A new stage of the drafting of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme (TPS) is underway. Local Provisions Schedules (LPSs) that have been drafted across Tasmania are being publicly exhibited so that the wider community has the opportunity to provide comments and make representations.
Once complete, the TPS will prescribe the requirements for the use and/or development of land in Tasmania. The TPS will be comprised of the following main components:
- State Planning Provisions (SPPs) which include the zones and codes that contain standardised use and development controls; and
- a LPS for each municipal area which includes information in addition to the SSPs, such as zone and overlay maps, ‘local area objectives’, ‘specific area plans’ and ‘particular purpose zones’. Each council must develop a LPS for their municipal area.
The SPPs and the relevant LPS together will form virtually all of the planning controls that apply in each municipal area. Each draft LPS, once approved, will be a part of the larger Tasmanian Planning Scheme.
Public exhibition and comment on the draft SPPs closed on 18 May 2016.
Public exhibition of draft LPSs and the Tasmanian Planning Commission process
The dates of public exhibition for draft LPSs vary depending upon each individual council.
Some LPS public exhibition periods have already concluded, some are currently on public exhibition (e.g. public exhibition of the Devonport draft LPS closes 25 May 2020) and some are yet to be exhibited.
As of the date of this article, the majority of LPSs are yet to be exhibited. These include the draft LPSs for the following municipalities:
Break O’Day; Central Highlands; Derwent Valley; Devonport City; Dorset; Flinders; George Town; Glenorchy City; Hobart City; Huon Valley; Kentish; King Island; Kingborough; Latrobe; Launceston City; Northern Midlands; Sorell; Southern Midlands; Tasman; Waratah Wynyard; West Coast and West Tamar.
When the public exhibition period of a draft LPS is decided upon, the period will be advertised on the IPlan website which can be accessed here.
During the public exhibition period, representations can be made in writing to the relevant council. Following exhibition, the Tasmanian Planning Commission (Commission) will undertake a formal assessment of the draft LPS.
The Commission must consider all representations received in response to a draft LSP during the exhibition period, and conduct public hearings to address contentious matters and uncertainties. Once hearings have concluded, the Commission will prepare a report to the Minister for Planning which includes the Commission’s recommendations.
Following receipt of the Commission’s report, the Minister has the power to make the LPS. Once made, the LPS will come into effect on a date determined by the Minister and published in the Tasmanian Government Gazette.
Once a LPS comes into effect it forms part of the Tasmanian Planning Scheme and establishes how the Tasmanian Planning Scheme will apply to land within the relevant municipal area.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there may be delays in the drafting of LPSs. Whether the drafting of LPSs is delayed will depend on each individual council’s response to the pandemic. Some LPSs may not be placed on public exhibition for some time. Until further notice, the Commission’s hearings will still be open to the public, however due to the pandemic, members of the public will be asked to participate by video link or telephone.
Why make a representation?
There are two main reasons to make a representation on a draft LPS.
Changes are not always on a ‘like for like’ basis
Firstly, your land may be affected by the relevant draft LPS. Even if your own land is not affected, land that you care about (e.g. neighbouring land, coastal land or land near national parks) may be affected by a draft LPS. For example, the zoning of your land may significantly change in the draft LPS. Therefore, any future use and/or development plans you may have may no longer be possible when the relevant LPS (and in turn, the TPS) comes into effect.
It cannot be assumed that zoning in a draft LPS will be on a ‘like for like’ basis with the current interim planning schemes. Even though many of the 23 zones of the SPPs are similar to zones that currently exist in the interim planning schemes, LPSs may not always be zoned or overlayed on a ‘like for like’ basis. This was the case in the draft interim planning schemes, which were not always prepared on a ‘like for like’ basis with the previous planning schemes.
People who assumed that the zoning would be on a ‘like for like’ basis missed the chance to make a representation during the public exhibition period, and ultimately had to choose to either live with a rezoning that was not in their interests, or apply for a scheme amendment. Scheme amendments generally require more time and effort than making a representation at this stage.
Representations are an opportunity to provide your comments on how a LPS could be revised to better suit an area and, in turn, your interests. Your representation would then be considered by the relevant council and the Commission during the LPS drafting process.
Involvement in further steps in the LPS process
Secondly, making a representation gives you the right to be involved in further processes related to the draft LPS, such as the hearing conducted by the Commission. Even if your land is not directly affected by a draft LPS you may still want to make a representation to the relevant council because, by doing so, you will have standing to appeal any further amendments to the draft LPS which may not be in your interests.
If you have any queries or would like further information about this article, please contact:
M: 0407 205 719
M: 0400 545 503
Published: 6 May 2020