Following on from a recent announcement, Planning Minister Matthew Guy on Thursday released details of proposed reforms to Victoria’s planning zones.  Submissions on the proposed zones will be accepted until 21 September and can be made here.

Below is a summary of the proposed changes.  Complete details of the zones can be found here.

Residential Zones (3 new, 3 amended)

  • The Neighbourhood Residential zone is the most restrictive and has the fewest Section 1 uses of the new residential zones.  A permit is required to construct a dwelling on a lot of less than 300 square metres, as in current zones.
  • The Residential Growth zone is the least restrictive.  A permit is required to construct a dwelling on a lot of less than 80 square metres.  The following are new as of right uses (where they are within 100 metres of a commercial or mixed use zone and has the same street frontage as that land):

°         Office – up to 250 square metres;
°         Shop – up to 100 square metres;
°         Food and drink premises – up to 100 square metres.

  • The General Residential zone is a transition between the two above.  A permit is required to construct one dwelling on a lot of less than 200 square metres.  The section 1 uses are the same as for the Residential Growth zone.
  • Across all residential zones, the following uses are as of right:

°         Bed and breakfast – accommodating 10 people (up from 6 in existing zones), provided            there is 1 car space for every 2 visitors;
°         Place of Worship – up to 250 square metres (up from 180);
°         Medical Centre – up to 250 square metres.

  • Each zone’s purpose is to meet the development objectives specified in the schedule to each zone.  As well as these objectives, the schedules may contain height controls, application requirements, minimum lot sizes, number of dwellings on a lot, etc.
  • The Mixed Use zone, Low Density Residential zone and Township zone have been amended.

Commercial Zones (2 new)

  • The Commercial 1 zone replaces Business 1 zone, Business 2 zone and Business 5 zone and encourages ‘mixed use commercial centres’.  The same exemptions from notice and review apply as under the business zones. The following uses are now as of right:

°         Office (no conditions);
°         Education centre (no conditions);
°         Exhibition centre (no conditions);
°         Retail premises, other than adult sex bookshop (no conditions);

  • The Commercial 2 zone replaces Business 3 zone and Business 4 zone and encourages offices and industrial/manufacturing uses.  New as of right uses include:

°         Cinema and cinema based entertainment facility where site adjoins road in a Road Zone;
°         Supermarket (up to 2,000 square metres);
°         Shop (up to 500 square metres, must adjoin the supermarket);
°         Office (no conditions);
°         Food and drink premises (up to 100 square metres).

Rural Zones (amended)

  • The existing rural zones are being amended to allow greater as of right uses associated with agriculture. New Section 1 uses include:

°         Primary produce sales (up to 50 square metres, not within 100 metres of a dwelling in            separate ownership);
°         Rural industry (up to 200 square metres, distance from dwellings and residential zones as            per cl 52.10);
°         Rural store (up to 100 square metres, in conjunction with agriculture).

The industrial zones are remaining but have been (slightly) amended.  The most significant change is that shop and supermarket are now Section 1 uses in the Industrial 3 zone (subject to conditions).  Changes to Industrial 1 and 2 zones are minimal.