Mr BARTON (Eastern Metropolitan) (12:42): My constituency question today is for the Minister for Planning. I have been contacted by a constituent regarding a proposed aged-care facility development by Glengollan Village in Ferntree Gully. Planning legislation has meant that developers can circumvent local council by-laws on planning overlays that apply to all other residents in the planning process of this project. This legislation was intended to facilitate the process of creating more nursing home beds. Unfortunately this proposed 108-bed facility will only have an additional 12 beds compared to the existing 96-bed facility. The additional 12 beds are insufficient to balance out the detriment to the environment and other residents who live nearby. Therefore my constituency question is: does the government consider the mere 12 additional beds sufficient reason for a development to circumvent local planning regulations that are intended to protect the community?
A new aged care facility is being built by Glengollan Village in Ferntree Gully.
Answered: 20 September 2021 by HON. Richard Wynn, Minister for Planning
Knox City Council is the responsible authority for planning permit applications under the Knox Planning Scheme. When assessing any planning permit application, the council must consider the objectives of state planning policy, the provisions of the planning scheme, local planning policies and all of the objections and submissions it has received.
Amendment VC152 introduced Clause 53.17 to all Victorian Planning Schemes to facilitate the development of residential aged care housing stock that is well designed and appropriately located, to balance the increasing demands of an ageing population with the protection of neighbourhood amenity.
The amendment implemented the Victorian Government’s Plan Melbourne 2017–2050 commitment to simplify the approvals process for aged care accommodation in order to meet the existing and future demands of an ageing population allowing members of the community to ‘age in place’ close to their established social and family networks.
While Clause 53.17 includes some variations to the usual built form controls, it does recognise and protect the amenity of adjoining properties through the application of development requirements relating to setbacks, daylight, overlooking and overshadowing that are consistent with requirements for other forms of residential development.
If objections to the planning permit application were received by the council, those objectors can apply directly to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) for a review. VCAT is an independent body designed to provide fair and efficient dispute resolution outcomes. VCAT will review the matter on its merits and anyone who wishes to be party to the review may seek to be heard.