No update on potential delay for DAL
In October 2019, the Victorian Government declared Bass Coast a distinctive area and landscape (DAL) in order to protect the environment, landscape and lifestyle of the region.
Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) have completed engagement with Phase 3 undertaken in March 2022 which invited submissions on the draft Bass Coast Statement of Planning Policy and landscape planning controls.
In Council’s submission, we sought planning panel consideration on a number of key points specifically Cape Paterson North, Newhaven West and the Grantville Industrial area. Council considered that more work was required on these matters. Council already has town boundaries delineated in the Planning Scheme.
Bass Coast Shire Council has not been advised by the Minster’s office regarding a Standing Advisory Committee. As we have seen with other DAL projects in Bellarine and Surf Coast, the Standing Advisory Committee, if appointed, would review all the submissions received and provide advice to the Minister for Planning on the Statement of Planning policy and landscape controls.
The delays associated with the project have impacted Council’s strategic planning program, particularly developer led rezoning applications.
Council continues to progress a range of projects including our Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy, Industrial Land Strategy, Unlocking Rural Tourism Strategy and a planning scheme amendment to rezone land in Bass.
Should an Advisory Committee for the DAL be formally announced, Council will need to review our program and may need to place projects on hold pending finalisation of the Statement of Planning Policy.
Bass Coast is concerned about the costs to Council due to the introduction of the panel and the associated administration and legal costs that may arise.
Quotes attributable to Bass Coast Shire Council Mayor, Cr Michael Whelan
“Council has not had formal notification of the decision and is following up with the Department and will take a little time to fully consider whether there are any implications arising.
You will recall that Council, in its submission on the DAL, sought planning panel consideration on a number of key points specifically Cape Paterson North, Newhaven West and the Grantville Industrial area. Council considered that more work was required on these matters.
I have an initial concern over the apparent scope of the Panel reference in that it does not specify areas of focus and that the whole of the DAL may be the subject of examination. This could drive Council’s costs considerably and hence the budget if we are required to be represented across the full DAL Scope. Costs could reach into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
One Gippsland has previously raised the cost of inquiries such as this as well as Environmental Effects Statements with government and advised that the costs can be crippling for rural and regional councils. One Gippsland is advocating for a better approach to the management of inquiries and is seeking assistance for Council’s in representing their communities on these legal inquiries. Our costs for this inquiry could run to into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As to whether the decision impacts Council over planning matters Council has already introduced town boundaries and they are set out in the Planning Scheme. Council’s work on the Housing and Neighbourhood Character Strategy, Industrial Land Strategy, Unlocking Rural Tourism Strategy and Affordable Housing Strategy are progressing well and Council will be well prepared for those parts of the Panel’s considerations.”