Buffer Area Overlay
How best to manage the interface between industries and sensitive uses is a longstanding planning issue. Encroachment of incompatible uses, such as residential development, could threaten the ongoing viability of industries and could expose communities to risks.
Based on earlier feedback, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) has developed a draft Buffer Area Overlay to address the challenge of encroachment. The draft overlay could be used to identify areas where there is potential for off-site impacts on safety or human health from industry, warehouse or other uses, to ensure that use and development within buffer areas is compatible with those impacts.
Application of the draft Buffer Area Overlay would need to be based on evidence about the potential health and safety impacts.
DELWP is inviting feedback on the draft overlay through the survey below. Draft documents can be found in the document library. After receiving submissions from the public, DELWP will consider the feedback and finalise the draft Buffer Area Overlay in late 2020.
Buffer Area Overlay
Guidance and required information
Policy and clause 53.10
Amendment VC175, gazetted on 26 May 2020, updated the Planning Policy Framework and clause 53.10 of the Victoria Planning Provisions to improve the way the planning system addresses buffers for amenity, human health and safety impacts. The new Planning Practice Note 92 provides guidance on planning for land use compatibility and the Planning Policy Framework, and planning provisions relating to the management of buffers including clause 53.10.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) is proposing updates to the Planning Policy Framework and clause 53.10 of the Victoria Planning Provisions. Our proposed updates aim to improve the way the planning system addresses buffers for amenity, human health and safety impacts.
How best to manage the interface between industries and sensitive uses is a longstanding planning issue. Noise, dust, odour and other off-site impacts can pose amenity, health and safety risks to communities, while encroachment of sensitive uses, such as residential development, can threaten the ongoing viability of industries.
Currently, planning approaches to address buffer issues can be complex, which leads to inconsistent decision-making.
The proposed updates to planning provisions will strengthen policy for managing buffers, clarify how industries and other uses need to respond to the potential for off-site impacts and include up-to-date standards and guidelines.
DELWP is inviting feedback on the proposed updates through the survey below. Draft documents can be found in the document library. After receiving submissions from the public, DELWP will consider the feedback and finalise updated planning provisions in early 2020.
Updates are proposed to improve and strengthen Clause 13.07-1S Land use compatibility of the Planning Policy Framework. Key changes proposed are:
- Additional and updated strategies
- Reference to the current Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Publication 1518 Recommended separation distances for industrial residual air emissions (replacing the outdated reference)
- Wording amendments for consistency with EPA framework.
Specific details about proposed changes to Clause 13.07-1S are provided in the document library.
References to the current EPA Publication 1518 are also proposed to replace outdated references in other parts of the Victoria Planning Provisions.
Updates are proposed to modernise and clarify the operation of clause 53.10. Key changes proposed are:
- A modernised list of uses and threshold distances, in consultation with EPA
- More production thresholds added to exempt smaller operations
- More clarity on operation of the clause and links to referral provisions (including replacement of Note 1 and Note 2).
DELWP commissioned a technical review of clause 53.10, focusing on the list of uses, threshold distances and relevant impacts. The outcomes of this work were used alongside EPA advice to inform the proposed updates to the clause.
Responding to feedback received through public consultation, proposed updates aim to make it clearer how clause 53.10 operates and links zones and referral provisions.
Specific details about proposed changes to clause 53.10 are provided in the document library.
Changes to clause 53.10 will also require consequential changes to other parts of the VPP, including zones and referral provisions.
Below are explanations of some commonly used terms.
Clause 53.10 Uses with adverse amenity potential currently sets out threshold distances for industry and warehouse uses that may cause offence or unacceptable risk to the neighbourhood if not appropriately designed and located. The clause operates through the zones and links to referral provisions in the Victoria Planning Provisions.
Planning Policy Framework
The Planning Policy Framework (PPF) comprises general principles for land use and development in Victoria and specific policies dealing with settlement, environment, housing, economic development, infrastructure, and particular uses and development. To ensure integrated decision-making, planning authorities and responsible authorities must take account of and give effect to the general principles and the specific policies contained in the PPF.
Production thresholds apply to some uses and activities in clause 53.10. The threshold distance in the clause only applies to uses and activities that operate above the corresponding production threshold (e.g. 200 tonnes per year). Production thresholds are used to exempt smaller operations that do not pose a high potential for adverse off-site impacts.
Currently under clause 53.10, planning permit applications may need to be referred to the Environment Protection Authority or WorkSafe Victoria in certain circumstances. These agencies are determining referral authorities, so if they object to an application the responsible authority must refuse it, and if they specify conditions, those conditions must be included in any permit granted.
Proposed updates will not change referral arrangements, but the way they are expressed will change.
Sensitive uses are land uses considered to be sensitive to emissions from industry and other uses due to their impact on amenity, human health and safety. Sensitive uses will differ depending on the type of industry or other use. Examples of sensitive uses include:
- Residential aged care facilities
- Child care centres
- Places of assembly
"Sensitive zones" are zones used to measure threshold distances in clause 53.10. These are included in the clause because they generally support or encourage sensitive uses and may not be compatible with land uses that have potential off-site impacts. As part of proposed updates to clause 53.10, the following will be listed as "sensitive zones":
- Activity Centre Zone
- Capital City Zone
- Commercial 1 Zone
- Docklands Zone
- Residential zones
- Rural Living Zone
The threshold distance is the shortest distance between the property boundary of a proposed clause 53.10 land use or buildings and works and land in "sensitive zones", land used for a hospital or education centre or land in a Public Acquisition Overlay to be acquired for a hospital or education centre.
Victoria Planning Provisions
The Victoria Planning Provisions is a document containing a comprehensive set of planning provisions for Victoria. It is not a planning scheme and does not apply to any land. It is a statewide reference used, as required, to construct a planning scheme.
The planning scheme zones land for particular uses, for example, residential, industrial, business or other. The zones are listed in the planning scheme and each zone has a purpose and set of requirements. This information describes if a planning permit is required, and the matters that the council must consider before deciding to grant a permit.
A summary of consultation feedback and statistics.
Draft planning provisions - proposed updates
These are the proposed draft documents for updates to the Planning Policy Framework and clause 53.10.
Specific changes to planning provisions
This document outlines details about how proposed updates will change the current Planning Policy Framework and clause 53.10.
Examples of changes to other planning provisions
These draft extracts of the Industrial 1 Zone and clause 66.02 show how proposed updates to the Planning Policy Framework and clause 53.10 will affect other planning provisions.