Archive: VCAT - Say NO To Suburbia
Last Updated 21/3/07
See also VCAT
Save Our Suburbs (Vic): "VCAT Exposed" and "Implementation and Performance of Melbourne 2030" Features On SOS Website Melbourne
(14/11/06 - P) The Malvern East Group (MEG) has scoured VCAT records to look at the relationship between different VCAT members and development approvals. Verrry interesting...
Go to the Save Our Suburbs website: www.saveoursuburbs.org.au
Pop The Corks! Recent VCAT Decision Says Macedon Ranges Isn't Like Melbourne
(27/2/06 - P) It's a stunning statement of the bleeding obvious and what we've been trying to get through to the government for years
The recent Really Good v Macedon Ranges VCAT decision (Member Quirk - P2272/2005) should almost be bottled. The application sought approval for two units behind an existing dwelling in Gisborne, a proposal seen as over-development and not supported by VCAT. The decision says (in respect of Gisborne township): "This is also a township and it does not necessarily mean that urban consolidation should be the same in a township such as this as it is in the metropolitan area." Now that's the simple message we've all been trying to get across but no-one seems to be listening. Macedon Ranges' residents know by looking around them that this isn't Melbourne. And they know that if something isn't done to make a distinction between what's here and what's in Melbourne, we soon will become Melbourne.
VCAT Boss Says Suburban Melbourne 2030 Doesn't Apply In Macedon Ranges
(27/2/06 - SP) Melbourne's 2030 doesn't mean wall-to-wall suburbs between Melbourne and Bendigo!
Justice Stuart Morris, President of VCAT, visited Macedon Ranges last week and gave at least one delicious piece of advice - in his view, the suburban parts of Melbourne 2030 don't apply in Macedon Ranges (i.e. that application of them here would be a perversion). Hurray! Can we now look forward to developers no longer pushing Melbourne 2030's suburban standards and activity centre concepts in Macedon Ranges? Can we expect VCAT to stop it from happening?
What a relief it is that at last someone has actually read what it says in Clause 12 (Melbourne 2030) of the State Planning Policy Framework (SPPF)! That is: "This clause applies to Metropolitan Melbourne... The objectives and strategies also influence municipalities beyond Metropolitan Melbourne and should be taken into account where relevant." [MRRA's emphasis]. Here are the main headings from Clause 12 - which ones do you think are relevant to Macedon Ranges?
A More Compact City (includes Activity Centres)
A Great Place To Be
Better Management of Metropolitan Growth
A Fairer City
Networks with the Regional Cities (includes Regional Cities and Rural Residential Development)
A Greener City (includes protecting Water Catchments)
A More Prosperous City
Better Transport Links
We'd like the State government to clarify - officially - which of these elements applies in Macedon Ranges (and other municipalities outside Metropolitan Melbourne). The wholesale application of all of them to rural areas - thereby turning rural areas into suburbs - is a key reason why many in rural and regional communities have come to detest Melbourne 2030 and anyone who promotes it. So, armed with Justice Morris's opinion, here is an excellent opportunity for the State government to provide greater certainty all around.
After all, MRRA remembers that Minister Hulls told us last year when we met with him that Clause 22.01 of Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme, although a local policy, was law, and anyone not implementing that policy was breaking the law. Clause 22.01 is Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 - Macedon Ranges and Surrounds. It used to be State policy, but now languishes as local policy. That policy (law) says:
"Development to be permitted in urban (yes, it does apply to our towns) and rural areas must be planned to achieve harmony with the natural environment and to maintain both the generally rural character and high landscape values of the policy area."
Neither Melbourne 2030 nor ResCode are delivering this policy requirement. Conflicts between what Macedon Ranges needs, and what the government tells us we have to have, are one of the reasons why MRRA asked the State government to help Macedon Ranges. Making OUR Macedon Ranges policy a STATE policy would be a good start, and a good way of giving Macedon Ranges back some certainty...