East of Aberline Precinct Structure Plan
The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA), in partnership with Warrnambool City Council and government agencies, is re-commencing the preparation of the East of Aberline Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) and Development Contributions Plan (DCP).
As background, the VPA commenced the East of Aberline PSP project in 2019, prior to which Council had undertaken some work. However in 2020 as part of the Government’s response to COVID-19, the Treasurer and Minister for Planning required the VPA to accelerate 19 projects on our existing work program. East of Aberline amongst other projects were paused to refocus priority.
The East of Aberline PSP is expected to provide approximately 4,000 homes to accommodate a population of more than 9,000 people. It will also provide community facilities, local parks and potentially new schools. The VPA will work collaboratively with council to ensure the PSP considers the local community as well as the environment. A key focus of this PSP is to facilitate environmentally sensitive outcomes fit for the existing and future Warrnambool community and its resilience.
The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) are a State government authority. The VPA are responsible for planning in new suburbs and renewal sites in parts of metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. The VPA reports to the Minister for Planning.
The VPA works closely with councils, government agencies and the planning and development community on integrated land use and infrastructure coordination for important development sites and precincts.
Our major tasks include unlocking land for new homes and communities, facilitating housing diversity and affordability, job creation and better development of new communities in new and established areas.
A Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) is a land use and infrastructure plan to guide the development of an area over time. It provides certainty for community members and developers by providing a long-term vision for how an area will develop in the future.
A PSP sets out the preferred locations of residential and employment land and infrastructure, and provides guidance for transport and parking, urban design, heritage and character, open spaces and integrated water management.
Together with the broader planning framework, precinct structure planning is an important part of the Victorian Government’s strategy to address population growth, housing and employment demands.
A Development Contributions Plan (DCP) identifies the costs of some essential infrastructure required to support a PSP such as the costs of signalised intersections, drainage corridors, retarding basins, and others. It will also set out a levy required for new development on a ‘per hectare of net developable area’ basis.
The DCP is required since broad scale new development often contribute to or cause the need for new or upgraded infrastructure. It ensures that existing infrastructure is not over-burdened by new development.
The DCP will be prepared concurrently with the PSP. All infrastructure items included must be strategically justified through the suite of background studies undertaken on the project. The DCP becomes a public document to be publicly exhibited along with the PSP.
The Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) guides development of an area over time, however, it does not compel a landowner to develop their land if they wish to remain undeveloped.
The East of Aberline PSP area is broadly bounded by Wangoom Road to the north, Horne Road and 75 Rodgers Road to the east, Dales Road to the south and Aberline Road to the west. The precinct boundary has been informed by the Warrnambool Planning Scheme and in particular the Warrnambool Strategic Framework Plan at Clause 02.04 in addition to consultation with state agencies, Warrnambool City Council and technical consultants.
PSP boundaries are established to create logical and manageable ‘planning areas’ for the preparation of Precinct Structure Plans and associated Development Contributions Plans.
Third party funding is the method adopted by the VPA to fund the preparation of a Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) and Development Contributions Plan (DCP). Funding will facilitate the preparation or updates to technical work, stakeholder consultation, and associated work to prepare a planning scheme amendment to incorporate the PSP and DCP into the Planning Scheme.
Third Party Funding Agreements are a contract between the VPA and a ‘third party’ (typically the landowner) to formalise funding arrangements. Typically, costs to fund a PSP is undertaken on a per hectare basis (i.e. the larger your landholding the more it will cost). The Agreements provide for staged payments over the course of the PSP process.
Third party funding is voluntary.
Normally, third party funding costs are estimated by undertaking the following steps:
- Project is scoped to determine complexity and range of issues that will need to be addressed by the PSP (including required technical studies).
- The VPA calculates the total estimated cost of the project, with estimates based on previous (most recent) actuals with allowances for variances based on inflation and the relative complexity of the project.
- The estimated total cost of project is divided by the area of the precinct to deliver a per hectare funding rate.
- The VPA then seeks Expressions of Interest from all landowners within the precinct to enter into Third Party Funding Agreements with requested amounts based on the calculated per landowner funding amount.
- Following receipt of Expressions of Interest from landowners the VPA will recalculate each landowner’s draft obligation and provide this back to participating landowners to confirm their continued interest.
The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is partnering with Warrnambool City Council to prepare strategic planning outputs.
Once a project is completed, the Responsible Authority for implementing it over many years (e.g. approving subdivision applications) will usually be the local council. To assist in facilitating this, the VPA ensures regular engagement with council throughout the whole life of the project.
How can I get involved?
The best way to stay involved in the plan development process is to register your interest in the project on the project website. If you would like to learn more, feel free to contact members of the project team.