Planning Scheme Amendment VC179 has recently been approved by the Victorian Government and changes the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes in Victoria by inserting a new provision at Clause 52.10 to facilitate rebuilding following the 2019/20 bushfires. The amendment also provides for changes to the Schedule to Clause 72.01 in all planning schemes to designate the Chief Executive Officer as the responsible authority for Clause 52.10.
The amendment introduces exemptions into the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and all planning schemes, to streamline planning scheme requirements and application processes to facilitate rebuilding dwellings and other buildings damaged or destroyed by bushfire, and the re-
establishment of businesses and services after a bushfire.
The amendment changes the VPP by:
- Replace Clause 52.10 (No content) in the VPP with a new Clause 52.10 (Bushfire reconstruction) to exempt the use of land for a dwelling from planning scheme requirements, and applications for the use and development of land from third-party notice and review requirements, subject to meeting conditions. The existing Clause 52.10 is a heading only and does not contain a provision.
- Amending the Schedule to Clause 72.01 (Responsible authority for this planning scheme) in all planning schemes to designate the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the council as the responsible authority for applications under Clause 52.10.
Amendment VC179 is required to streamline planning scheme requirements to facilitate the timely reconstruction of homes and other buildings damaged or destroyed by a bushfire. The amendment has been prepared in response to the 2019-20 Victorian bushfires that occurred in north-east Victoria and Gippsland, which destroyed at least 419 residential properties, however the provision applies to all bushfires since 1 January 2019, and to all future bushfires. The amendment provides certainty for landowners following a bushfire and allows them to access streamlined planning requirements.
Amendment VC179 will simplify the planning requirements for the rebuilding of dwellings affected by bushfire by exempting the use land for a dwelling from planning scheme requirements where used for a dwelling immediately prior to a bushfire, subject to conditions.
Amendment VC179 simplifies the planning system and provides greater certainty for the rebuilding of all buildings by providing exemptions from the notice and review requirements of sections 17, 18 and 19 of the Planning and Environment Act 1987. Further, the CEO of each council is specified as the responsible authority by amending sub-clause-section 4.0 in the schedule to Clause 72.01 in all planning schemes.
Amendment VC179 also corrects the Schedule to Clause 72.01 in the Melbourne Planning Scheme at sub-clause section 4.0 by replacing the reference to Clause 91 with Clause 71.06, consistent with the VPP.
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