Further character statements and local area objectives

Some interim planning schemes set out desired future character statements and local area objectives. How do the State Planning Provisions provide for this?

The Planning Directive No.1 – the Format and Structure of Planning Schemes provides the framework for all interim planning schemes currently in place across Tasmania.  It includes two mechanisms for local communities to express preferences about the way they wish particular local areas to be used or developed, namely Desired Future Character Statements and Local Area Objectives. These are not used in all current interim planning schemes, and in some are only applied in certain zones.

In interim planning schemes, the application of these mechanisms is limited to assessment of discretionary uses in zones and where a development is discretionary and assessed against a performance criterion which specifically ‘calls up’ Desired Future Character Statements or Local Area Objectives. They are also used inconsistently and interchangeably across the State in interim planning schemes.

The State Planning Provisions have retained the intent of these but sensibly merged them into a single concept called Local Area Objectives. The application of these in the State Planning Provisions will be exactly the same as in interim planning schemes.

Local Area Objectives can be prepared by a local council for any zone of specific area plan for inclusion in the Local Provisions Schedule. They may be used to assess a discretionary use in any zone, not just those that have a reference to them in the performance criteria. They may be also used to assess a discretionary development when specifically referred to in the Performance Criteria.

However, Local Area Objectives cannot be drafted and applied in a manner that sets requirements that are more restrictive than the Acceptable Solutions in the zone. For example, if the Acceptable Solution provides for a height of a building to be 8.5m if it is setback 4.5m from the frontage, then the Local Area Objective cannot restrict the height to less than 8.5m at the same setback but could seek to control the height for that part of the building that is closer to the frontage.

The State Planning Provisions do not include the specific Local Area Objectives but they do provide the mechanism for them to be included within the Local Provisions Schedules.