The State Government is proposing changes to planning schemes across Melbourne to make it easier for the development of Residential Aged Care Facilities in residential zones.
Council has a number of concerns with the proposed changes and resolved at its 30 January 2018 meeting to:
1. Note with concern the proposal to create a special definition and exemptions for Residential Aged Care Facilities in all residential zones in Victoria
2. Makes a submission to the State Government setting out concerns over the proposed changes as outlined in the report
3. Authorises the Director City Development to prepare and finalise the submission to the review in accordance with the issues raised in the report.
Report to Council's 30 January 2018 meeting (pdf, 173KB)
Facilitating Residential Aged Care information sheet (pdf, 104KB)
The proposed changes would apply to all planning schemes in Victoria and have been proposed by the State Government in response to requests from the residential aged care industry.
Currently the use of land for a RACF does not require a permit in the residential zones that apply in Monash - the Neighbourhood Residential Zone, General Residential Zone, Residential Growth Zone and the Mixed Use Zone.
A planning permit is only required for the construction of a RACF. As it currently is defined as a residential building, the RACF is assessed against the full buildings and works requirements of the zone and the requirements of ResCode. Issues relating to the design, siting and neighbourhood amenity and impacts are then considered in the assessment of the proposal. The assessment is limited to the potential impact of the building itself and not whether the use is appropriate for any given location based on its hours of operation, staffing levels or size.
The current situation correctly deals with the built form of a RACF development in a residential area by requiring compliance with ResCode, neighbourhood character and the Monash Planning Scheme. In practical terms the current situation means that Council and the community are limited to assessing the built form associated with the RACF. Council and the community have no ability to consider whether the location or operation of the facility is appropriate for the neighbourhood.
The State Government is proposing to make the following changes:
- Relocate the definition of Residential aged care facility from “Residential building” to “Accommodation” by creating a new special definition for Residential Aged Care Facility which removes it from the “Residential Building” category. The new definition then provides exemption for RACFs from the requirements of ResCode and neighbourhood character (even though these requirements continue to apply to other types of residential building such dwellings, units and apartment buildings in residential zones).
- Introduce a new Particular Provision as part of Clause 52 for Residential aged care facility. A Particular Provision is a “special” planning control that is established for individual uses or developments. Particular provisions set out special requirements for the use or development. They are generally used where the use is unusual, a discrete issue or has very specific requirements.
How do I provide feedback?
The Minister for Planning will consider stakeholder feedback in deciding whether to introduce the reforms to the Victoria Planning Provisions and all planning schemes.
For more information on the proposed reforms, copies of the draft provision and to provide feedback visit: www.planning.vic.gov.au/residential-aged-care
Feedback must be provided by 5pm Friday, 16 February 2018.
For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Victorian Government Contact Centre: 1300 366 356.