Shining the light on the latest Draft Solar Energy Facilities Design and Development Guidelines

By Jenelle Cramer, Senior Associate. The recently released DELWP Draft Solar Energy Facilities Design and Development Guidelines (Guidelines) outline the assessment and development process for new large scale solar energy facilities and provide advice on the avoidance of potentially detrimental impacts. These Guidelines are the product of a review of existing guidelines and requirements applied
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The Latest Proposed Addition to the Commercial Zones: The Commercial 3 Zone

By David Passarella, Partner, Andrew Vicendese, Law Graduate and Elle McIntosh, Law Graduate On 11 September 2018, the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, announced a new category of planning zone which will be introduced into the Victoria Planning Provisions as part of proposed Amendment VC149. The new “Commercial 3 Zone” (C3Z) is a mixed-use employment
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Blink and you’ll miss it: Upzoning reversed after only seven days

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner On 6 July 2018 the NSW Government made small residential apartment buildings permissible with consent in some parts of the Liverpool and Penrith local government areas.  The decision has now been reversed — just seven days after it was made. The reversal has echoes of two other decisions made  earlier this
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New ‘low rise medium density housing’ planning regime a double-edged sword

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner Today (6 July 2018) marks the first day of the new ‘low rise medium density housing’ planning regime in NSW. The aim of the new regime is to allow one to two storey dual occupancies, ‘manor houses’ and terraces to be developed as complying development.  This (in theory) is intended to
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Infrastructure Contributions Plans: let’s use them properly

By David Passarella, Partner, and Hannah Wilson, Lawyer. The PLC Act On 2 July 2018, the Planning and Environment Amendment (Public Land Contributions) Act 2018 (PLC Act) came into operation. The PLC Act proposes a new model for the infrastructure contributions plan (ICP) system, whereby affected landowners are required to transfer any part of their
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Government fixes an apartment strata subdivision problem, while green lighting more ‘affordable housing’ schemes

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner The NSW Government made two key changes to the state’s planning law on 20 April 2018.  One change fixes an emerging problem for development proponents.  The other change introduces new uncertainties for residential developers. The good news for proponents is that the government has effectively neutered a recent decision of the
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Coastal Management SEPP and Coastal Management Act: Adding to the planning layers

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner New planning laws covering some parts of Sydney and coastal NSW came into effect on 3 April 2018.  These laws introduce new hurdles for urban development proposals for some coastal lands.  The laws will affect proposed rezonings and development applications. Two key legal documents have now come into force.  These are:
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New planning laws bring a raft of changes

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner New land use planning laws came into effect in NSW on 1 March 2018 — introducing new complications for development proponents. Some provisions have immediate effect.  Other provisions will not come into full effect for some time. New look The name of the state’s planning law has not changed.  It is
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Varying development standards just got a bit more complex — update on clause 4.6 variations

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner, Anthony Whealy, Partner and Matt Sonter, Partner The NSW Government has made changes to the procedure for varying development standards for development applications.  Town planners and other people who prepare such applications need to know about the new requirements. They apply immediately – even to existing development applications that have already been
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New proposal to expand ‘affordable housing’ schemes across Sydney

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner The NSW Government has published a proposal to dramatically expand the scope of the ‘SEPP 70’ across Sydney.  This paves the way for either the compulsory acquisition of a portion of new housing stock (or the payment of cash to avoid that acquisition) in six additional local government areas. What is
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New minimum lot size ruling creates more hurdles for apartment development

  By Aaron Gadiel, Partner The ability to strata subdivide new apartment developments in key areas of Sydney is in doubt, following a new decision by the Land and Environment Court. The court case and the legal issue The Court’s chief judge, Justice Preston, handed down his decision in DM & Longbow v Willoughby City
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The buck doesn’t stop with the Minister

By David Passarella, Partner and Brittni Dienhoff, Seasonal Clerk Since the introduction of the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Vic) (Act) in 1987, the law has vested Parliament with the right to revoke or partially revoke planning scheme amendments approved by the Planning Minister.[1] Recently, the Victorian Upper House has exercised the power twice, with the
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Going round the Bend – New Fishermans Bend Planning Controls Released

By Jenelle Cramer, Senior Associate and Hannah Wilson, Law Graduate Following the release of the Draft Fishermans Bend Framework Plan (Framework Plan) in the last fortnight, the Fishermans Bend Taskforce has now published the accompanying draft planning controls intended to be incorporated into the Melbourne and Port Phillip Planning Schemes as GC Planning Scheme Amendment
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Politics-free zone? Sydney and Wollongong councillors stripped of their DA powers

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner State parliament has rushed through legislation to completely strip local councillors of their power to decide development applications in Sydney and Wollongong.  This is a major change to the NSW planning system. The changes are set out in the Environmental Planning and Assessment and Electoral Legislation Amendment (Planning Panels and Enforcement)
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NSW Government sweeps away caps on residential development levies

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner The NSW Government has published a new ministerial direction paving the way for increased local council levies on new housing. The levies are commonly known as ‘section 94’ contributions.  The contributions can be imposed on new housing under a development consent.  Typically these levies are paid to a local council prior
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District commissioners off the Sydney planning panels and ‘Landcom’ back in vogue

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner The NSW Government has introduced legislation to parliament to strip the district commissioners of their recently acquired role as chairs of the Sydney planning panels. The Government is also now implementing its March decision to divide ‘UrbanGrowth NSW’ into two separate enterprises. One enterprise will retain the ‘UrbanGrowth’ label — while
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Bombshell court decision to hit staged development applications

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner, and Anthony Whealy, Partner The NSW Court of Appeal has struck down a development consent for the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct, raising major issues about how ‘staged development applications’ are handled.  This will have state-wide implications, but there will be particularly significant impacts within the City of Sydney. In Bay Simmer
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Local councils to win new powers to reject development applications

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner, and Anthony Whealy, Partner The NSW Department of Planning and Environment has released draft regulations that will make it easier for local councils to ‘reject’ development applications before they are assessed on their merits. The changes are set out in a draft Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (ePlanning) Regulation 2017.  It
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More convoluted, expensive and risky planning laws for NSW? Mills Oakley’s review of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment Bill 2017

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner, Anthony Whealy, Partner, and Ashleigh Cowper, Senior Associate The NSW Government has released proposed changes to the state’s planning laws that it says will ‘boost housing supply’. The proposed changes, which are currently on public exhibition,  are in the form of a draft bill which would amend the Environmental Planning and
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The Better Apartments Design Standards

By Jenelle Cramer, Senior Associate The final Better Apartments Design Standards (Standards) were released by the Victorian government in December 2016.  For background, please see our August 2016 update on the draft Standards. The Standards will apply to all apartment development applications in Victoria.  Depending on the number of storeys in a proposed development, applications
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Green light for value capture in planning agreements – taking the ‘voluntary’ out of VPAs

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner and Anthony Whealy, Partner The NSW Government has given its official seal of approval to the push by local councils to ‘capture’ a share of development profits through planning agreements (often referred to as voluntary planning agreements or VPAs). On 4 November 2016, the Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, released a draft
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Victoria’s Draft 30 year Infrastructure Strategy

By David Passarella and Jenelle Cramer  Infrastructure Victoria has released Victoria’s Draft 30 Year Infrastructure Strategy (Strategy) for public consultation. What is it? It’s a strategy setting out the State’s infrastructure needs and priorities over the next 30 years. Spanning transport, health, justice and planning, it’s comprised of 134 recommendations worth around $100 billion, of
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Will apartments be better under the new Better Apartments Draft Design Standards?

By David Passarella and Jenelle Cramer  The long awaited Better Apartments Draft Design Standards (Draft Standards) and explanatory Better Apartments Overview were released by DELWP on Sunday 14 August 2016. As expected, they maintained a strong focus on internal amenity requirements. Here are a few of the headliners. No minimum apartment size Contrary to expectations, the
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The Central Sydney Planning Strategy should be ringing alarm bells

By Aaron Gadiel,  Partner The City of Sydney’s proposals to restrict development within Central Sydney should be ringing alarm bells at the Greater Sydney Commission. On 25 July 2016 the City unanimously approved the draft Central Sydney Planning Strategy for public exhibition.  The City also endorsed an associated ‘planning proposal’.  This followed a 21 July
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Case note: Calder Park Raceway Pty Ltd v Brimbank CC (Land Valuation) (Red Dot) [2016] VCAT 551

By David Passarella, Partner This Red Dot decision emphasises the importance of expert land valuers clearly articulating the reasoning and analysis behind their exercise in professional judgment in valuing land. Lessons learned In our view, the important lessons to take away from this case relate to the style and content of written expert valuation evidence
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Changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

By David Passarella, Partner The Aboriginal Heritage Amendment Act 2016 (Amendment Act) will come into effect on 1 August 2016 and makes substantial changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 (Principal Act) and the way in which Aboriginal cultural heritage is managed in Victoria. From a planning perspective, some key amendments to the Principal Act
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Planning for ‘Smart Cities’

In late April 2016, the Federal Government released its Smart Cities Plan in response to the forecasted increased pressures on local infrastructure, housing affordability and access to local jobs in Australia’s cities. The Smart Cities Plan identifies strategies which will underpin planning, development and investment to enhance the future liveability and accessibility of our cities
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Amendment C270, Central City Built Form Review

Do we really need to be this prescriptive? By David Passarella, Partner As many of you are aware, the Victorian Government is in the process of embarking new planning controls for Melbourne’s central city. While the proposed controls are well intended to an extent, it’s questionable as to whether they are in fact needed at
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New planning risks for greenfield developers

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner Greenfield land developers are now facing a new layer of planning complexity. Last week the NSW Government released the text of new proposed biodiversity legislation.  It will impose new burdens on developers seeking approval for land clearing that does not affect threatened species. In the same week, the Government introduced new
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Planning and Environment Update (April 2016) – The Objectors Bill: Six Months In

By David Passarella. Partner The Planning and Environment Amendment (Recognising Objectors) Bill 2015 (Objectors Bill) came into operation on 12 October 2015. It amended the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (Act) by inserting Sections 60(1B) and 84B(2)(jb), which provide that a responsible authority and the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal) respectively must have regard,
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Property developers win in a new Supreme Court ruling on the ‘primary production’ land tax exemption

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner The Office of State Revenue’s campaign to stop NSW property developers claiming the ‘primary production’ land tax exemption has suffered a major setback.  The Supreme Court has upheld a property developer’s claim that its land bank was exempt from the tax. Background Greenfield property developers often acquire agricultural lands on the
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Good news for NSW developers – bigger (and better!) buildings can still be approved under clause 4.6 of the Standard LEP

By Anthony Whealy (Partner), Matt Sonter (Partner) After a year of very conservative judgments and commentary in the planning and development industry regarding the difficulties in exceeding development controls such as height and FSR – even where circumstances would clearly justify a larger development – two recent decisions of the Land and Environment Court have
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Two-months of the Greater Sydney Commission – Your questions answered

By Aaron Gadiel, Partner There’s been a lot said about the new Greater Sydney Commission since it formally came into effect on 27 January this year. We’ve fielded many questions from clients looking to understand what the new Commission means for rezonings, planning control changes and development assessment in Sydney. While the legislation establishing the
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Planning and Environment Update

By David Passarella Welcome to 2016! Mills Oakley hope you all had a relaxing break. There were some interesting developments in the planning and environment arena in late 2015. Many of those remain relevant this year, some of which have been outlined below. Plan Melbourne Refresh 18 December 2015 saw the conclusion of the consultation
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