Victoria

VicSmart changes introduced into Victorian planning schemes

VICTORIA'S new streamlined assessment system – known as VicSmart – has been introduced into the Victorian Planning Provisions and all planning schemes, after last week's gazettal of Amendment VC114.

It is estimated that 15 per cent or 8,500 planning permit applications may be eligible to benefit from the new VicSmart rules, which allows for permits to be issued for simple and straightforward applications within 10 days and without any notice requirements.

When announcing the changes in June this year, Planning Minister Matthew Guy described VicSmart as a quick and simple process that satisfies both a council's need for policy certainty and an applicant's desire for a fast outcome.

"If a permit application meets a set of clear cut rules and the council is happy that no more information is needed, then a permit can be issued within 10 working days," the Minister said.

Mr Guy said the fast-tracking of thousands of minor permit applications each year would free up huge amounts of time, energy and resources for council planning departments and allow them to focus on permits that require greater analysis.

Some of the changes introduced by Amendment VC114 include:

  • A new Clause 90 to create an additional section in the Victorian Planning Provisions for VicSmart permit applications and the assessment process;
  • A new Clause 91 which sets out the planning assessment process for VicSmart applications;
  • A new Clause 92 which specifies the classes of application that are a State VicSmart application;
  • A new Clause 93 which sets out the information requirements and decision guidelines for each class of State VicSmart application;
  • A new Clause 94 to provide the ability to specify classes of local VicSmart applications and the relevant clause or schedule that contains the information requirements and decision guidelines that apply to each class;
  • A new Clause 95 which sets out the information requirements and decision guidelines for each class of local VicSmart application; and
  • Changes to Clause 61.01 to specify the Chief Executive Officer of the council as the responsible authority for deciding a VicSmart application in the planning scheme.

More information about VicSmart is available from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure website at <http://www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/vicsmart>.

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