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Media Release

Introducing the Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines: New Communities in Victoria

The principle of living locally has underpinned the Victorian Government’s planning policy for years, but in the face of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic it has never been more important.

At the same time, even with the long-term impacts of the pandemic factored in, Victoria will continue to welcome millions of new residents over the coming decades. With that comes a sustained demand for well-planned new communities.
We need the best possible tools to help plan for a growing Victoria while enhancing our world-famous liveability.

That is why today the Victorian Planning Authority has released the Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines: New Communities in Victoria (the Guidelines).

The Guidelines are a Victorian Government initiative to ensure the VPA and other planning authorities prepare plans for places that enable best practice, liveable new communities.

The purpose of the Guidelines is to provide a framework with clear purpose, pathways and practical guidance for preparing Precinct Structure Plans that guarantee quality outcomes, while also being flexible, responsive and supportive of innovation.

Raising the bar for Victoria’s new communities

The new generation of PSPs under these guidelines will raise the bar by setting new metrics to create affordable, sustainable, and liveable new neighbourhoods that can adapt to Victoria’s changing needs.

The Guidelines are centred around the 20-minute neighbourhood, a principle in Plan Melbourne 2017-2050 that advocates for living locally – giving people the ability to meet most of their daily needs within a 20-minute walk from home.

The Guidelines raise the bar for outcomes in Victoria’s new communities by setting a series of new targets for:

  • Residential density and diversity around town centres, community facilities and key natural features to make our new communities more walkable and improve housing choice and affordability;
  • Sustainability measures including a target for 30 per cent tree canopy coverage in the public realm and open space, and a commitment to integrated water management;
  • Greater recognition of the value of Aboriginal heritage in plan-making, and a commitment to improved processes for collaboration with Traditional Owners;
  • Supporting and informing better infrastructure coordination to enable smarter infrastructure investment and an integrated approach to the post-plan delivery of infrastructure and services by Councils, utilities and State agencies.

Watch the video and find out more about the Guidelines and how they are raising the bar for new communities in Victoria.

Encouraging innovation

As part of our new process for developing PSPs, we are also excited to introduce our new Innovation Pathway.

The Innovation Pathway will allow tailored responses to place-based challenges that deliver above and beyond our new, raised standards. These innovations will be rewarded with a bespoke PSP product and process, and by greater certainty and streamlining of post-plan approvals by Councils and utilities. 

We will be providing more information and seeking Expressions of Interest to take part in a Pilot for our Innovation Pathway in early 2022.

Understanding the Guidelines

We’ve created a Practitioners Toolbox with guidance notes to help you understand, interpret and make use of the Guidelines.

The Practitioners Toolbox provides guidance on the more detailed aspects of planning for Victoria’s new communities. It is updated regularly and includes information on the latest tools and practices.

We will also be holding training sessions for planning practitioners of PSPs for new communities.

Find out more about the Guidelines and our raised targets, the Innovation Pathway, the Practitioners Toolbox and more.

We look forward to working with our partners under these new Guidelines to plan for best practice, liveable and resilient new communities to serve a growing Victoria for decades to come.

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