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Clarity on VPA’s role welcomed

The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has welcomed a new Ministerial direction providing greater certainty about the VPA’s role when it is not the planning authority but providing advice and/or preparing documentation for council.

Direction 18 states that when the Minister has asked the VPA to assist with amendments to rezone land, the planning authority must “consult with the VPA and have regard to its advice”.

When preparing an amendment, the planning authority must include an explanatory report detailing how any provisions “give effect to the intended outcomes sought by the VPA.”

This direction will mostly apply to projects in the VPA’s urban renewal program, including its plans for Melbourne’s national employment and innovation clusters and strategic sites.

There are also some regional projects, such as plans for new communities in regional towns and cities, which this direction will apply to.

The direction provides councils and the planning and development industries with greater certainty on VPA’s role when we are not the planning authority for planning scheme amendments.

The VPA looks forward to continuing to deliver key objectives of Plan Melbourne 2017 -2050, including plans that result in new housing, jobs and infrastructure.

The direction does not require the planning authority to adhere to the advice provided by the VPA, only that it must respond to it.

The direction can be found here.

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