Tuesday, April 29, 2014

C1Zone: CoM confirms our concerns about forced Planning Changes

The Melbourne City Council has responded in part of our concerns in relation to the forced changed to Melbourne's Planning Zones.  The Council no longer has the means and tools to regulate and protect residential amenity in local shopping strips. Effectively making Melbourne's Planning scheme defunct.

Earlier Melbourne's Chair of Planning, Cr Ken Ong, denied that there was an impact.

The decison of VCAT hearing on an application for a Licensed premises/Night Club at 157-159   highlighted the impact of the  recent changes. Under the new C1Z zones Licensed premises no longer require a planning permit for use.

The proliferation of restaurants and licensed premises only serves to undermine the stated aim and objective of the Municipal Strategic Statement (MSS), Clause 21.08, Economic Development states:

There is a need to support the provision of local shops to serve the residential and working communities in local centres. A proliferation of eating and entertainment uses should not undermine the character and range of services offered in these local centres.
An objective is to support the Central City and local retail uses. A related strategy is:
Ensure that a proliferation of eating and entertainment establishments in local centres does not undermine the viability of their convenience retailing.
We would like to draw your attention to item 27 of the VACT determination which states: (Emphasis added)
A significant difficulty in implementing this strategy is the fact that the use of the land for a restaurant is not subject to a planning permit, given the Commercial 1 zoning of the land.
Under the provisions of the previously existing Business 1 zoning, there existed the ability to specify in the Schedule land upon which a restaurant use could not be established without a permit.
The Council had not nominated any land within the municipality in the Schedule.
With the change of zone, the ability to include this requirement has disappeared.  As no permit is required for the use, it is difficult to understand how the strategy relating to the ‘proliferation’ of eating establishments can be implemented in a land use sense. 
The regulatory tools necessary to give effect to the Council’s aspirations for this centre, as expressed in this specific strategy, do not form part of the suite of controls which apply in this case.

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