November 26, 2019 Written by: Glossop Town Planning

The Victorian Statewide Cladding Audit hits the planning system

The Planning Minister has today used his powers to insert a new Clause 52.01 into all Victorian planning schemes to deal with the ongoing Victorian Statewide Cladding Audit being undertaken by the Victorian Building Authority to reduce the fire risk of buildings with combustible cladding.

The new planning clause exempts all combustible cladding rectification works required by an emergency order, building notice or building order from the need to firstly obtain any planning permission otherwise normally required e.g. by a Heritage Overlay. Where a planning permit exists already, an application to amend a planning permit will still be required to bring the endorsed plans inline with the constructed development, but such an application will be exempt from any public notice and review requirements. It may also continue to be possible to amend the endorsed plans of an affected building through secondary consent provisions.

The new Clause 52.01 is clearly designed to ensure that planning doesn’t ‘hold up’ rectification works being required. Given the type/ age of buildings being audited, we would expect that a majority are subject to existing planning permits and therefore amendments will be required to their endorsed plans. It will be interesting to see therefore whether disputes arise between Council’s and proponents as to the suitability of the intended replacement cladding materials, given Council will still need to consider the suitability of these replacement materials from a neighbourhood character/ urban design perspective.