Council receives advice of Independent Panel on Amendment C183 (media statement)
29 April 2020
Moreland Council adopted the Merri-bek Integrated Transport Strategy in March 2019. The strategy supports the transition to active transport with zero emissions and helps address the climate emergency. The strategy also seeks to create a more liveable city, with less vehicle traffic and more sustainable modes of travel.
As one of the actions in that strategy, Council developed a proposed amendment to the Merri-bek Planning Scheme, to permit less parking in some new developments and encourage sustainable transport options. This was to allow people to choose a lower level of parking and would also increase housing affordability in those developments.
In 2019, the Minister for Planning authorised the Planning Scheme Amendment C183 to be exhibited for public submissions. After the public submissions, a panel was appointed to consider the submissions and to make recommendations on Amendment C183. The panel hearing took place on 24-25 February 2020.
The panel has now issued its report on the proposed Planning Scheme Amendment. In summary, the Panel concluded that the Amendment’s strategic intent is supported by State and local policy, but further work is necessary to understand the full impacts of implementing new planning scheme controls.
The Panel expressed support for the strategic basis of the Amendment, agreeing that supporting lower rates of car ownership through parking controls is a legitimate means to achieve the Council’s objectives to enhance Merri-bek’s liveability now and into the future.
The Panel acknowledged Council had met its consultation and human rights obligations, but recommended that further parking surveys and modelling work should be undertaken to provide a more comprehensive assessment of the consequences of the proposed Amendment. The Panel supported the proposed changes to Local Centres and other land zoned Commercial 1 and Mixed Use.
Moreland Council will consider the Panel report at the Council meeting on 13 May 2020, which will be held online. Council staff have reviewed the Panel report and the staff recommendation to Council is to halt proceeding with Amendment C183 until additional information on the impacts to Activity Centres and Neighbourhood Centres is provided. Further technical studies will be required.
The Panel Report is publicly available on Council’s website: www.moreland.vic.gov.au/amendment-c183/