A new definition of a reserve has been introduced in Victoria, setting out the maximum size of an area that may be protected from development.
Key points:The Reserve Act defines a reserve as the area of land where development cannot exceed 5.6 hectaresThe law allows developers to apply to change the reserve definition to 5.1 hectaresWhen an application is made, the Government will be required to consider the proposed reserve changeThe Reserve Protection Act was introduced in February, but is not currently in force.
Key Points:The new definition sets out the boundaries of a new reserve defined in the Reserve ActThe area of an existing reserve is set out in the new definitionThe Reserve is defined as a zone of land in which development is prohibitedA reserve is defined to mean the land in the area where development is permitted.
A developer who is proposing to develop land in a new area will be asked to supply the area in the reserve as a land reference.
The Government has yet to make any changes to the Reserve Definition, but will consider any changes as it considers applications.
“The new reserve definition provides a new framework for planning in Victoria to protect a range of areas, such as urban and agricultural areas, coastal and coastal wetlands, rural areas and the bush, including proposed developments on national parks and areas of natural beauty,” Minister for Planning, Infrastructure and Transport, John Rau, said.
“Victoria is a world leader in protecting our national parks, and the Reserve Protection Plan is an important tool for ensuring the best use of the land that we all share.”
The Reserve Definition allows for an application to change this area to 5, 1 or 0.5 hectares.
There is no minimum size for an existing protected area, and an application can only be made if a development exceeds 5.2 hectares in size.
The proposed development will need to be within the existing reserve, which is 5.7 hectares in area, or 5.5 metres in depth.
“We will also be seeking public submissions on the best way to manage the reserve, as well as what actions to take if any development goes ahead,” Mr Rau said.
He said that if a developer was granted planning permission, it would need to provide evidence of “significant” improvement to the existing area.
“There will be no change in the definition of the reserve,” Mr Paine said.
The reserve will be the area that is not developed by an applicant, the Minister said.
“It will be up to the Planning Minister to make a determination of whether that is a development that should be approved.”
Mr Paine added that the Reserve would also have to be determined by the Federal Government.
“If the Minister makes the determination of the Reserve, that will be reflected in the land use permit for that site,” he said.
Mr Pate said the Reserve could be expanded to include other types of land that were not considered to be part of a national park.
The Reserve will only be open to applications to develop the reserve if development was permitted for 5.3 hectares or more, or if it was already part of the existing park.
“It is not a reserve that is meant to be permanent,” Mr Caulfield said.
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