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New zoning laws spell opportunity for investors

By Staff Reporter
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Sweeping reforms will occur in one state to clarify which areas will be zoned for growth, and which will be restricted, according to a new government announcement.

Victorian suburbs and towns will undergo a sweeping reform of planning zones, aiming to clarify growth areas and protection areas.

The government's zones reform package features three new residential zones, including a ‘Residential Growth Zone’, a ‘General Residential Zone’ and a ‘Neighbourhood Residential Zone’.

For investors, these new planning zones are the greatest indicator when looking for the style of development that can be expected in a suburb, said minister for planning, Matthew Guy.

"The Coalition Government's zone reforms reflect what communities have been crying out for, for many years – clear identification of areas that can grow and strong protection for areas that are designed to be low rise, low density neighbourhoods," he said.

The ‘Neighbourhood Residential Zone’ will include a number of features including mandatory height controls, stricter regulations around subdivision and the consideration of minimum lot sizes.

This zone will also be able to protect existing streetscapes and amenity with clear guidelines on what can be supported by a planning permit application.

These projects, combined with planning law changes and planning zone reform represent a major overhaul of the Victorian planning system since the change of government in November 2010.

The changes come alongside reforms to Victoria’s business zones, which are to be consolidated into commercial zones.

According to Mr Guy, "these reforms will place Victoria at the forefront of commercial development and employment”.

The key features of the reformed planning zones will be issued for feedback for a period of two months from Monday 17 July until Friday 21 September.

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