Checklists for Rural Planning Applications
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The following information has been collated to help farmers navigate through the requirements of putting together a Farm Plan as part of a planning application for a development in rural zones.
This checklist relates to 'Guidelines for Planning Applications in Rural Areas' brochure. This brochure presents the various options for preparing a plan and some useful tips to consider.
Check with your council whether you need to develop a Farm Plan (partial or whole plan) to support your planning application. If the council does not provide a checklist, use the following checklists to ensure all requirements are met.
Generally a Farm Plan (known by various names: Land Management Plan, Whole Farm Plan etc.) may be requested by council. An applicant will need to show an overview of the features of the land in question, the proposed use, and any impacts this intended use may have on that land, on neighbours, the catchment and the wider community.
Check the zone your land falls within: Farm Zone (FZ), Green Wedge Zone (GRZ) Rural Activity Zone (RAZ), Rural Conservation Zone (RCZ) or Rural Living Zone (RLZ). This will be important information for you to prepare your application and respond to the planning expectations of that zone. You can contact your local council to obtain this information. Alternatively this information may be accessed online via the DELWP website or Land Channel.
In addition to the zone, you will also need to check whether your site is affected by overlay/s. Overlays provide another layer of control to protect a specific and important aspect of land.
Types of overlays in Victoria
- Airport environs
- Design and development
- Environmental audit
- Environmental significance
- Erosion management
- Land management
- Land subject to inundation
- Significant landscape
- Vegetation protection
- Wildfire management
Useful websites for planning scheme information about your property
While your local council can advise you on the zones and overlays that may affect your site, this information may also be accessed online via the following websites:
Land Channel will provide a free report of the basic details for your property.
Our New landholders section has a summary of issues to consider when purchasing a rural property including law and legal compliance obligations.
We also have legislative obligation overviews for the following areas: Biodiversity, Chemical Use, Occupational Health and Safety, Livestock Management, Noxious Weed and Pest Animals, Soil Management, Waste management, Water management.
The following Checklists and References should be used as a guide only. It is recommended that applicants consult their local council planners at the beginning.
Checklist A: Preparing an application
|Documentation for a Planning Application in Rural Areas||Checklist √ or N A|
|1. Contact your council prior to preparation of information (this could include a telephone discussion or meeting with the planning department). Discuss your plans to see which activities require a permit, what restrictions may apply and who you may need to speak to or gather information for your permit application.|
|2. Completed Application form|
|3. Fee for lodgement of application|
|4. Copy of Title, including a diagram of the lot and details of any restrictive covenants or other legal restrictions affecting the property. Note: some councils may require a Title that has recently been issued, e.g. maximum 30 days from issue. You should check with your local council.|
|5. Does an existing agricultural use occur on the land? If yes, please list the use or attach the appropriate information……………………………………|
|6. Is the land subject to a Wildfire Management Overlay? A CFA 'Building in a Wildfire Management Overlay Applicant's Kit 2007' must be completed. The Kit is available from the CFA website: www.cfa.vic.gov.au o Wildlife Management Overlay Kit completed and attached|
|7. If any native vegetation is to be removed (includes tree/s, shrubs, grasses, herbs) a DSE 'Native Vegetation Planning Permit Applicant's Kit' may need to be completed. This kit is available from: www.dse.vic.gov.au Check with your council to find out the size/type of vegetation removal that will require a planning permit, any exemptions that may apply and whether any additional information is required. Refer to Clause 52.17 of your local planning scheme. o Native Vegetation Planning Permit Applicant's Kit completed and attached|
|8. If the application involves Intensive animal industries, check whether this is supported by a Code of Practice or Animal Intensification Proposal. Refer to the DPI Website for 'codes of practice' www.dpi.vic.gov.au|
|9. Do you have any other applications in with other agencies? If yes, please list the agencies………………………………………………………………….. (e.g. application lodged with local water authority)|
|Additional documentation if a Farm Plan is required|
|10. Farm Plan requirements completed and attached (refer to attached checklist for details)|
√ = Checked or necessary information included NA = not applicable
Checklist B: Preparing an application that requires a farm plan
|Checklist for a Farm Plan||Checklist √ or N A|
|In addition to the information required in Checklist A, applications requiring a farm plan should also use Checklist B. Use an appropriate size scaled aerial map, detail all relevant site conditions as per this list. You may need to show the different features on a number of copies of the map of your property. Check with your council what preference they may have for size/style/layout.|
|1. Topography main contours, ridgelines or steep rises|
|2. Soil conditions, including erosion sites, salinity|
|3. Existing native vegetation (includes trees, shrubs grasses and herbs)|
|4. List any quantities of indigenous plant species intended for rural landscaping and revegetation on the property|
|5. Wildlife habitat areas (includes rock outcrops)|
|6. Pest plants / weed infestations|
|7. Pest animal habitats|
|8. Waterway/drainage networks and dams (current and proposed dams)|
|9. Check with local water authority regarding the availability and classification of water resources Total farm water balance. Determine the amount of water required: domestic, stock, environmental, fire fighting and general farm water requirements and the amount that can be harvested.|
|10. Describe the surrounding land use for the general locality/area e.g. cropping, dairy, grazing, urban/rural, mixed farming etc.|
|11. Describe the proposed future use of the land. Include predicted impacts of future use/change of use of the land/Intensive animal industries – particularly potential impacts on direct neighbours and/or catchment issues. If a Code of Practice is required has this been obtained?|
|12. Outline existing buildings and structures including domestic area|
|13. Outline proposed buildings and structures in accordance with the planning permit Check with relevant authorities and council regarding servicing and infrastructure standards and availability e.g.: Road, bridge standards, land capability assessment Power supply Telecommunications|
|14. All existing and proposed roadways and tracks in accordance with the planning permit Is access to the proposed dwelling/development via an all-weather road with dimensions adequate to accommodate farm activity or emergency vehicles?|
|15. All existing and proposed fences|
|16. A detailed legend (including size of property in hectares)|
Farm Plan requirements – further information
Topography: (landscape, geography) identify on an aerial photograph/site map of your property, main contours ridgelines or steep rises indicated by e.g. crosses, shading, or colour.
Soil Capability: Identify any active and erosion prone areas, salinity, slope suitability (steep slopes may require more extensive construction and excavation works to prevent erosion). List / outline current management e.g. mitigation works, maintaining ground cover, fencing out gullies or creeks from stock; and if the proposed development is likely to impact the land (minor or major), describe how this will be managed?
Native Vegetation: Identify and describe all native vegetation present on the property (native vegetation means plants that are indigenous to Victoria, including trees, shrubs, herbs and grasses). Provide current Ecological Vegetation Classes (EVC) – this can be found using the Biodiversity Interactive Map on the DSE website: www.depi.vic.gov.au Identify if there is any vegetation to be affected by the proposed development.
Planning Permit Triggers for Native Vegetation Removal
Clause 52.17 of your local planning scheme sets out the planning provisions relating to native vegetation removal. As a guide, these are summarised below (check with your council).
Applicants must demonstrate the adoption of the three step net gain approach: (i) Avoid, (ii) Minimise, and (iii) Off-set. Where applicable, you will need to quantify the losses and gains, consistent with the State Government's Net Gain framework and policy. Proposed off-sets must be agreed upon by council prior to any works commencing. Where applicable, develop an appropriate list and quantities of indigenous plant species intended for rural landscaping and revegetation on the property.
Pest Plant & Animal: Identify and list pest plants (weeds) located on the property (may include pasture, noxious, production and invasive weeds) and identify approximate percentage cover of weeds.
Identify and list pest animals within the property (may include wild dogs, rabbits and foxes).
Document the present and proposed (on-going) methods and timing of pest plant and animal controls.
Proposed Land Use: Describe the future use of the land,
e.g. type and quantity of stock, type of agricultural production, conservation, and any associated activities such as fencing etc., that may need to be constructed as a result of the development. Some councils may require business data regarding the viability of the proposed agricultural land use. Ask your council what level of detail they require?
Intensive Animal Industries: Describe activity and whether this is supported by a Code of Practice or Animal Intensification Proposal.