Alpine Planning Scheme review adopted

Alpine Shire Council will forward its review of the Alpine Planning Scheme 2023 to the Minister after it was adopted at the April Ordinary Council Meeting. 

16 May 2023

A planning scheme review, which is required to be undertaken by Council every four years, is an overall health check of a planning scheme. 

Mayor John Forsyth said a review ensures that the Planning Scheme is operating effectively and achieving both the Victorian Government and community's goals for how land is used and developed in the Shire. 

"It also provided an opportunity to update the planning scheme with strategies Council has recently adopted, such as the Affordable Housing Analysis and the Economic Development Strategy," he said. 

"This review of the Alpine Planning Scheme affects all people that live and work within the Shire as it sets out how people can use and develop their land." 

 The Review found that: 

  • Policy relating to adaptation to climate change and protection of values, such as landscapes and heritage, should be strengthened; 

  • Comprehensive planning of the four largest townships - Porepunkah, Bright, Mount Beauty/Tawonga South and Myrtleford - is required so there is a clear vision for the future development of each township that identifies what the preferred neighbourhood character should be, what the development constraints and infrastructure requirements are, and where future urban growth can occur; 

  • More work is required on the Rural Land Use Strategy to consider whether the existing zones and local policies that applies to rural precincts is achieving the vision for each area; 

  • Wandiligong’s planning controls need a comprehensive review as the zoning doesn’t reflect land use in all areas, and the landscape and heritage overlays need strengthening. Undertaking this review will ensure that the valley’s values are better protected, make applying for planning permission clearer and easier, and ensure more efficient and consistent decision-making by Council; and, 

  • Council should remain focused on the strategic planning projects that will make the most difference to the wider community. 

Council also resolved to prepare a planning scheme amendment to implement some of the major recommendations of the review in the Alpine Planning Scheme.  

The amendment is expected to be exhibited in mid-2023 and take around twelve months to complete. 

It will propose the following changes to the Alpine Planning Scheme: 

  • Implement the land use and development directions of strategies and documents that Council has adopted since 2014, including the Alpine Shire Rural Land Use Strategy, Economic Development Strategy, Myrtleford Resilience Project, Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Affordable Housing Research and Analysis Paper; 

  • Align the wording and content of the Alpine Planning Scheme with the requirements set out by the Victorian Government; and, 

  • Update the further strategic work plan to focus Council’s strategic work program to best effect. 

Cr Forsyth said there will be a public exhibition process in mid-2023, allowing the community to make a submission to the proposed planning scheme amendment seeking to implement the recommendations of the review. 

“The Amendment sets the groundwork for Council to ensure the Alpine Planning Scheme is more efficient and effective," he said. 

"It is an important first step in ensuring the Planning Scheme is in great shape to deal with the many strategic planning challenges facing us.” 

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