New VCAT Practice Note on amended plans – ok, but more reform needed

The new VCAT Practice Note on amended plans that comes into effect on July 11 is an improvement but ignores one huge fundamental flaw.

The mere existence of the opportunity to amend plans guarantees that speculative developers will continue to lodge ambit claims with councils They know if there’s too much opposition, they can always scale back plans at the last minute at VCAT to partly meet council and objector concerns.

But if developers just had to stick with their initial plans, it’s highly likely that they’d make the effort to lodge compliant plans at the outset.

Result:  quicker, fairer, more efficient, cheaper for taxpayers and ratepayers, more certainty for all parties in the whole planning process – and better planning outcomes! (but no speculative windfall profits for private developers).

SOS Comment to VCAT on the draft Practice Note for amended plans (May 2011)

Download the new Practice Note for Amended Plans (effective from 11.7.11)