Will a Local Provisions Schedule be able to change a State Planning Provision?

The Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (the Act) provides for particular circumstances when Local Provisions Schedules can override State Planning Provisions. An approved variation in the form of a particular purpose zone, specific area plan or a site-specific qualification is deemed to be an overriding provision.

The Act limits the circumstances when a particular purpose zone, specific area plan or a site-specific qualification can be approved to those which relate to:

  • significant social, economic or environmental benefit to the State, a region or a municipal area; or
  • sites which have particular environmental, economic, social or spatial qualities that require a unique approach to the planning controls.

Particular Purpose zones, specific area plans and site-specific qualifications can only be utilised in a Local Provisions Schedule where they do not conflict or undermine the State Planning Provisions and it can be demonstrated that a unique approach is warranted for the particular area or site.

The use of Site Specific Qualifications or Specific Area Plans should be limited to very specific (if not unique) situations where application of the State Planning Provisions will not deliver a planning outcome consistent with the sustainable development objectives of the Act. They cannot be used to deliver modified standards over a number of local areas because of a view that the Sate Planning Provisions standards are not appropriate.

The other way that a Local Provisions Schedule can affect the State Planning Provisions is that if during the preparation of a Local Provisions Schedule, a council considers that one or more of the State Planning Provisions needs amendment, and it can then ask the Minister to consider that.

The Act requires the Minister to review the State Planning Provisions after every 5 years of operation.