HAVE YOUR SAY | Buffer Area Overlay (BAO)

Consultation on the new draft BAO opened on 16 September 2020 and closes on 14 October 2020.

The BAO can be used to prevent incompatible use and development within the buffer areas of industries and other uses with potential offsite impacts.

The proposed BAO builds on Planning Scheme Amendment VC175 and Planning Advisory Note 92: Managing buffers for land use compatibility.

The purpose of the BAO is to identify areas where there is potential for off-site impacts on safety or human health from industry, warehouse or other uses. The BAO also ensures that use and development within buffer areas is compatible with potential off-site impacts.

Policy and zoning are the primary and preferred tools within the planning system for ensuring land use compatibility. Overlays and associated planning scheme maps not only identify land, but also apply requirements that need to be met.

Responsible authorities may prepare and submit draft schedules to the overlay based on evidence demonstrating the types of potential impacts, the spatial extent of those impacts (the buffer area) and appropriate requirements for land use and development within the buffer area. Impacts would need to affect human health or safety rather than amenity (annoyance or inconvenience).

Schedules to the BAO are to contain a detailed statement of risk, up to five objectives to be achieved, requirements for use, development and subdivision, application requirements, exemptions from notice and review and decision guidelines.

Town Planning & Co welcomes the changes which provide greater certainty to developers and prospective purchasers whilst acknowledging the potential for increased red tape for owners of land to be affected by the proposed overlay.

To have your say, visit engage victoria: https://engage.vic.gov.au/plan...