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February 1, 2022

A new zone introduced into Victorian planning schemes

On the 20th January 2022 the minister for planning introduced a new Transport Zone state wide to planning schemes.

The new zone replaces the former Road Zone Categories 1 and 2 that were defined at clause 52.29 of the scheme. The new road zones are:

The new TRZ1 zone replaces the Public Use Zone (4) within the planning scheme to identify land used for state transport infrastructure and other major sections of infrastructure. Former Category 1 road zones become TRZ2 and Category 2 road zones become TRZ3. Clause 52.06 – 9 of the planning schemes has been updated to reference requirements for access ways and car parks to access roads in the transport zone 2 or 3. The most notable change is that the access to car parking spaces must be at least six metres from the road carriageway in either of these two zones.  

The reason for the amendment was to make the planning schemes more concise and transparent in relation to roads and other infrastructure and to allow a more coordinated government response to infrastructure upgrades across the state. The minister claims that ‘consistent zoning for transport land will directly support the approval and delivery of a wider range of transport projects including Victoria’s Big Build.’

We concur that the replacement of the ‘Public Use Zone 4’ with a ‘Transport Zone 1’ is a more transparent measure to identify state significant infrastructure. The amendment also sees the Department of Transport replace VicRoads as the referral authority for planning permit applications.

Overall the amendment is largely a change to the name of the zones rather than any requirements within the zones. The requirements for car parks, access ways and crossovers largely remain the same and there is very little consequence of the change of zone on new or current applications.