pink in the map below).
Shoreham is now divided into the following zones - (see map above):
Two residential zones – General Residential Zone (GRZ) and Low Density Residential Zone (LDRZ);
Two sets of properties in the Commercial 1 Zone (C1Z) – the new Post Office site development and three blocks on the corner of Byrnes and Prout Webb Road (presently housing and the former General Store);
Other zones – eg Special Purpose, Public Use and Reserve Zones.
A Green Wedge Zone (GWZ2) that surrounds the village.
The GRZ is the most affected by the recent amendments:
In 2014, the GRZ included a mandatory building height limit of 9 metres with a maximum of 2 storeys.
The amendments have increased those limits to 11 metres and 3 storeys.
The LDRZ and C1Z have not been changed. These zones have no mandatory height or storey limits – but see "Overlays" immediately below.
In addition, Shoreham is subject to the following "Overlays":
Design and Development Overlays (DDOs). There are 4 DDOs over Shoreham -
DDO2, DDO3 and DDO6 in relation to residential areas, and
DDO15 in relation to the two commercial areas;
Other overlays relating to landscape, environment, erosion, inundation, vegetation and heritage.
DDO2, 3 and 6 are intended to ensure that development is responsive to the environment, landform, site conditions and character of areas - in particular coastal, bayside and rural residential areas.
DDO2 and 3 both contain mandatory height limits of 8 metres and a 2 storey limit. These requirements cannot be varied with a permit.
DDO6 contains these limits but they are general requirements only and are not mandatory.
DDO15 contains a mandatory height limit of 8.5 meters and a 2 storey limit.
How do Zone and DDO Overlays fit together?
The DDOs provide control on building and development within the various residential and, in some cases, commercial zones. They are the strongest form of local control in the Victoria Planning Provisions, introduced by the Mornington Peninsula Shire (MPS), and were not changed with the recent State amendments.
Controls (eg over height) in DDO2, 3 and 6 have, prior to the amendments, fitted more or less with controls set out in the zones, but they provided more clarity.
However, since March 2017, there is a considerable discrepancy between the controls in the GRZ and those contained in DDO2 and 3 that overlay much of the residential areas covered by the GRZ - especially the difference between 8 and 11 metres and between 2 and 3 storeys.
Although it is hoped that the DDOs will prevail over the state amendments, there is now some uncertainty about this, due in part to the lack of community and local government consultation prior to the introduction of these far reaching changes.
Effect of changes elsewhere on the Peninsula
There are a number of towns and villages on the Peninsula, now included within the GRZ, that have no development control through a DDO. This means that much of the Peninsula will be open for 3 storey developments of up to 11 metres as-of-right.
This will undoubtedly have significant consequences for the whole character of the Peninsula and threaten the present neighbourhood/coastal/rural village character that is prized by residents and visitors alike.
It is difficult to clarify what specific effect these changes will have to Shoreham or the Peninsula as a whole. But it is clear that the changes to the threshold costs of developments processed through VicSmart will mean far more development will go ahead with no avenue for objection or appeal by those affected by development.
The combined effect of the changes to VicSmart and changes to the GRZ could have far-reaching and damaging consequences for Shoreham and the Peninsula.
If you have queries about the changes to the planning provisions please contact one of the following persons who represent the SCA Planning Sub-Committee:
Sue Boggan 0404 180 957
John McMahon 0411 142 731
Kathryn Shain 0457 203 630
Peter Renkin 0448 319 719.
Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .