The Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) is cutting red tape and bolstering council resources to ensure housing lots are brought to market in a timely fashion.
The VPA is awarding $447,000 to Melbourne’s seven growth area councils to establish a range of measures that will speed up the processing of subdivision applications.
Victoria has the most affordable and well-designed greenfield market in the country, with a serviced lot costing more than $200,000 less in Melbourne than equivalent places in Sydney.
We know from councils that they are currently processing 60,000 lot applications at various stages of approval in Melbourne, which would service around three years’ of growth.
Helping local government speed up processing during a time of unprecedented demand will bring more land to market faster.
This will increase overall supply and help Melbourne maintain its housing affordability edge, which is why the State Government has acted.
Councils will use the funding to hire additional staff, invest in innovative programs and identify more efficient methods to process submissions for activities like engineering works.
All councils will regularly report to the VPA about their progress throughout the coming months, and the VPA will assess the program’s effectiveness in 2017.
The VPA will continue to provide support and advice to councils as they implement their ideas.
These grants are just one aspect of the VPA’s Streamlining for Growth program, which aims to reduce delays in the strategic planning system and speed up the delivery of projects that provide employment, growth and housing.
Quotes attributable to VPA chief executive, Peter Seamer:
“Melbourne’s greenfields are experiencing a record take-up, with more than 22,000 housing lots selling in the four quarters to September this year.”
“The VPA has worked hard over the past 10 years to ensure that Melbourne’s greenfield housing lots remain affordable and this program will help keep the dream of home ownership alive for Victorians.”
Quote attributable to Property Council of Australia Executive Director Sally Capp:
“The Property Council supports Government aiding Melbourne’s fastest growing municipalities. This will help the growth area Councils cope with the planning pressures brought on by their growing populations.
“The Property Council congratulates the Government on taking the first step to cut red tape to ensure we meet demand in these areas.”