Getting on with Protecting the Macedon Ranges

Planning Minister Richard Wynne has approved changes to the Macedon Ranges Planning Scheme which implements the first major review of the Scheme in 15 years and protects the region from inappropriate development.

Amendment C84 introduces the Macedon Ranges Settlement Strategy 2011, the Small Towns Study 2006 and the Report of Expert Review of Planning Policy 2008 into the planning scheme.

The Macedon Ranges Settlement Strategy 2011 provides clear guidance to direct growth and development to appropriate areas and restricts development in areas identified as unsuitable because of bushfire risk, significant landscapes or lack of infrastructure.

The Settlement Strategy was the subject of public consultation and review, and the amendment was widely exhibited in 2011 and again in 2013 and reviewed by an independent panel on two separate occasions.

The amendment significantly updates the planning scheme and conforms with the Andrews Labor Government’s election commitment to protect this iconic and historic region.

In particular, the amendment does not change existing Statement of Planning Policy No. 8 – Macedon Ranges and Surrounds which sets the broad policy objective for this area’s future planning, development and protection.

The amendment will come into effect when it is published in the Victorian Government Gazette.

At the same time, Minister Wynne has refused a separate planning scheme amendment that would have resulted in the removal of the restructure overlay on some properties in the Macedon township. On balance, the Minister determined Amendment C92 was not consistent with the 2009 Victorian Bushfire Royal Commission findings, and not supported by State planning policy in relation to bushfire.

The amendment was also inconsistent with council’s local planning policy framework and documents that supported an overall review of the zone and overlay provisions.

Quotes attributable to Member for Macedon, Mary-Anne Thomas

“This is a great outcome for the Macedon Ranges. It will deliver clear rules about development in the area and ensure it continues to grow in line with community expectations”.

“The Victorian Government remains committed to its election promise to legislate to protect the natural values of the Macedon Ranges and these planning scheme decisions are an important step in the right direction.”