Officer is located in Cardinia Shire, within Melbourne’s South East growth corridor, approximately 50 kilometres south-east of the Melbourne Central Business District.
The Officer Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) applies to an area of approximately 1,021 hectares that is generally bound by the urban growth boundary to the north, future Officer employment precinct to the south, Gum Scrub Creek to the east and the Cardinia Creek Parklands and existing urban area of Beaconsfield to the west.
Amendment C232 to the Cardinia Shire Planning Scheme (Officer Town Centre Review)
A precinct structure plan (PSP) was prepared for Officer by Cardinia Shire Council and approved by the Minister for Planning in December 2011 under Amendment C149 to the Cardinia Shire Planning Scheme. A full set of approved and gazetted documents can be viewed below:
A key component of the Officer PSP is the town centre, which is identified as a major town centre in key strategic planning documents, including Plan Melbourne. The town centre includes:
- new council offices
- a civic centre
- a train station
- an adjoining government secondary school.
However, to date, there has been little private investment in the additional services and facilities required by the growing community.
The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA), in consultation with Cardinia Shire Council, has started a review of the Officer PSP, focusing on the future Officer town centre.
The review aims to unlock investment in the Officer town centre by simplifying and improving the flexibility of the planning controls that apply to the town centre. You can read more about objectives of the review here.
A comparison report has been produced to readily explain the differences between the previously approved Officer PSP (see more below) and the PSP proposed under Amendment C232. The report sets out each page of the original PSP with the revised PSP. You can access the comparison report here.
You can read more in the project newsletter here.
The Development Contributions Plan (DCP) for this precinct was amended as a result of Amendment GC75. Amendment GC75 made changes to 43 existing Development Contributions Plans (DCPs) by making changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payable in these DCPs.
You can read more about these changes here and download a copy of the updated DCP below:
Officer Development Contributions Plan (amended July 2017)
Interactive map of Officer
Objectives of the review
The key objectives of this review are to:
- simplfy the PSP to improve clarity and certainty for applicants and planners
- plan for quality built-form, urban design, public space and streetscape outcomes
- facilitate timely development of retail and commercial businesses
- build in flexibility to respond to changing retail and commercial trends
- revise car parking rates to reflect the proximity of the train station
- amend the Officer Development Contributions Plan to require the revaluation of land to be carried out annually instead of biennially.
The review will:
- consolidate the form and content of the parts of the PSP that relate to the town centre
- standardise the residential and commercial zones applied by the urban growth zone
- redraft the Officer Town Centre Urban Design Framework to reduce duplication with the PSP and increase flexibility.
The review does not intend to:
- change the future urban structure (layout) of the town centre, for example, the location of roads
- alter the general intent of the Officer PSP, urban growth zone schedule or urban design framework.
To read more about the Officer precinct, please see the links below:
A Precinct Structure Plan (PSP) is a land-use and infrastructure plan that guides the development of an area over time. A PSP includes a future urban structure, which details land uses, infrastructure and built-form outcomes to be reflected by development applications. 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.
Officer is located in Cardinia Shire local government area, in the South-East Growth Corridor of Melbourne.
The Precinct is approximately 1,021 hectares of land and is located between the existing urban areas of Beaconsfield (to the west) and Pakenham (to the east), with the Urban Growth Boundary forming the northern boundary of the PSP and the future Officer Employment PSP to the south.
The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA), in collaboration with Cardinia Shire Council, has undertaken a review of the Officer Precinct Structure Plan (PSP), focusing of sections that relate to the Officer town centre.
The PSP was originally prepared by Cardinia Shire Council in 2011, and guides the development of the Officer precinct and reserves land for key infrastructure, such as roads, local parks and community uses.
A revised draft PSP is now being exhibited for community feedback. Once approved, the Cardinia Planning Scheme will be amended to incorporate the revised PSP.
The review process included a thorough assessment of the controls that apply to the Officer town centre, resulting in significant consolidation of much of this content. In particular, the review has removed a number of the more onerous and repetitive controls included in the PSP, while retaining the strategic intent of the document to plan for high-quality, engaging, urban development.
The review also included an assessment of the table of uses in the Urban Growth Zone Schedule 4, which sets out the land uses that are allowed in the town centre. The review has replaces the previously very complex table with standard residential and employment zones, for example Commercial 1 Zone. This will make it easier for planners and development applicants to understand how different parts of the town centre can be developed.
The review aims to simplify and consolidate many of the planning and design guidelines and other parts of the text relating to the Officer town centre. This will make it easier for applicants and planners to understand what is required of development in the town centre.
However, the review does not intend to make significant structural changes to the plans for the Officer town centre e.g. it does not plan to change the road network or location of parks.
All changes in the revised PSP are identified in both the contents page and body of the document by a note indicating content has been either ‘inserted’, ‘deleted’ or ‘amended by C232’. Page numbers are the same in the original and revised PSPs, so it is easy to directly compare the content of each.
Additionally, a comparison document is available, which sets out each page of the original and revised PSPs side-by-side.
The current PSP includes a number of relatively prescriptive and repetitive controls that do not allow the flexibility and adaptability required to facilitate private sector investment. While the PSP is important in establishing a blueprint for the future town centre, it should allow applicants to interpret the plan appropriately. This flexibility enables a vibrant town centre that is able to adapt to changing commercial trends, and other changing circumstances.
This review will stimulate investment in the town centre by firstly, improving the flexibility of the controls applying to the town centre, removing barriers to development. Secondly, the review will standardise the residential and commercial zones applied by the Urban Growth Zone so applicants and planners have greater certainty about what can be built in the town centre.
The current approved PSP will continue to apply to land within the PSP, including the town centre, until the revised PSP is approved by the Minister for Planning. Planning permit applications for development can continue to be made, as long as they are in accordance with the existing PSP.
This planning scheme amendment was heard by an independent panel called Planning Panels Victoria in December 2018. The VPA will now consider the Panel’s recommendations, before providing the planning documents to its Board for consideration for adoption. If the Board adopts the plan and associated documents, they will then be provided to the Minister for Planning for final consideration for approval.
The VPA is responsible for preparing the revised PSP for Officer, however it cannot determine what or when development will occur in the town centre. The PSP establishes a blueprint for development, however the exact type and timing of development is determined by the owners of each land parcel. It is hoped that with increasing residential development in Officer and a simplified, revised PSP, private investment in the town should follow.