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 and Isabella Kelly, Lawyer 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
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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, and Isabella Kelly, Lawyer. 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
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Changes to the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006

By David Passarella, Partner, and Isabella Kelly, Lawyer. 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
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Planning for ‘Smart Cities’

By Isabella Kelly, Lawyer 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
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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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Local Government and Regulatory update: Increase in the value of penalty units

On 29 April 2016 the State Government notified amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015. In particular, the value of a penalty unit for most offences under state legislation and local laws will increase to from $117.80 to $121.90 effective from 1 July 2016. Local Governments and other regulatory bodies will need to ensure their
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Planning and Environment Update (April 2016) – The Objectors Bill: Six Months In

By David Passarella. Partner, and Isabella Kelly, Lawyer. 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)
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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 (Senior Associate), and Kate Marginson (Laywer) 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
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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 and Isabella Kelly 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
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