As part of Australia’s fastest growing region, Brimbank is experiencing a lot of growth with new houses, offices, and industrial developments emerging around the municipality.
Our City Planning Department, through the Planning team and the Planning Compliance team, provides an important function of making sure that all development in Brimbank meets state and local regulations.
The way in which our city grows is shaped by the Brimbank Planning Scheme and the Planning and Environment Act 1987, which sets out the framework that must be followed for planning use, development and protection of Victoria’s land.
Our Planning team is responsible for assessing planning permit applications for land use, development and subdivisions.
Other responsibilities of the Planning team include responding to requests for property information and demolition and providing planning services to Council, the community and the development industry.
Last year, the Planning team was involved in assessing 1,048 planning applications; responding to 658 planning-related property information requests and processing 262 subdivision applications.
Whilst the majority of planning applications are determined under delegation from Council, an application may go to an Ordinary Council Meeting for a decision, if there has been a lot of community interest in it. In this case, a planning forum is held beforehand, to allow the applicant and objectors to speak further about the proposal.
Our Planning team also represents Council at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) on planning matters, when a Council planning application decision is challenged by someone who would prefer a different outcome.
Our Planning team prides itself on working collaboratively with applicants and objectors to achieve good outcomes on planning applications. Our approach is to take the necessary time to negotiate better design of new development and ensure the concerns of residents are addressed.
The positive aspects of this approach are reflected in the low number of applications that are refused, the low number of decisions that are challenged at VCAT and the positive feedback that is received from our clients.
The Planning Compliance team enforces planning regulations.
The Planning Compliance team is responsible for making sure that land use in Brimbank complies with the relevant planning regulations. This helps to enhance the amenity of our city and uphold community values - particularly in terms of contributing to and maintaining public safety, creating a healthy environment, protecting our landscape and heritage values and ensuring privacy and desirable amenity for our residents, businesses, and visitors.
If we get a complaint from a community member or another stakeholder in relation to how land is being used, the Planning Compliance team undertakes proactive planning investigations, and focuses on resolving any issues that may be identified.
For example, if Council receives a community complaint about any activity relating to landfilling and recycling of material on a property, the Planning Compliance team will first investigate to determine whether a planning permit has been issued. If the activity is taking place without a relevant permit, the team will take action to require the land owner to cease the unpermitted use and clean up the site, to avoid any issues of potential land contamination or off-site amenity impacts, such as air-borne dust, odour or risk of fire.
Achieving compliance with the requirements of the Brimbank Planning Scheme, planning permit conditions and relevant legislation is crucial to ensuring that land use and development in Brimbank are consistent with Council’s strategic objectives and vision for the future.
Some of the Planning Compliance team’s work last year included:
A couple of years ago, as part of our ‘Community First’ approach, we introduced a new website that offers over 20 new online planning, building, engineering and city compliance services.
Brimbank is leading the way in the digitisation of planning processes, to make the application process more convenient for applicants. Our website enables all planning permit applications to be lodged and processed electronically from start to finish. Applying for a planning permit is just one of many online applications you make through our website!
If you want to meet with a planner to get some general planning advice – for example, relating to a property you own or plan to purchase for development potential, or about subdividing your land - you can do so at the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre at 301 Hampshire Road, Sunshine.
In certain cases, you can also set up a pre-application meeting with a Senior Planner to discuss your planning application before you submit it to Council. You can do this if your application relates to a multi-unit development of 10 or more dwellings; or is in a heritage area; or is a large scale industrial or commercial development.