The Planning Process

In response to advice from the Federal Department of Health and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Council has closed its community venues to the public until further notice, while staff will continue to work virtually. This has caused some changes to how Darebin's planning services operate. The safety of the community and our staff is our top priority. We would like to thank the community for your patience while we respond to this unprecedented and evolving situation.

Frequently Asked Questions about planning services during coronavirus pandemic

Are Planning Services continuing during COVID-19?

Yes, services are running in full, but have been adjusted so that all information is provided virtually (on line, by phone, video conference or by mail), rather than face to face.

The state government has advised that Council services that can be run virtually should be run virtually, and while we have closed the Preston Counter, we can run the complete process remotely. 

Continuing to run this service is important for supporting workers and lots of local businesses during this time.  Many tradespeople, designers and builders rely on Council planning processes to continue to run. 

We can contact residents and advertise planning applications without the need for face to face meetings and also provide residents information on line or by mail.  

 

What impact is COVID-19 having on Planning applications? 

Planning permit applications are being processed at close to a business as usual approach, despite our offices being closed to the public. The main impact is that there is no longer the ability to meet face to face with our Planning Staff or view planning documents at the Council Offices. 

 

Where are the Planning Staff and how can I have a meeting or request information? 

Our planners are following Government guidelines and are now working from home. Our main phone contact line is still fully functional, and we are encouraging the use of emails for non-urgent requests. Our staff are still responding to all requests and can meet by phone or video conference if needed.  

We can contact residents and advertise planning applications without the need for face to face meetings and also provide residents information on line or by mail.  

 

Who do I contact to ask a question about planning? 

Nothing has changed except face to face meetings are no longer occurring. The contact details are via email to townplan@darebin.vic.gov.au or phone (03) 8470 8850.

 

How do the requirements restricting mass gatherings and social distancing impact Council’s Planning Committee?  

Council is able to still conduct its Planning Committee meeting as a public meeting, however social distancing protocols must be met. If you do not intend to make a submission to the Planning Committee you may view the meeting online.

We are continuing to review options for how to best run Planning Committee meetings during this time.  If you wish to attend a meeting, please let us know so that we can contact you.

Please refer to Council Planning Committee Meetings for more information in relation to how Planning Committee Meetings are impacted.

 

FAQS FOR RESIDENTS AND COMMUNITY

How do I view a planning application? 

Residents are usually notified of planning applications by letter. A notice may also be required to be displayed on the site. White A3 notice(s) will be displayed on site for a minimum period of 14 days.  

Residents wishing to view planning applications will be able to access plans and other information via the link provided in the notification letter or by contacting Council via email townplan@darebin.vic.gov.au or telephone (03) 8470 8850.   

If needed these documents can be either emailed or mailed to you.

Please note that Council’s Planning Counter is closed until further notice.   

 

How do I lodge an objection? 

If you feel that you might be materially affected by a particular planning proposal, you may submit a written objection to Council. You must lodge the objection by post or email to townplan@darebin.vic.gov.au

Please note that objections cannot be lodged in person until further notice. 

Please refer to the Objection to Grant a Planning Permit Form. 

 

Are Council planning officers available? 

Council planning officers are available during normal business hours and may be contacted on their usual work telephone number or via email. Face to face meetings with Council Planning officers are not available until further notice.  

 

Are Planning Committee Meetings still occurring?

Council is able to still conduct its Planning Committee meeting as a public meeting, however social distancing protocols must be met. If you do not intend to make a submission to the Planning Committee you may view the meeting online.

We are continuing to review options for how to best run Planning Committee meetings during this time.  If you wish to attend a meeting, please let us know so that we can contact you.

Please refer to Council Planning Committee Meetings for more information in relation to how Planning Committee Meetings are impacted.

 

May I lodge an appeal with the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal? 

Like everyone, VCAT have also been making changes to how their services during this time.  Please refer to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal for information about this. 

 

FAQS FOR APPLICANTS

Pre-Application

Can I have a pre-application meeting?

A pre-application meeting can be arranged by contacting the Statutory Planning Section on 8470 8850 between 8:30am-5:00pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays) or by emailing townplanning@darebin.vic.gov.au.

A planning officer will be assigned the pre-application and will then make contact to discuss your project via phone, email or a virtual meeting.

 

Lodging an Application

How do I lodge a planning application?

A planning application should be lodged via Council’s eServices portal.  Any other matter requiring planning consideration could be lodged by email to townplanning@darebin.vic.gov.au

 

How do I pay application fees?

Application fees are paid via Council’s online payment portal through eServices. 

 

Can my application fee be reduced?

Every planning application is accompanied by a fee. A reduction or waiver of fees could be requested, however, this would need to be done in accordance with relevant fee regulations.

 

During Application
How do I contact Council Officers in relation to my application?

Council planning officers are available during normal business hours and may be contacted on their usual work telephone number or via email. Face to face meetings with Council Planning officers are not available until further notice.  

 

Can I have a meeting with Councils Officers in relation to my application?

To comply with social distancing requirements face-to-face meetings are not currently being conducted however meetings can be conducted by phone or video conference.


Can I request an extension of time to the lapse date of a Request for Further Information?

A request to extend the lapse date of a Request for Further Information must be made before the lapse date. Any application will need to be considered on its merits.
If an extension of time in excess of two (2) weeks is required you are encouraged to withdraw your application and resubmit once all the requested information can be provided.

 

Am I still required to advertise my planning application?

Yes. This is an important part of the planning process and public notification of applications is still being conducted.

 

How will the timeframes of my application be affected?

Council are working towards ensuring timeframes for the processing and consideration of applications are not significantly impacted.

 

Are Planning Committee Meetings still occurring?

Council is able to still conduct its Planning Committee meeting as a public meeting, however social distancing protocols must be met.  If you do not intend to make a submission to the Planning Committee you may view the meeting online.

We are continuing to review options for how to best run Planning Committee meetings during this time.  If you wish to attend a meeting, please let us know so that we can contact you.

Please refer to Council Planning Committee Meetings for more information in relation to how Planning Committee Meetings are impacted.

 

Will expiry dates on Planning Permits automatically be extended?

The expiry dates on Planning Permits relate to the date the Permit was issued and cannot automatically be extended.

To apply for an extension to the commencement or completion date of a Planning Permit, you will need to complete an Application for Extension of Time Form.

 

Can appeals to VCAT still be lodged?

Like everyone, VCAT has also been adjusting its processes and services at the moment.  Please refer to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal in relation to appeals to applications.

 

Planning refers to decisions that change the environment and affect everyday life. These decisions might be about new public transport, the expansion of a shopping centre or the location of a public park.

Council makes most of the planning decisions that affect Darebin. It decides whether to support or oppose a new use or development from starting. For example, a decision might be about the development of two dwellings on land in a residential area or the commencement of a new restaurant in a commercial area.

If the council decides to support the use or development, it would issue a planning permit with conditions. If it decides to oppose a development, it would refuse the proposal stating its grounds for the decision.

Our Statutory Planning team primarily assesses applications for planning permits and provides information and advice about planning controls.

The Darebin Planning Scheme includes all of the policies and controls for land use and development in Darebin. This includes a range of policies formally included with the Scheme as Incorporated Documents or referred to as Reference Documents.

Access the Darebin Planning Scheme online

The following Incorporated Documents and Reference Documents are utilised while determining if an application should be supported or refused. When preparing a planning permit application you should ensure it is consistent with relevant documents. 

Municipal Strategic Statement - Selected Documents

Other Municipal Strategic Statement reference documents not listed here can be found in the Council Strategies section of this website.

The Junction Local Area Plan
Neighbourhood Character Darebin Creek (Adjacent Land Design and Development Local Policy and Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 2)
Industrial and Commercial Activity
High Street Corridor Land Use and Urban Design
Multi-Residential and Mixed Use Development
Northcote Activity Centre (Local Policy and Design and Development Overlay 14)
St Georges Road and Plenty Road Corridors (Local Policy and Design and Development Overlays 16 and 17)
Preston Central Activity Centre (Incremental Areas Local Policy and Priority Development Zone)
Bell Street Land Use

Residential Growth Zone Areas - Reservoir, Northland, Fairfield

Merri Creek (Environmental Significance Overlay Schedule 1 areas)

Heritage Overlay

Refer to the Heritage section of this site for Heritage Study resources and Statements of Significance.

Vegetation Protection Overlays

Incorporated Plan Overlay

Development Contributions Plan Overlay

All land in Darebin is zoned for a particular purpose, such as residential, industrial or business use. Zones guide how properties can be used and developed. In addition, land can also be subject to an overlay which indicates it has a special feature such as heritage, flood risk or significant vegetation.

To find out which planning zone and overlays affect your property, a free online Planning Property report can be obtained from the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure.

Get a Planning Property Report

On a mobile? Get the Planning Property Report Mobile app

You can also use the Planning Maps Online interactive map service to search for planning information about a property.

Further Information:

Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure
Website: www.dtpli.vic.gov.au/planning

A Development Plan from Village Bell Pty Ltd and the Victorian Director of Housing is now being exhibited. The Development Plan covers two distinct precincts located to the east and west of St Georges Road, north of Oakover Road. Members of the public are invited to review the exhibited plans and supporting documents and can make a comment or submission.

View the Development Plan and supporting documents here:
www.yoursaydarebin.com.au/villagebelldevelopmentplandocuments

Make a comment or submission by 19 June 2020:
Email: townplanning@darebin.vic.gov.au
Post: PO Box 91, Preston, VIC, 3072

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a development plan?
A Development Plan shows the potential layout for future development of some areas in a municipality and is used to guide the future development of larger or more complex projects. Development Plans set out design requirements, site coverage and how tall buildings can be on a site. This is a separate approval to the planning permit process and has to be approved by Council before any planning permits can be granted.  A Development Plan ensures the development across multiple and larger sites, is coordinated and well planned, providing improved place based outcomes for the community. 

Approval of a Development Plan does not grant planning permission for the buildings shown on the plan. Planning permits are still required to be approved before any construction commences. The approval of a development plan that is to the satisfaction of the Responsible Authority (Council) simply allows for Council to consider a planning permit. 

If approved, a Development Plan guides the future use and development of land. 

Is this a planning permit application?
No. This application is for a Development Plan, which if approved, will allow planning permits for the land in question development to be made to Council.  Any future planning permit granted must be generally in accordance with the approved Development Plan. 

Will I be notified when future planning permit applications are made?
No. If a Development Plan has been prepared to Council’s satisfaction, an application for a planning permit is exempt from advertising and third party appeal rights (to VCAT). Council therefore strongly encourages all interested parties make submissions to the exhibited Development Plan application.  

What is this proposal for?
This proposal seeks approval of a Development Plan covering six sites within the Development Plan Overlay – Schedule 11 (Oakover Village, West Preston) area (DPO-11). 
This Development Plan proposes the following:

  • Two new mixed-use precincts. 
  • The two precincts are proposed to accommodate a mixture of residential dwellings (including private, public and community housing), commercial uses and community uses. These will be in a variety of building typologies (apartment buildings and townhouses) of up to 10 storeys in height. 
  • In total, the proposed Development Plan proposes a potential yield of between 450 to 650 new 1, 2 and 3 bedroom dwellings. Car parking and bicycle parking will be provided as part of the development. 
  • The Development Plan proposes a number of different stages. Delivery of Social Housing dwellings (Public Housing and Community Housing) is prioritised and will be delivered in the first stage of the development (should the proposal be approved by Council).
  • New areas of public open space, landscaping, and vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle links within the two precincts are also shown on the development plan.

What land is affected by the Development Plan? 
The Development Plan affects the Oakover Village Precinct in West Preston (as defined in DPO-11) and is split into two distinct precincts. The two precincts are located to the east and west of St Georges Road, north of Oakover Road. Precinct 1 encompasses the vacant land on Stokes, Penola, and Newman Streets (adjacent the Newman Reserve). Precinct 2 covers the land at Kenwood Court (the location of recent demolition works) and a portion Railway Place West. 

The wider DPO-11 precinct is bound by Oakover Road to the south, Austral Avenue to the west, Railway Place West to the east, and a varied boundary to the north (see location here). 

Why are the heights detailed in the Development Plan Overlay Schedule 11 exceeded in some areas?  
The proposed Village Bell Development Plan includes increased heights over the discretionary limits for buildings OR2, OR4, OR6, SP4a, SP4b and SP9 (refer pages 16 and 38-41 of the Development Plan). This additional height is proposed in exchange for additional social housing units across the two precincts. If the social housing units are not delivered, the additional height will not be possible. 

This would be secured via a legal agreement. Council will consider the increased heights as part of its assessment of the Development Plan. 

What about the rest of the DPO area? 
This Development Plan applies to roughly half of the DPO area. The other half is owned by different landowners and Council expects that separate Development Plans would be lodged for this land in due course. The community would be notified of these future Development Plans. 

Who is the proponent of this proposal?
The proponent of the Development Plan is Village Bell Pty Ltd (on behalf of MAB Corporation) and the Director of Housing.

What are the next steps for this proposal?
The Development Plan and supporting documents have been reviewed by Council officers following submission of the application in November 2019. The proponent has made changes to the proposal to address Council’s initial concerns with the application.

The proposal can now be exhibited in accordance with the requirements of the DPO-11.

Exhibition of the proposal does not mean Council has approved the application.

Following the exhibition period, a recommendation will be made by Council officers and the Development Plan application will be decided at Planning Committee.
Council invites all interested parties to review the exhibited plans and supporting documents and provide any comments/submissions to Council before Friday 19 June 2020 by emailing townplanning@darebin.vic.gov.au or writing a letter to PO Box 91, Preston VIC 3072.

 
Video: What happens if a planning permit or scheme is breached?