Planning projects prioritised

By Jackson Russell

Three Mitchell Shire Precinct Structure Plans are among 19 across the state to be fast-tracked by the Victorian Planning Authority.

The Beveridge North West, Wallan South and Wallan East Part 1 PSPs will receive greater resources and prioritisation from the authority, with support from other government departments and agencies, saving between six and 12 months from the standard processes.

The three projects were selected to be fast-tracked as they are already underway, provide a significant boost to economic activity and provide permit or development-ready land.

Fast-tracking Beveridge North West PSP is estimated to unlock 16,000 homes, 3000 jobs and $2.3 billion in project value.

Similarly, the Wallan South PSP is estimated to create 11,000 lots, 3350 jobs and nearly $1.7 billion in project value.

The smaller part one of Wallan East is estimated to create 1100 lots, 150 jobs and $154 million in project value.

The authority, working in partnership with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, believes the accelerated work program will unlock about $18.8 billion in economic value, 89,200 homes and more than 107,000 jobs across the state by mid-2021.

Both Wallan projects are eligible to be referred to a streamlined VPA Projects Standing Advisory Committee to consider and resolve any outstanding issues while the Beveridge North West PSP will continue on its current path but be prioritised.

The Beveridge North West PSP is the furthest along, having recently completed its planning panel hearing.

Following consideration of the panel’s recommendation, the authority will finalise the amendment package for consideration by Minister for Planning Richard Wynee and eventual gazettal.

Both Wallan projects are in the early stages of background studies, landowner and agency engagement. Once completed, the authority will draft the PSPs for exhibition and public comment.

The authority has been in discussions with Mitchell Shire Council officers about how the planning process can be streamlined.

Both Wallan projects will be subject to the same four-week public consultation period undertaken for the Beveridge North West PSP.

Chief executive Stuart Moseley said the VPA would now ensure the projects were delivered quickly and to the high standard the community and government expected.

“The community and the council will be closely engaged and their voice heard throughout the process with all relevant planning standards and principles observed,” he said.

Mitchell Shire Council director of development and infrastructure Mike McIntosh said council supported the authority and State Government fast-tracking the three PSPs.

“We look forward to playing an active role in the planning process and will continue to work in partnership with the VPA throughout the development and delivery of these areas,” he said.

“We’re confident that we are well positioned to ensure our focus on planning to create healthy, connected and sustainable communities will greatly assist the VPA in achieving positive outcomes.

“Importantly, we will continue to ensure the needs of our community are included.”