The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) has established an Alternative Delivery Program. The Program aims to deliver planning projects or parts of projects in different ways. This will primarily be achieved by enabling proponents and their consultants to prepare parts of or all planning documents (e.g. Precinct Structure Plans, draft planning scheme amendment documents, or related technical assessments) required to facilitate planning scheme amendments when a number of criteria are met.
A core intention of the Program is to increase the capacity and efficiency of the VPA to enable us to deliver more sooner, while maintaining quality standards and ensuring all probity matters are appropriately managed.
The Program will be available for a limited number of projects based on specific and defined criteria. The VPA will review all documents prepared by proponents to ensure they comply with planning policy, all required statutory provisions, and deliver a net community benefit outcome. The highest levels of probity, transparency, and accountability will be met at all times.
The Program will utilise Third Party funding contributions, or facilitate proponents forward funding parts of or all of projects, in addition to government funds where available to coordinate initiatives that may include:
- Bringing forward background studies to inform planning projects.
- Proponent submitted site specific re-zonings where strategically justified (e.g. a ‘Part 2’ of an approved PSP) when a proponent controls all of the land.
- Precinct Structure Plan and / or amendment content preparation.
In addition to normal strategic planning considerations, key criteria for eligibility for inclusion in the Program relate to the extent of control a proponent has of the subject land, and their experience in the development sector. For inclusion in the Program, the following criteria should be met:
- The project should generally be supported by relevant government agencies, departments and Council
- The project should be in line with higher order strategic planning policy directions
- A proponent should demonstrate control of:
- At least 50% of the land within a precinct to forward fund and prepare background assessments
- At least 70% of the land within a precinct to prepare a PSP and amendment documents
- 100% of the land for a site-specific amendment proposal.
- Other landowners in the precinct should not object to the proponent’s involvement in the project.
- Proponents must demonstrate a successful and reputable track record within the development industry and capacity to deliver the project to completion in a timely way.
The VPA will at all times retain absolute discretion:
- whether or not to accept any project into the Program for delivery
- in relation to the content of any and all documentation, and
- whether or not to proceed with any project at any stage.
An internal VPA team will continue to provide project management, quality control, and probity oversight, guided by a new policy framework, to ensure a Whole of Government approach, and maintain the VPA’s core statutory role as Planning Authority.
All projects will be guided by the Alternative Delivery Program Policy and formal agreements with proponents which have been developed in consultation with the Victorian Government Solicitors’ Office.
The Program is being informed by two main pilot projects:
- Greenvale North Precinct Structure Plan (Part 2)
- Merrifield North Employment Precinct Structure Plan (Pre-Commencement Investigation)
Whilst the Program is initially being used for Outer Melbourne Precinct Structure Plans, it may be used for all VPA planning settings including Melbourne infill, renewal and regional projects when circumstances permit.