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Victoria's new commercial planning zones

Newsletter 02 July 2013

Victoria’s Minister for Planning, the Hon. Matthew Guy, on 6 May 2013 announced two new commercial zones to Victoria’s Planning Zones.

Planning Zones are designed by the State governments to establish a framework for planning the use, development and protection of land in Victoria in the present and long-term interests of the State.

These reforms offer a big change to Victoria’s five existing business zones as they consolidate them into just two zones:

  • Business 1, 2, and 5 Zones will become Commercial Zone 1; and
  • Business 3 and 4 Zones will become • Commercial Zone 2.

The purpose behind the reform is to promote greater employment growth in the suburbs and consequently reduce the commuting pressures over time.

Commercial Zone 1 is designed to create vibrant mixed use areas of commercial centres for retail, office, business, entertainment and community uses, and support higher density residential growth. It will unlock 870 hectares of land for development of this kind in greater Melbourne and 500 hectares in regional Victoria.

Commercial Zone 2 is designed to support increased commercial employment by promoting the development of 3,400 hectares of land in greater Melbourne, and 1,400 hectares in rural Victoria, for office, commercial and industrial uses, including bulky goods retailing and other commercial activities such as hotels and motels.

Three industrial zones have also been amended. These amendments include removing default floor space area restrictions for offices with the ability for Local Governments to specify set floor area caps, allowing small scale supermarkets and limited commercial development in Industrial 3 Zone.

The reforms will promote competition between supermarkets in greater Melbourne, allowing for smaller supermarkets in Commercial Zone 2 and Industrial 3 Zone.

Mr Guy stated these reforms position the State “to accommodate a wider mix of new businesses near existing services and labour forces”.

The new zones will come into effect from 1 July 2013.

Dan Flynn, Partner

Newsletter 02 July 2013
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