In January 2021, DELWP released a paper - Environmentally sustainable development of buildings and subdivisions: A roadmap for Victoria’s planning system’ (The Roadmap).

The intent of ‘the Roadmap’ is to strengthen Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) as a keystone principle in Victoria’s planning system, embedded in the strategic objectives of State and local planning provisions.

This work is integral in delivering key actions of Plan Melbourne (2017-2050), particularly with regard to the directions and policy of ‘Outcome 6 – Melbourne is a sustainable and resilient city’.

‘The Roadmap’ is stage 1 of two stages of implementation programmed by DELWP, and proposes to update the Planning Policy Framework (PPF) to include environmentally sustainable development (ESD) as a specific principle in the purpose of the Victoria Planning Provisions (VPP) and update references to existing ESD related policies where relevant to the planning system. The focus of these changes is on lot and precinct scale developments.

The PPF differs from the more detailed and prescriptive ordinance set out under zones, overlays and particular provisions (primary implementation tools).

Stage 2 of this project is programmed for consultation in mid-2021 and will develop specific particular provisions to support clear, consistent, and straightforward decision making and design responses to implement the intent of the ESD objectives in the PPF. It will also examine whether certain local planning scheme measures should be adopted as state level standards.

Council will consider its submission to ‘the Roadmap’ (Stage 1) for adoption (at the February Council meeting). A copy of the submission can be read here.

Council note that given the changes are proposed to the higher level PPF (in stage 1), that the policy initiatives are generally positive and supported, and that it will be stage 2 (identification of changes to support policy reforms in stage 1) which will include changes under the zones, overlays and particular provisions (primary implementation tools) where Council will be keen to see robust implementation tools to support decision making in ensuring effective ESD outcomes.