As we pass the mid-point of the year, I’d like to update you on a range of achievements and news from the VPA. Despite the stop/start environment we are all operating in, the planning and development sector continues to deliver and thrive while adapting to some profoundly changed fundamentals. Please read on to see how the VPA is responding.
PSP Innovation Roundup
PSP Innovation Roundup
For more than a decade the VPA’s work in Melbourne’s greenfields has been guided by the 2009 Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Victoria’s Greenfields. These Guidelines provide a toolkit that drive consistent preparation of plans for new greenfield communities across metropolitan Melbourne.
Over the past two years we have undertaken a major review of our PSP approach which has focused on:
- Policy: Updating the PSP policy approach through extensive consultation with stakeholders to contemporise the Guidelines
- Process: The development of a new process (known as PSP 2.0), and
- Product: Preparation of a new compact PSP template which is underway.
We recognise that these updates are needed to drive innovation in greenfields planning.
We are preparing to launch updated Guidelines for Precinct Structure Planning in Victoria’s Greenfields, which will mark an important change in approach to that taken over the last decade.
But neither we nor our development industry partners have been waiting for the release of the new guidelines to drive innovation in our greenfields.
There are a range of exciting projects either underway or soon to commence that embody the sort of creativity and innovation that the VPA wants to encourage, facilitate and support. Here are a few of them.
Stockland’s Minta Innovation Project has sought to embed triple bottom line sustainability outcomes at all levels of the development.
Located in Berwick and designed in partnership with the VPA and the City of Casey, the project will deliver social and environmental sustainability and help to reduce the impacts of climate change.
Project highlights include:
- A linear shadeway along a modified boulevard cross-section which creates a significant canopy and central shaded path network combating the ‘heat island’ effect
- Road surfacing materials made from waste products
- Incentivising placemaking and ownership of shared spaces and the public realm through bespoke owners corporations.
Lendlease’s Averley development in Pakenham East will deliver initiatives to improve biodiversity outcomes, putting the environment at the centre of development.
In partnership with ICON Science RMIT, and supported by the Ian Potter Foundation, Lendlease is including cutting-edge Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design (BSUD) features across all aspects of development.
BSUD elevates biodiversity considerations throughout the development cycle by enhancing critical values through to subdivision design, while also making them a cornerstone and feature of the future place.
Villawood’s Aquarevo development is utilising state-of-the-art technologies to implement significant wastewater management and treatment innovations.
Located in Lyndhurst and designed in partnership with South Eastern Water, the 470-lot project delivers innovations including:
- Each dwelling plumbed with three types of water: drinking, recycled and rainwater
- Onsite UV and heat treatment of rainwater
- Onsite wastewater treatment and pressure sewer pods for each dwelling
- Remote monitoring of rainwater tanks and pressure sewer infrastructure.
Aquarevo includes a 7-star mandated precinct, Ecorevo, the first by a mainstream developer in a suburban development. Villawood also provides a bonus 5kw Sonnen battery gifted by Aquarevo to its purchasers, helping round out the project’s water and 7-star story.
The new Guidelines will be released in the coming months and will help shape the urban future of Victoria through the next generation of PSPs. For further information on the timing of the release of the new Guidelines please contact Julia Weyhe, Strategic Planning Manager.
Beveridge Central ICP & Minta Farm ICP
The Minister for Planning approved two significant Infrastructure Contribution Plans (ICPs) for the Beveridge Central and Minta Farm precincts last month which were both gazetted on Thursday 24 June.
This significant milestone provides certainty for two crucial development fronts of Melbourne’s growth areas, Mitchell and Casey. This also means the only “uncoupled” ICP now on the VPA program is Sunbury South and Lancefield Road ICP which will be heard by Planning Panels Victoria this month.
The decision to “uncouple” these ICPs was made to enable permits to be issued notwithstanding unavoidable delays to the ICPs. This situation is unlikely to arise again, allowing the VPA to ensure that all future ICPs are considered concurrently with the PSP to which they relate.
The VPA would like to thank Mitchell Shire Council, Casey City Council and the Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning as partners in delivering these two ICPs.
For more information please contact Megan Taylor, Director, Outer Melbourne.
Preston Market Plan on Consultation
The VPA’s PSP for the Preston Market Precinct is out on consultation. One of the VPA’s most important urban renewal projects to date, it is also on our Fast Track program and has been out on consultation since 18 May. The opportunity to make submissions ends on 13 July. Find out more about our plans and details for making a submission on Engage Victoria.
The VPA’s COVID response
As Victoria’s lead agency for spatial planning and infrastructure coordination in designated growth areas across the state, we are at the forefront of Victoria’s planning and development sector response to navigate the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
This is a challenging time for the planning system — one both of great uncertainty and significant opportunity. More than a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that it has accelerated social, environmental, and economic change and altered how Victorians live, work, and interact with their built environment.
As many of these trends appear set to become embedded beyond the pandemic, we’re providing guidance on what that means for Victoria’s planning and development sectors.
The VPA has explored the impacts of the pandemic according to six themes:
• Population and migration impacts
• Economic shock
• Spatial structure impact (housing, urban development, and planning)
• Land and market impact (how might land be valued differently)
• Consumer spending behaviour impact on place
• Impacts on liveability and sustainability
Through these themes, the VPA is helping the sector answer three key questions:
• What planning influences will the economic impact of COVID-19 have on Victoria?
• What can the VPA do to support the economic recovery of Victoria?
• What changes are required as we plan for land use in Victoria?
In reflecting on these themes and trends, the VPA has identified priority opportunities for the planning and development sector to:
• Continue to position planning as an economic enabler
• Provide planning that responds rapidly to market changes
• Support liveability and resilience
• Support connectivity
• Improve the implementation of VPA-prepared plans
• Advocate for governance and planning system improvements.
You can read the full report on the VPA website.
Streamlining for Growth
We are preparing to open up the Streamlining for Growth Program for council grant applications for 2021-22.
Consistent with previous years, the overall objectives of the program include unblocking projects and processes to accelerate the delivery of permit ready land, achieving employment growth, housing choice and affordability as well as improving alignment of infrastructure delivery with planning. This year we are also continuing to emphasise the role Streamlining for Growth Projects can play in stimulating the economy post-pandemic.
More details will be available on the VPA website in the coming weeks.
New addition to the VPA Board
Minister Richard Wynne has notified of us of State Cabinet’s appointments to the VPA Board, which took effect from 1 July.
I am delighted to let you know that our Chair Jude Munro and Board members Laurinda Gardner and Trevor Budge have all been reappointed to the VPA Board.
I am also delighted to let you know that Damien Tangey has been appointed as a new addition to our Board.
Many of you will be familiar with Damien through his work on the board of the UDIA and a as former UDIA President, or through his time as a developer in the Bendigo area.
Damien has also been recently appointed as Board Chair of Haven Home Safe, a major social and affordable housing provider in regional Victoria.
Damien’s regional perspective will be particularly important at a time when Victoria’s regions are experiencing unprecedented growth.
Jennifer Cunich, who has served on our board for the past five years, has moved to NSW to be closer to family and so has taken the difficult decision to step down from the Board. We thank her for her tremendous contribution to the Board in her time with us.
We look forward to an exciting period ahead and we can’t wait to share more with our partners across the industry as we release the new PSP Guidelines, open up applications for Streamlining for Growth and continue our planning for Victoria’s growth.