Recently, Planning Minister Richard Wynne gazetted (Amendment GC41) changes to the Baw Baw, Frankston, Melbourne, Monash, Port Phillip and Stonnington Planning Schemes, which introduced protection for the flight paths used by Helicopter Emergency Medical Services operations of hospitals within the municipalities listed above.
The amendment will ensure encroachment by future development will not interrupt the safety or efficiency of helipads at Warragul Hospital, Frankston Hospital, Monash Medical Centre Clayton, Alfred Hospital, Royal Children’s Hospital and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
In general, the following changes will be applied to all six Planning Schemes.
- A Design and Development Overlay will be applied over land in the flight paths.
- A requirement for planning permits and referrals of development applications to be assessed by the Department of Health and Human Services for potential impacts of the proposal.
- The Department of Health and Human Services will act as a determining referral authority.
The Design and Development Overlay (DDO) will include an ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ overlay. An ‘inner’ DDO requires a permit for any buildings or works that exceed the elevation of the helipad. An ‘outer’ DDO requires a permit for any buildings or works that exceed a height of 10 metres above the elevation of the helipad. Some exemptions apply in specific circumstances.
An example of the relevant DDO plan showing inner and outer areas is shown below for Frankston Hospital (2 Hastings Road, Frankston).
The introduction of DDOs in these areas will protect the flight paths of helipads by eliminating interferences during construction periods and permanent disturbances to the operation of emergency helicopters.