The Planning and Development (Local Planning Schemes) Amendment Regulations 2015 were gazetted on 7 December 2015.
The LPS Amendment Regulations 2015:
- states that a property is within a ‘bush fire prone area’ if designated as such by the Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner for the purposes of land-use planning requirements;
- clarify where exemptions to the requirements set out in the LPS Amendment Regulations 2015 apply;
- ensure that a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment is undertaken for new habitable buildings in a bush fire prone area (unless exemptions apply);
- require development approval for habitable buildings and land uses on sites that receive a BAL of BAL-40 or BAL-Flame Zone (FZ);
- include a four-month transitional period from the date a site is designated as being bushfire prone to ensure landowners and the development industry have time to adequately prepare; and
- ensure Special Control Areas continue to have effect in local government areas.
The LPS Amendment Regulations 2015 introduce deemed provisions into every local planning scheme across the State under section 257B of the Planning and Development Act (PD Act) 2005.
The deemed provisions outline the circumstances in which a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment is required. This includes a single house or ancillary dwelling (e.g. granny flat) on a lot or lots 1,100m2 or more and for all other habitable or specified buildings in a designated ‘bush fire prone area’:
- unless a BAL Contour Map has formed part of a previous subdivision approval and is deemed suitable by the decision-maker of the current proposal;
- if the BAL Contour Map is not deemed suitable for the purposes of the application being determined then a BAL assessment may be requested.
The LPS Amendment Regulations 2015 complement State Planning Policy 3.7 Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas and the accompanying Guidelines for Planning in Bushfire Prone Areas.
These planning instruments create a revised planning framework for bushfire risk management with the overall objective of preserving life and reducing the impact of bushfire damage on property and infrastructure while ensuring that conservation values are taken into account.
An explanatory Planning Bulletin has been prepared to provide guidance on interpretation and to ensure clarity in their implementation.